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KMH not looking back after LiuGong jump

The 30-tonne LiuGong 930E excavator pictured in its Karratha Machinery Hire (KMH) livery prior to being put to work 170 kilometres south-east of the centre at the Rio Tinto Ti Tree Camp expansion project.

Steve Griffiths
General Manager
Karratha Machinery Hire (KMH), WA

How have you reviewed the decision to add the growing LiuGong construction equipment brand to your heavy industry fleet?

“In the hire game, keeping customers happy is the main priority, so you can’t afford to have second-rate machinery, particularly in the North-West where equipment is working in a very harsh environment. Some of the newer brands, for a variety of reasons, have a different reputation to the main players in heavy equipment, but the customers who have experienced the LiuGong machinery have been genuinely impressed.”

McIntosh & Son invited you to test the 30-tonne LiuGong 930E excavator, 6520E multi-wheel roller and 6615E vibrating drum roller at a Dig, Ride and Drive Day in Perth. How did that contribute to your decision and how has your early experience been with the brand?

“It was just a great opportunity to physically see and experience the equipment. We looked at LiuGong a few years ago without purchasing, but they have improved 10-fold in the last decade to the point where you’d be hard-pushed to pick the difference between a LiuGong and one of the major brands. Their build quality and finish is now excellent and you get a lot of value for money with those machines.”

Was service and backup for the machines with McIntosh & Son also a factor?

“We were keen to run with LiuGong and bring them up here, but we did want McIntosh (& Son) to fully back us should we have any warranty or maintenance issues, which they were happy to do. We were slightly concerned about possible breakages and downtime, but with the exception of a couple of minor teething problems initially with one of the rollers, which McIntosh (& Son) sorted out straight away, the machines have been faultless.’’

Have you heard how the excavator is going that you placed out at the Rio Tinto Ti Tree Camp expansion project site?

“When we sent it out there over seven months ago, we said to the operator we want you to provide feedback on this bit of kit because it’s new to us and we’re testing it out to see if it’s going to work, and nothing but good comments have come back from them. It’s all rock out there and they have consistently worked it hard without any dramas or downtime. The operator reports that it has plenty of breakout power, is very responsive and, importantly, when working through the hottest months of the year, cab comfort is first class, with outstanding air conditioning and excellent ergonomics. It compares really favourably with CAT or Komatsu and, although I think given a choice the operator wouldn’t have initially chosen the LiuGong, he was genuinely surprised just how good it was once he started operating it.’’

Has the feedback with the rollers used on various projects also been positive?

“As is the case with the excavator, the LiuGong rollers offer outstanding performance and value for money. For example, the drum roller comes standard with the ability to dial-in specific compaction rates, which is a definite plus and something that is an additional cost with other brands.”

Click here to view the LiuGong range