Southern Drainage and Earthmoving

South Island Earthworks with the ED160BR-7

Southern Drainage and Earthworks, owned by Directors Chris and Dave, is a thriving business in the Southern New Zealand region. In an insightful interview, Chris shared the story of their journey. Initially, both Chris and Dave ran their own separate businesses and were friends. However, a pivotal conversation led them to merge their operations, providing comprehensive drainage and earthworks services across the South Island.

Their team, consisting of four members including Chris and Dave, is complemented by two additional excavator operators. Their work spans diverse locations such as Queenstown, Glenorchy, and Arrowtown, offering specialised earthworks and drainage solutions.
The decision to invest in Kobelco excavators was influenced by their prior experience with the brand. Both directors had operated Kobelco excavators in the past and, when searching for a new 14-16-tonne excavator, they discovered the Kobelco ED160BR-7, an Excavator and Dozer combo machine unique to Kobelco. Chris and Dave were blown away by the potential of having the pushing power of a Bulldozer with a 6-way power angle-tilt blade and the convenience of a 14T Digger all wrapped up in one. A quick Google search brought them to the Kobelco website, where they inquired about the model online.

Before finalising the purchase of the Kobelco ED160BR-7 Excavator/Dozer, Chris visited the local service provider to discuss servicing options. He was reassured by the improved support following the opening of the Kobelco headquarters in Takanini, which ensured timely access to necessary information and services.

The ED160 Bladerunner has proven invaluable in their operations, particularly for forestry work, such as shoveling wood off cliff faces. This remote job required an excavator with full grousers, capable of handling steep terrain and roading tasks. Chris praises the ED160BR-7 Excavator/Dozers dual functionality, calling it a smart investment. Initially uncertain about the Machines suitability, Chris now expresses complete satisfaction with its performance.

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Chris praises the ED160BR-7 excavator’s dual functionality, calling it a smart investment.

In addition to forestry tasks, the ED160BR-7 is utilised for general clean-up work and agricultural projects, such as removing stumps for a local farmer. The comfortable cab, equipped with advanced air conditioning, heating, and air-ride seats, is crucial for Chris, who spends long hours operating the excavator. He also appreciates the excavator’s noticeable fuel efficiency compared to previous machines he has operated. Also, the fact that he only needs one machine on site that that does the work of both a Bulldozer and a Heavy Excavator, more cost saving just on transportation alone.

Chris commends John Mathias, the Kobelco Sales Representative for the Otago, Southland, Marlborough, Nelson, and Tasman regions, for his outstanding communication and support. Despite initial apprehension about the Kobelco software, Chris found it user-friendly after proper training.

With a significant project ahead, including constructing a 2.5 km road for a forestry company, the ED160 Bladerunner is a one stop shop and eliminates the need for multiple machines to be on site, further showcasing its versatility. Chris offers valuable advice to aspiring owner-operators: if you’re considering a Kobelco to start your business, give it a try. His positive experience underscores the benefits of investing in reliable and efficient equipment to support business growth.