The last thing you might expect in Australia is seeing an excavator working in the snow but that was the first job for Victorian Alpine region contractor D & T Edmondson Earthmoving's new PC130-8.
Owners David and Toni Edmondson took delivery of the machine which replaced a PC120-6 they'd had for nine years in August last year, and straight away put it to work at Falls Creek ski resort, clearing snow away from the front of lodges.Their company does a lot of work for Falls Creek Resort Management, both in winter and summer, working around lodge sites and carrying out drainage and general construction and maintenance works during the non-snow months.
During the winter it's on call to assist with snow clearing activities to ensure safe access for staff and guests on the resort.
Aside from his Falls Creek work, most of David's work is around the Tawonga region working for farmers, contractors, Alpine Shire council, AGL and Southern Hydro.
"We do a lot of work for farmers also work in switchyards, working with various other contractors, plus we do plenty of drainage works for the Alpine Shire Council," he said.
In addition to the new PC130-8, their company also runs a second PC120-6 excavator, along with trucks and trailers for carting materials, and transport the excavators.
David has son Adam plus another operator Ian Stokes working for him, hiring in other operators or workers as required, or bringing in additional contractors.
He has been running Komatsu excavators since starting his business nine years ago.
"Before I started my business, I'd worked for a company that owned Komatsu machines, and when my boss retired, I purposely looked for Komatsu, because I knew the brand.
"I'd also built up a good relationship with Brendon Piera, our local Komatsu Customer Support Sales Representative," David said.
"I've been very happy with them ever since. Chris Trenery in Wodonga has been very helpful, and I've been very happy with the service and support.
"We do most of the servicing on our older machines, but with the new one Komatsu does that as it's covered by Komplimentary Maintenance.
"I'm very happy with that aspect of the support package, because if you're not spending money on maintenance, that has to be good and it's extra servicing work I don't have to do," he said.
"I just let them know when the next service is due based on the machine hours, but of course with KOMTRAX they know when it's coming up anyway.
"Warwick Benton, Komatsu's field service mechanic from Wodonga knows all my machines, he remembers everything he's ever done, he goes out of his way to help, and I get on really well with him.
"That's what I like about working with Komatsu Wodonga, it's very much a personalised service," said David.
When he got the new PC130, David sold one of his PC120-6s to buy it.
"I'd bought that machine from Komatsu as a used machine with 4000 hours on the clock, and it had close to 15,000 when I sold it.
"It was a brilliant machine; I loved it. In fact, I didn't want to sell it, but three machines were too many for me, and it was getting a bit old for a contractor's machine.
"But it went to a good home, to a local farmer in the Kiewa Valley."
David said his decision to buy his latest Komatsu was due to his past record with the company, an interest rate of only 3.6% through Komatsu Finance plus the price was lower than he expected.
"I wanted to stick around the 12 tonne size, that's what my business is built around, so I didn't want to go any bigger."
Attachments for the new machine include a grab, compaction wheel, various buckets and rippers, plus a Millwood tilting hitch.
"I love that tilting hitch; it's really good because it works!
"It's strong, it does everything I need it to do. I do a lot of housing sites, so for cutting batters, etc it's really good."
While David is the main operator of the new machine, son Adam drives it a fair bit as well.
"We reckon it's a very good machine, it's very comfortable and quiet, and does all I need it to do.
"It's got good fuel consumption it's not using any more than the earlier machine, but it's got more digging and breakout power.
"I also like the fact that when I'm doing final cuts on house sites, I can go into the computer and cut back the speed to fine control, which makes lot easier for that fine control work," said David.