For Dean Lucas, owner/operator of Lucas Civil Group, excavation and machinery are truly in his veins. Growing up around his father, uncles and cousins as a child, he has lived and breathed the industry since his earliest memories.
EEM recently visited Dean onsite at Marsden Park, NSW and he was happy to share his experiences and the history of Lucas Civil Group. “I’ve been in the civil industry since the day I left school 21 years ago. I started as a labourer and then excavator operator. After a few years I eventually became the foreman on subdivisions for 10 years.
Being able to spend many years learning my craft as an operator then eventually foreman gave me a wide range of experience and skills to end up where I am today.
Four years ago I purchased a second-hand Volvo 210C and then I bought an antique Volvo 140B and started laying storm water. Lucas Civil Group has grown since then and we currently have a team of 14 men and six excavators. As a team we often complete jobs that range from large subdivisions to difficult jobs around major services. Its been a solid period of growth for us since our early days in 2013.”
Continuing Focus On Stormwater
LCG’S main focus is storm water and after having a good chat with Dean, it’s pretty clear their other focus is continuing their great reputation for delivering any job safely, on program and with the best quality the industry has to offer. Services range from shallow 375mm pipe to large deep (6m deep) storm water.
I always like to ask the age-old question:
“What sets you aside from your competitors?”
Just to see how operators perceive themselves and their competition. I must admit I liked Dean’s answer because there is nothing worse than a worksite where crews only worry about their own tasks and don’t care about the bigger picture or who is coming in next behind them. Dean shared, “We are a great team and try to go that little bit further to help the jobsites we are on run smoother. We all have a good natured, hardworking ethic and experience that allows us to get any job done.”
Volvo From The Very Start
Having the right equipment is always an extremely important factor of any project, and I was keen to find out what influenced Dean’s decision to run with Volvo given there is a huge choice in the marketplace today. Dean said, “From the beginning I have owned Volvo excavators and they have never let me down. A scheduled maintenance program and great reliability has allowed me to get any job done.
“Volvo excavators are very comfortable machines to operate and easy to service. I think a major consideration these days is fuel efficiency without losing power and Volvo seems to be leading the charge in this area.
“CJD Equipment has been the other half of the equation in our decision to use Volvo machinery. CJD Equipment has been great from the start, even before I bought my first new Volvo 300D in December 2016 providing brilliant service and advice. Matt Dench was excellent to deal with during my first couple of purchases then Darryl McCarthy took on the role and he has been great as well. We try to catch up every month or two just to say hello even if I’m not looking at buying anything at the time. The team in spare parts always take the time to help me locate any parts or info I need, even if they have to ring around the country sometimes, they are always getting back to me promptly.”
At the moment Dean has two large crews at Marsden Park where they are about 70 per cent completed and the job has roughly 7000m of pipes ranging from 375mm to 1200mm.
Running At 110 Per Cent
Before we wrapped things up I asked Dean if he had any general thoughts on the industry moving forward and he shared, “As we are all aware the industry is slowing down, but we also have to remember for the last couple of years we have all been running at 110 per cent. I would like to think the airport will keep the industry busy. Overall, it’s been a great time for growth over recent years and the outlook is still more than positive.”
Dean is yet another great bloke in the earthmoving equipment industry. It was a pleasure to call in and say g’day and hear about what the Lucas Civil Group has been up to.
It seems Volvo and CJD Equipment’s hard work in providing excellent machines and outstanding service and maintenance is paying dividends with their customer base across Australia.