On The Cover

Digstar’s Epiroc Compaction Plate and Solid Body Breaker – a great business decision

South East Queensland operation Digstar is owned and operated by dynamic husband- and-wife team, Paul and Lea Murphy. After 16 years in the earthmoving industry, the couple recently purchased both the HC 850 Compaction Plate and SB 702 Solid Body Breaker from Epiroc. It’s proving a great business decision.

You never know what twists and turns life has in store for you.

Paul and Lea have never looked back since getting out of the film industry and starting up Digstar so they could spend more time at home building their family. Life in the film industry often involved weeks and months away from home, and they would often end up on separate productions and not seeing each other for long periods.

But life sure did change significantly after setting up Digstar and entering the earthmoving game.
As much as the career change sounds like, and is, a vastly different path for the pair, the fact Paul had grown up on a banana farm, and in his teenage years had learnt to operate a range of machinery, meant it wasn’t such a strange choice.

“The film industry was an amazing part of my life,” said Paul. “I enjoyed it greatly at the time. It allowed me the opportunity to work in some amazing places and enabled some amazing experiences. But the time away from home wasn’t conducive to the family environment we were looking to create.

“After setting up Digstar in 2007, our family now consists of a 15-year-old boy and twin 13-year-old girls.”

“After growing up on the banana farm and getting exposure to, and learning to operate various types of machinery, I always knew I enjoyed this type of work and that one day I could come back to it,” recounted Paul. “My very first-ever machine was a Bobcat 742, which was the humble beginnings of Digstar. Today I still mostly work as an owner-operator who uses up to four or five subbies when needed. I also tend to work a lot with other owner-operators, which has worked well over the years and contributed to Digstar working on larger projects as well as smaller private jobs.”

New Epiroc attachments from BAEG

Paul currently works with a modern and well- equipped fleet and a collection of attachments which includes: a 15-tonne Volvo excavator with GPS, an Epiroc hydraulic hammer, an Epiroc hydraulic plate compactor, augers and more, along with a five-tonne John Deere tracked loader with GPS, grader blade, tilt 4-in-1, broom and forks. The equipment is hard at work on Paul’s and Digstar’s jobs, including major roadworks and other similar infrastructure-type projects, along with the occasional private job which pops up through his various networks.

Career highlights and challenges

When asking Paul about both the highlights and challenges of his career he offered, “Like any industry it has its ups and downs, but remaining successful through those challenges is something I’m proud of. Also, the final tri of the Gold Coast university hospital in 2010 stands out as a highlight from over the years.

“When it comes to the biggest challenges, I’m sure most owner-operators would agree equipment failures and money challenges are the hardest things to manage. Both seem to happen at the most unforeseen and testing times. One of the biggest lows I’ve personally experienced in the industry was the way I was mishandled by a major manufacturer, with poor service, poor communication, and no honesty. Being treated poorly because I’m a small player just doesn’t cut it in today’s market.

“The upside of that experience is it has led me to my new Volvo excavator and my awesome new Epiroc plate compactor and various hammers purchased through Nathan at BAEG.”

Reliable partners

Smaller operations like Digstar live and breathe by the relationship with reps and suppliers. Just like the larger operators at the big end of town, unforeseen breakdowns, repairs and servicing bring everything to a screaming halt.

But it’s been the excellent customer service, product knowledge and industry insights from Nathan at BAEG, along with the amazing, well-built and maintenance-free Eprioc attachments that have provided such an impressive experience in the new relationship between Digstar and BAEG.

“So far,” Paul explained, “I have purchased various hammers and a plate compactor from BAEG, and I have to say my experience with Epiroc’s National Sales Manager Nathan Parziani has been extremely positive. Nathan has been honest, informative, and easy to get hold of when I’ve had questions throughout the pre- and post-sales experience, which is integral for owner-operators like myself.

“Furthermore, the Epiroc products have been amazing and reliable, with BAEG’s sales availability, sales service and after-sales service all top-shelf. When you have a problem, it gets solved efficiently, which is what it’s all about in earthmoving.”

Paul’s goals for Digstar are to keep everything rolling on as it has over the past 16 years, providing quality service and advice to people requiring earth to be moved, and utilising other owner-operators on larger jobs, allowing the pieces of ‘the pie’ to be spread evenly.


Paul and Nathan

Building a deep and lasting partnership

While spending time with Paul in northern NSW and Queensland filming his new Epiroc products, we had a great opportunity to catch up with Epiroc National Sales Manager Nathan Parziani, who has recently brought on Digstar as a new Epiroc customer. Nathan has vast experience in the earthmoving industry, and has been in his role at BAEG for the past 2.5 years. We asked Nathan about his relationship with Digstar.

“It’s been an awesome experience,” smiled the heavy-equipment specialist. “Paul kicked off with a great first purchase and we are both laying the foundations for a long-term relationship. Working with both smaller owner- operator outfits like Digstar and larger clients is equally important to us. We pride ourselves on this approach across the sales team at BAEG. “Paul is a top bloke and it’s been a pleasure
working with him on this first purchase. His new Epiroc attachments will enable him to reach the project scope in the least time possible while maintaining reliability. As BAEG is the largest national independent stockist of attachments across all departments, including sales, hire, parts and service, we know we have all the pieces in place to help customers like Digstar reach their goals and achieve the success they are working toward.”

Digstar has just purchased the Epiroc HC 850 Compaction Plate and Epiroc SB 702 Solid Body Breaker, both of which are powerful, high- specced machines, for Digstar’s current and future needs. The Epiroc HC 850 integrated flow and pressure valve prevents overloading and produces low noise with no need for manual greasing.

While the SB 702 maintenance-free high- pressure accumulator, integrated PRV and solid body eliminates common parts to enable high durability in a slim, compact design, water galleries cast into a solid body do an excellent job of dust suppression.

Seeing Nathan and Paul get along so well on the day of our photo shoot, and them making plans to ride bikes together as they both love racing and motorsports, was a fantastic experience – as was seeing Paul and Digstar get the positive experience they have been looking for.

With a great collection of new suppliers behind them, the sky is the limit for Paul and Digstar.

For more information visit www.epiroc.com and www.baeg.com.au

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