Tim Shine’s love of earthmoving began at an early age, growing up on his family’s farm in Wollert, Victoria with ready access to a range of machinery. It was therefore only natural that he should later seek to forge a career in the industry, setting out on a path that led to the formation of earthmoving operator Shine Excavations in 2019.
As Tim puts it, his interest in earthmoving initially grew out of “living on a farm, using my dad’s tractors and backhoes, digging dams and building motocross jumps”, with these pursuits having taken a practical turn as he set about embarking on a career in the industry, which saw the establishment of his own company at the start of last year.
Shine Excavations is based in Wollert, with Tim, who has been working in the industry for the last 10 years, stating that the earthmoving operator provides its clients a range of services, mainly undertaking large subdivisions, along with rural earthworks, including dam construction and access tracks.
Tim told EEM that Shine Excavations, which is currently contracting to construction company BMD Group, undertaking the building of subdivisions, distinguishes itself by going above and beyond what is required, and via a preparedness to put in the extra hard yards to ensure efficient and effective operations on job sites.
“We’re a great team and we try to go that little bit further to help the job sites we are on run smoother and more productively,” he commented. “We are all good-natured, hardworking and experienced, and that allows us to get the job done on time and to budget.
“As an older operator once said to me, ‘love what you do, and you’ll never work another day in your life’, and I couldn’t agree more.”
Equipment Advances Help Get The Job Done Efficiently And Effectively
Of course, robust and reliable equipment is also a cornerstone of smooth-flowing operations, and as Tim notes, equipment advances in recent years have had a significant impact across different earthmoving applications, allowing Shine Excavations to get the job done for its clients more efficiently and effectively.
In particular, Tim points to Volvo’s Dig Assist machine control system for excavators – designed for efficient operations across a range of applications, including levelling sites, digging trenches and grading slopes, along with creating complex, multidimensional site profiles – as being a technology that can be harnessed to shave valuable time off projects.
“With the new E-Series range of Volvo excavators, and with Shine Excavations’ latest purchase of the EC250E excavator, coming equipped with a Topcon 3D GPS system and with Volvo’s Dig Assist, it has helped to complete our jobs in a shorter timeframe and more cost-effectively for the client,” he explained.
Dig Assist, which is operated via Volvo’s interactive Volvo Co-Pilot in-cab tablet, incorporates sensors and GNSS location technology, delivering operators real-time guidance to ensure job parameters are met quickly and more accurately, providing for the tracking of progress and contributing to improved site safety, and is designed for ease of use and intuitive operations.
The Volvo Co-Pilot tablet, sports a 10-inch high-definition touchscreen display, and is decked out to provide ease of access for operators, with it bringing together a variety of functions, and providing for a responsive operating experience, with operators having a range of information at their fingertips.
In addition to this, the Volvo Co-Pilot tablet is equipped with a 14 GB internal hard drive, which allows for the storage of approximately seven months of machine performance and productivity data, providing for analysis of machine usage and to identify areas for improvement.
Delivering operators further insights, collaboration between Volvo and Topcon provides for the integration of Topcon’s 3D-MC 3D machine control software with Dig Assist, complementing Dig Assist
real-time guidance via the use of 3D design files and connectivity with Topcon workflow solution platforms.
Volvo Excavators Provide Fuel Efficiency And Powerful Performance
Tim told EEM that during his time in the industry he has accumulated a range of experience using Volvo machines – and that, being well aware of the all-round performance of the machines, he had long been planning to utilise Volvo excavators when starting his own business, pointing to benefits including ease of operation and servicing.
“Prior to commencing Shine Excavations, I had operated for a company which also ran Volvo equipment, and ever since then I knew I would be running Volvo excavators in my fleet,” he commented.
“Volvo excavators are very comfortable machines to operate and easy to service.
I think a major factor in this day and age is fuel efficiency without losing power, and Volvo is a strong leader in that field, not to mention the advanced technology they have in their excavators with the E-Series.”
