Machine Control

Pryor Plant Hire and C.R. Kennedy

Quality and value for money are two key areas of focus for NSW Central Coast-based business Pryor Plant Hire, with the wet hire specialist placing a high degree of importance on providing its clients an efficient and effective service, backed by modern machines and operators with extensive industry knowledge.

Owner Greg Pryor founded Pryor Plant Hire in 1996, drawing on a long family history in the industry, with Pryor Plant Hire having evolved from a business operated by father Don, who for over 40 years had provided civil contracting and plant hire services to the Central Coast, Newcastle and Sydney until his retirement in the same year as Pryor Plant Hire’s formation.

Having completed Year 12 at Lisarow High School in 1987, Greg had subsequently joined the family business in 1988, starting out as a labourer, and then progressing to a variety of different roles, including plant operator, supervisor, project manager and business manager, while bolstering his practical experience with a number of industry-related accreditations and licences.

Greg told EEM that Pryor Plant Hire exclusively offers wet hourly plant hire, and does not do tendered civil construction contract works or dry plant hire.

“Our fleet consists of excavators ranging in size from 5.5 tonne to 25 tonne, and are mostly offset boom excavators fitted with tilt hitches, allowing for greater usability and productivity onsite,” he commented.

“These are available with a wide range of attachments, such as 3D GPS systems, rock hammers, hydraulic grabs, sieve buckets, borers, compaction wheels and plates.”

Modern Machines And Experienced Operators

Greg pointed to his previous experience as a contractor as having shaped Pryor Plant Hire’s service offering and the company’s sole focus on wet hire, highlighting the importance of delivering clients suitable machines that are up to the task, with knowledgeable and productivity focused operators at the controls.

“Our fleet consists of modern machines that are reliable and well suited to the application, and I only employ permanent operators who remain with me because they have proven knowledge and experience in understanding the job requirements and getting it completed efficiently,” he stated.

“I emphasise to my operators that I do not tolerate reduced productivity by dragging a job out for more hours, as that leaves a bad taste with the customer and is costing us more hire by having to decline additional work. By focusing on these factors, we are able to provide a quality, value-for-money service.” Greg noted that equipment advances have allowed Pryor Plant Hire to add value to the different services it provides to its clients, highlighting the ability of 3D GPS machine systems to assist operators.

“While 3D GPS machine systems are quite expensive, they add value because the operator can visualise the job effectively, which results in a more accurate, quicker and productive job completion,” he observed.

LEICA Icon IXE3 Excavate 3D System: Increased Functionality And Productivity

Greg told EEM that he had initially purchased a number of 3D GPS excavator systems from C.R. Kennedy in November 2018, and has also since added new systems to his fleet, with the systems now a prerequisite that are considered for most hires, increasing functionality and productivity to the benefit of all parties.

“Apart from a value-for-money offer at the time, the big attraction was the size of the sensor, which could be comfortably fitted in the tilt hitch structure to protect them from damage,” he explained. “My initial purchase was for four base kits and two cab kits, and I have supplemented demand since by hiring additional cab kits from C.R. Kennedy as needed.

‘’My most recent purchase was an additional three full base and cab kit excavator systems (ICG82 MCP80). I purchased from C.R. Kennedy again, as their Leica systems, along with their service and support, have proven to be on point and reliable.”

C.R. Kennedy NSW Machine Control Sales Representative Stefan Moos told EEM that he has been dealing with Greg over the last two years, in which time he has bought the seven Leica iCON iXE3 excavate 3D systems.

The iXE3 machine control solution is designed to guide the operator using reference models and GNSS in 3D, with design information and real-time cut/ fill indications displayed in the cab on the control panel, allowing the operator to rapidly excavate to the reference design.

The MCP80 machine control panel is equipped with a common interface across all 3D machine control applications, and is interchangeable between any heavy construction machines, with machine-specific data stored in an MDS docking station, allowing the panel to be used on other machines without the risk of losing data.

The MCP80, which sports an 8-inch full-colour touchscreen and backlit buttons, is designed to deliver ease of use, and provides for simple installation in connecting to the docking station.

Looking Ahead: Businesses Continue To Navigate A Path Forward

The COVID-19 pandemic has, of course, presented some unique challenges for a wide range of industries, and businesses across the board have needed to adapt over the course of the year, utilising the range of resources at their disposal, and keeping a close eye on developments both locally, nationally and internationally.

At a state level, Stefan pointed to the positive impact of a number of initiatives supporting the construction industry in NSW.

“The construction industry has been assisted with the fast-tracking of project approvals, plus several tax incentives,” he commented. “Our business has not been affected with respect to the catastrophic events over the past 12 months and is on par with previous years.”

Greg, meanwhile, observed that 2020 has understandably presented its fair share of challenges, and in looking ahead to 2021 noted the potential impact of a range of factors.

“We are largely reliant on subdivision development for our business, and many projects have been put on hold or delayed due to lack of confidence and tightening financial controls as a result of COVID-19,” he commented.

“I expect the remainder of the year to be similar to the year to date, with demand ebbing and flowing, and a very quiet Christmas period. Hopefully 2021 will improve on this year, but I think that will depend on an effective COVID-19 vaccine and then confidence in the economy.”

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