Earthmoving News, Equipment and Machinery, Excavators, Kobelco

Powerful in pink: Starbuck Excavation and Kobelco

Starbuck Excavation is supporting women in construction with the help of Melbourne Tractors and Kobelco.

Jimmy from Starbuck Excavation is a larger-than-life personality in the Melbourne earthmoving industry.

But he’ll be very quick to point out himself that Starbuck Excavation as it is today, would not be as successful without his team – one which is more than happy to put in the hard yards to remain one of the highest achieving earthmoving companies in Australia.

Starbuck Excavation has teamed up with Kobelco and Melbourne Tractors to raise awareness about women in construction.

Three generations of Starbuck family earthmovers have been at the helm of the company, and have grown the group over decades. This mindset of passing the company down to the next generation is part of the reason Jimmy – with the help of Kobelco and Melbourne Tractors – is trying to raise awareness of the fact that earthmoving is not just for ‘blokes’, but also kept in motion by the many hard-working women that have broken into the once very male-dominated industry.

This has come in the form of a custom pink Kobelco SK135SR-7 excavator, which Starbuck Excavation recently ordered through Melbourne Tractors.

The SK135SR-7 is Australia’s number one selling machine in the 14-tonne class, combining performance, fuel efficiency, and reliability with a premium operator station and modern machine design.

Jimmy wants to help create a better earthmoving industry for future generations.

The popular short radius heavy excavator is now available with a proven Isuzu Tier 3 engine, with no DPF or AdBlue required, reducing operating costs and increasing convenience for Kobelco customers.

“For me personally, it’s a conversation starter to show Starbuck Excavation is a supportive work place,” Jimmy says. “Somewhere in 10 years, I’ll be proud that my daughter will walk onto a worksite and be seen for her abilities and skills rather than anything else. A pink machine and keeping that goal in the forefront of my mind might just make that happen.”

Even though the pink Kobelco SK135SR-7, which will be operated by one of Starbuck’s latest recruits Taylah, is brand new, the idea of not discounting potential staff members based on their sex is anything but new at Starbuck.

Both Starbuck’s Chief Financial Officer and Chief Operations Officer are women who have earned their voice at the table through nothing but years of hard work and an extremely high-level skill set, as well as their love for the industry that make them the best people for the roles.

Jimmy thinks Starbuck Excavation’s pink Kobelco excavator will be a conversation starter.

“The reason behind purchasing this digger in pink is to invite more women into the industry,” says Aurelia Pirvu, COO at Starbuck Excavation. “We are lucky in Australia that women are already part of the construction industry, but for people outside of the industry, who may not know about this fact, we’d like to use it as conversation piece to highlight that women can operate machinery, that women can have big careers in the field, that the new generation knows that there is a future in construction. It is a great industry to be a
part of.”

Of course, as with anything that is a little bit outside of the box, anything that is a little bit daring, people will be quick to judge. According to Jimmy, his social media accounts, with an Instagram following close to 50,000, has been a hotbed for supporters as well as people who think it’s a waste of time and that buying a pink machine isn’t going to change anything.

But as they say, nothing ventured nothing gained.

“With this digger, we obviously don’t expect things to change overnight,” Aurelia says. “The intention behind it is to bring awareness and have people who don’t know much about the industry who could potentially be a great fit, spot the machine in traffic or on a worksite and from there, get curious, google it and hopefully be encouraged to enter the field.”

Finally, as with anything that the Starbuck team puts their minds to, it will be done in force. So if you think the SK135 looks great, you will be pleased to hear that there will be another pink Kobelco joining the team later this year with the larger Kobelco SK235SR already on the water from Japan.

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