Tim had originally purchased a EC250DL crawler excavator from Australian construction equipment and trucks distributor CJD Equipment in March last year, and he has recently added a EC250E crawler excavator to Shine Excavations’ fleet.
The EC250E, weighing in at an operating weight of 26.46 tonne, is powered by a Volvo D8J Stage V emissions-compliant diesel engine (159kW net power; maximum torque at 1350rpm of 1110Nm), which combines with an intelligent hydraulic system to boost power while reducing fuel consumption and emissions, resulting in quicker cycle times and greater productivity.
In addition to this, the EC250E sports a range of features that are designed to reduce fuel consumption and increase productivity, including:
Automatic idling system – reducing the engine speed to idle when the controls are inactive for a pre-set period of time (three to 20 seconds), reducing fuel consumption and noise.
Work modes – allowing operators to select from the I (Idle), F (Fine), G (General), H (Heavy) and P (Power max) work modes, dependent on their requirements.
Eco-gauge – an added gauge bar indicating momentary fuel consumption (which can be reset through the display monitor), tracking fuel consumption under different applications.
Auto-engine shut down – when the machine is motionless for 5 minutes, the engine automatically turns off.
ECO mode – optimizing the hydraulic system to reduce flow and pressure losses (automatically selected, however can be switched off via the keypad).
The EC250E has been designed to get the job done in tough conditions, featuring a reinforced structure, and has a breakout force of 186kN, a boom length of 6m, arm length of 2.97m, maximum dig depth of 7.06m, maximum reach at ground level of 10.16m and a bucket capacity of 1.14m3.
Meanwhile, the EC250E’s cab interior features an ergonomic design, with the positioning of the joysticks, keypad and 8-inch non-glare colour LCD monitor designed to deliver control and efficiency, while the number of switches has been significantly reduced, contributing to operator ease of use, and Bluetooth and a hands- free function have been added, enabling wireless functions.
As explained by CJD Regional Sales Manager for Melbourne Metro and North Eastern Victoria Ryan Simmonds, in addition to Dig Assist, Shine Excavations’ EC250E model is also fitted out with Volvo Active Control, which, like Dig Assist, is linked to Volvo Co-Pilot.
Volvo Active Control is a steer-by-wire solution, combined with Volvo’s electro- hydraulic control system and Volvo Co-Pilot, automating boom and bucket movements, with it designed to make the digging process more efficient and accurate with less effort for operators who can set the grade and push the button, controlled using a single lever.
Ryan advised that these features, combined with the factory-fitted Topcon system, make Shine Excavations’ EC250E model the first of its type to be rolled out in Victoria.
CJD Equipment Provides Support When Required
Ryan, who has been in his role at CJD for the past year, told EEM that he had met Tim within his first few days on the job, and said that the two have formed a productive working relationship in the following 12 months, as Tim continues to look forward and grow his fleet of Volvo equipment.
“Tim is a pleasure to work with,” Ryan commented. “He is an owner-operator, which means he needs a high level of support and back-up, which CJD can provide.”
CJD provides a range of repair and maintenance solutions, including routine servicing and onsite and offsite repairs with its fleet of specialist field service vehicles equipped with state-of-the-art equipment, including diagnostic tools, along with maintenance parts and lubricants.
Tim stressed the importance of ongoing services when required, and stated that this has been an important component in his decision to use CJD, highlighting, in particular, the responsiveness of CJD’s service offering, noting that CJD has always been available at short notice when required.
“Originally I went through Brian Lawson who I couldn’t fault, but since then I’ve dealt with Ryan Simmonds, and I couldn’t ask any more from a sales rep,” he said. “Ryan makes the process as easy and stress-free as possible.
“When issues arise and need urgent attention, CJD has not failed to service our requirements. After-sales service has also been a huge factor in our purchasing of equipment, and CJD has always managed to give us the support that we need.”