Digga is as Aussie as the phonetically spelt name suggests. Solidified as our country’s leading machinery attachment manufacturer and exporter, the company still remains proudly Australian owned and operated.
Let’s dig a little deeper into this national treasure as we salute a true blue Industry Leader.
Conceived back in 1981 out of a caravan park in Eight Mile Plains, Brisbane, Digga is the brainchild of Stewart Wright. As a one-man band Stewart initially began by supplying auger wear parts to local machine operators. Rumour has it he would use the park’s telephone box as his main form of business communication. Stewart quickly outgrew the backyard operation and set up a workshop where he could also repair augers. This was followed by customer requests to build augers from scratch and within a year of its inception Digga began manufacturing its own parts. The locally crafted augers worked so well that people then asked for auger drives and trenchers and before long Stewart had himself a thriving business. So good and successful were these original components, Digga has been accredited with introducing and pioneering pendulum drilling in Australia.
The company experienced extreme progression and growth in their first decade as their range of products steadily increased, including the manufacture of their own worldclass gearboxes. While Stewart continued to build a strong team of expert professionals around him, he also improved Digga’s internal manufacturing processes with the introduction of computerised machining, robotic welding and more advanced steel cutting equipment to their assembly line. After establishing themselves in Australia, Digga began exporting their quality products and gaining a reputation overseas, firstly in New Zealand and Europe in 1997 and then in the US in ’99.
In 2006 the company moved into their own $5 million, fully purpose-built headquarters and factory at Yatala, located halfway between Brisbane and the Gold Coast. After an electrical fault sparked a devastating fire in 2016, Digga completely rebuilt their 12,500 sq/m facility into a state-of-the-art manufacturing plant equipped with the latest fabrication, manufacturing and high production welding technology. They now have branches in Brisbane, Sydney, Melbourne, Perth, UK, New Zealand and the USA with more than 450 dealers world wide.
“Digga now sells over 70 different attachment ranges, exports to over 50 countries and employs almost 250 people in three companyowned facilities around the world,” proudly boasted Alan Wade, Digga Australia’s CEO. From initial design, to sourcing raw material, to manufacturing the end product, Digga has always been uncompromising in their dedication to providing the highest quality, competitively priced attachments that are made super durable for Australian conditions and for the Australian market. “Digga has built a reputation based around quality and innovation for almost four decades,” Alan stated. “The Digga name is synonymous with the earthmoving industry, but what really sets us apart is quality. We see auger drives come in for service that we manufactured over 20 years ago.”
Always looking to make improvements and stay ahead of the game, Digga’s research and development is second-to-none. Having a locally-based R&D Department is something that is (unfortunately) quite rare in Australia. With a dedicated division of engineers and technical staff, they come up with their own original, cutting-edge designs and functionality improvements, and fully test performance optimisation. Using leading software, finite analysis and 3D modelling technology, Digga’s R&D Department is able to maintain a competitive edge by greatly reducing the cost and time of developing new parts and products.
In Loving Memory
In 2018 Digga Australia CEO and Managing Director Suzie Wright, who had been bravely fighting ovarian cancer for over a year, sadly passed away. Suzie was the backbone of the company who helped steer the ship for almost 15 years as Chief Executive Officer. Not only a key figure in the success of Digga as a business, she was a passionate advocate for Australian manufacturing and supporting local jobs and made everyone feel like a part of the extended Digga family.
As an ongoing tribute Digga has continued to support the Ovarian Cancer Research Foundation and have already raised nearly $100,000 this year alone in an effort to help discover causes, find a cure and develop an early detection test for the disease.
Go to http://ocrf.com.au to show your support and donate now
Among a plethora of breakthrough inventions and accolades, Digga won the Australian International Design Award for its revolutionary and patented Swing Control System, which increases safety by stabilising drilling machinery during operation.
On top of their Australian designed and built attachment products, Digga also has an extensive range of wear parts and offer spare parts servicing with in-house and onsite service vehicles in operation.
Our greatest difference is Australian made quality and service,” continued Alan. “Being Australian made means that we better support our product. Spare parts are on the shelf; no need to wait six weeks for them to arrive.
Digga is a one-stop shop. No other company offers such a wide range of products. This means that dealers only need to deal with one company instead of two or three.”
While Digga’s momentum continues to move forward, it’s not all smooth sailing with some obvious uphill battles to face.
“The biggest challenge for Digga is competing against cheap import products,” freely admitted Alan. “Digga has been committed to supporting Australian workers and the local industry over the past 38 years by keeping manufacturing in Australia, but this comes with its challenges. We’re continually improving our manufacturing processes and attachment designs to ensure we produce them efficiently to enable us to compete on a similar price point. We have to be 25 per cent better at what we do to offset the cheaper labour and costs associated with manufacturing in some countries.”
Never one to compromise on quality or rest on their laurels, Digga promises that they are going to be making even more headways with some groundbreaking advancements in the future.
“We’ve got some exciting products coming out in the next 6 to 24 months,” Alan revealed, “as well as continuing to roll out improvements to existing products. We see significant growth in some of our export markets, which are all fed from our main facility in Queensland. While wireless technology has been introduced into several products to make them easier to use, the biggest technology shift is yet to hit us. Electric power will have a big change on our industry.”
With their 40 year anniversary around the corner, watch this space as things are only going to get bigger at Digga.
[colored_box color=”yellow”]For more information visit http://www.digga.com [/colored_box]