Case Study

D&W Earthmoving and CAT®

Tucked away around 40 minutes off the highway behind Goulburn is a beautiful part of NSW called the Upper Lachlan Shire. The location of many stunning properties and farms, many of which have at some stage over the last 20 years enlisted the services of D & W Earthmoving, owned and operated by Will and Paula Zouch.

Will was born in the Shire and grew up on his parent’s rural property near the small village of Bigga with his brother and sister.

Will’s brother David started the ‘Bigga Earthmoving’ business in 1977 with an old CASE 750 then onto the 1150s and a 1550. It was not until the year 2000 that Will formed a partnership named D & W Earthmoving with his brother. Then in 2005 Will & Paula took over the business afterDavid retired from the industry. In 2015 Will and Paula sold their property at Bigga and the company was moved just out of Crookwell to be more centralised in the district. So it’s pretty safe to say that D & W Earthmoving has been a part of the fabric of this particular part of NSW.

I chatted with Will onsite as he took a break from working on the dam he has  been busily constructing. He shared, “We have established a great reputation for our quality work and service, all combined from our 40 years of experience operating dozers, training in soil conservation and land management practices, along with a rural background and having experienced, reliable operators.” It became pretty clear quite quickly that there is a slightly different relationship with the land in the country than what we usually experience in larger cities.

“I Love My Work”

In our conversation with Will, this became even more apparent as he continued, “I love my work – working minimum of six to seven days a week in the peak period, summer through autumn, getting some time off during winter.

“I know most of the Shire and clients’ properties like the back of my hand. In our work you often see spectacular sites and scenery when in remote areas that a lot of locals don’t know exist. I treat every job as if it was my own; I value all my clients. I get very conscientious about getting the work done in a timeframe without compromising a quality job. Some of our clients have been with us since the early 1980s, and they book us in for work every following year. Luckily,

I have a good machine operator, Robbie Haley, who can also consult with clients about their objectives and future planning, so that we can help with any input.” Most of D & W works are in the private agricultural sector, specialising in construction of stock and irrigation dams, soil erosion repairs, wetlands, private roads, site pads, stick raking, and also comply to land management works for the LLS and RFS.

Passion For High Quality Equipment

Our conversation headed towards equipment, and Will’s passion for his equipment is obvious. “We run Cat® D6 dozers because their size is ideally suited in the tablelands area, from transportation to working on small to large holdings or cutting trails in quite remote, steep country.

In larger dam construction I like running two Cat D6s side by side because they have the advantage of a larger machine pushing longer distances, carrying around 30-40 per cent more material per push than two individual D6s. We keep these dozers busy throughout the year depending on the winters – for example, not counting other works, two D6Ts alone constructed more than 270 stock dams in the last five years in the Crookwell and Boorowa areas, ranging in size from 1 megalitre to 30 megalitres,” said Will.

“I always keep my dozers in top shape and my clients often comment about them. That is why I work by a little motto I have for myself: ‘look after your machines, look after your clients, and they will look after you’.”

WesTrac Since 2005

Will continued, “I’ve been involved with WesTrac for servicing and parts since 2005 with my first Caterpillar, a Cat D6R series II, which I purchased in a private sale. Since then I have bought and sold a Cat D6R III and Cat D6T. Like any earthmoving company we rely heavily on parts and field service, and that’s where WesTrac has been great to me over the past 15 years – parts are readily available and the field service is never a hassle.

Big companies tend to put small companies on the backburner, but not this mob. Currently, we are running a D6T bought new in 2015 from WesTrac and the new Cat D6XE in 2020. The sales and warranty service provided have also been excellent.

I believe in purchasing new or low-hour machines if possible. That is why I like Caterpillar – well-built dozers with a good warranty and terrific resale value.

“With the Cat D6XE I was looking for a replacement dozer with lower running costs to help control the rising costs in production. It’s quite simple really, it’s just about moving material from ‘point a’ to ‘point b’ at minimal cost for the client. The Cat D6XE will do that, and I believe it will help sustain those lower costs into the future. So far it is exceeding expectations with fuel consumption 25 per cent better than the 2015 Cat D6T. It’s also heavier, has a larger SU blade and faster cycle times, but the most surprising asset is the power and torque of the electric drive. It’s unlike any previous Cat D6 in that respect, the power turns and counters rotating turns are greatly  improved. I have not calculated what productivity increase it has over the 2015 D6T yet, but I am confident it is minimum 10 per cent.”

WesTrac Sales Representative for Bathurst Michael Webster joined us onsite in Crookwell. Michael has an impressive 14 years of experience behind him in all things Cat and WesTrac and has also worked with Will for around a decade.

Michael shared, “Will purchased a Cat D6T in 2015 and the D6 XE this year for increased production and lower fuel burn, which has delivered impressive results. This is the first Cat high drive electric drive dozer, so we see constant power to the ground, continuous push and no gears to shift, which has really impressed operators like Will. They’ve also found it highly manoeuvrable and quick, allowing for faster cycle times and up to 35 per cent better fuel efficiency. It’s a game-changer especially with the Cat Grade tech added in.”

Michael continued, “Will also uses our highly skilled field service technicians to maintain and service his machinery so he doesn’t have to transport equipment offsite. This is a big time and money saver. We pride ourselves in putting customers first, which also means keeping them and our team safe on the job. WesTrac has developed robust plans and procedures in response to COVID-19, so there weren’t any delays in delivering Will’s Cat D6 XE – a great result.”

Like almost every business out there, to compete in today’s workplace you need modern and efficient machines. The technology in machines is an enormous advantage right now. Even though Will and D & W Earthmoving do not require 3D in their line of work, the new built-in 2D has saved Will vast amounts of time in specific jobs. “I do see the 3D advantages in larger construction or civil sectors, for example, less experienced operators are up to optimum performance straight away, creating time saving and precision in production. With the industry changing so quickly with this type of technologies, it becomes a leveling factor in performance,” concluded Will.

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