"Over the past three years, Streamline has installed over 1000 km of optical fibre cable,"
Western Australian-based underground cable installation specialist Streamline Underground Services has been a loyal buyer of Komatsu excavators for 20 years as well as using Komatsu dozers when pre-ripping for its optical fibre cable laying activities.
Streamline has just taken delivery of two PC450LC-8SE quarry spec excavators, matched to Rammer 4099 rock breakers to make short work of most heavy rock.
Based in Busselton, the company has been built up over the last 20 years from a small family business by brothers Brad and Greg Christian along with father Barry to what is today a successful civil infrastructure installation business carrying out works all over Western Australia, as well as projects in South Australia and the Cocos Islands.
These works include the installation of high-voltage and low-voltage power cables, copper and optic fibre communication cables, as well as unique projects such as the installation of nuclear monitoring stations for Geoscience Australia.
Optical fibre cable laying now makes up the bulk of Streamline's work, with clients including major mining companies and several national telecommunications companies, said Greg Christian.
"Over the past three years, Streamline has installed over 1000 km of optical fibre cable," he said.
Its current Komatsu fleet consists of a PC14R-2HS, a PC30MR-2, two PC78UU-6s, two PC78UU-8s, a PC300LC-7, a PC300LC-8 and two PC450LC-8SEs, the second of which was delivered in February 2013.
"With the new 45 tonne excavators, we have gone for the short-stick SE versions of the PC450-8, which are essentially a quarry spec machine, giving them significantly increased breakout power."
Greg said the process in laying optical fibre cable is that the ground is pre-ripped using Komatsu D375 or D475 dozers.
"Where the ground can't be ripped, we open it up then introduce our new PC450LC-8SE with a Rammer 4099 hydraulic rock breaker supplied by Breakers and Attachments in Perth to break the rock in order to get the maximum specified depth," said Greg.
Once the rip line has been established, one of Streamline's purpose-built zero-tension optical fibre cable layers comes along, ploughs in the cable, after which it is reinstated and compacted.
Brad Christian said that, despite working throughout WA including very remote areas service and support from Komatsu hasn't been an issue.
"We work in the Pilbara, and Komatsu has branches in Port Hedland and Newman," he said.
"We have had excellent performance from our machines and because of this we will continue to go with Komatsu.
"It makes it extremely easy running with one brand, because if ever we need back up support or onsite maintenance, they are always there to help us out."
Streamline is also increasingly using Komatsu's KOMTRAX remote monitoring system to fine-tune their maintenance procedures.
"We are just learning how to utilise KOMTRAX more, and the feedback we get from it is excellent," said Brad.
"For example, our hour meter may say a machine has been working 10 hours in a day, whereas KOMTRAX can show us it has produced seven hours of heavy work and three hours of tracking.
"Our jobs are generally over quite some distance, meaning often we need to track the machines for several kilometres.
"With KOMTRAX, we can easily identify machines that have been doing extra tracking," he said.
"Final drive oil changes are usually at 2000 hours, but our machines that are tracking a fair bit would have their final drive oil changed at 1000 hours.
"Our maintenance program is becoming more based around information that comes back from KOMTRAX."
Brad said that, as a result of Streamline's experience with Komatsu excavators in terms of performance, reliability and support, the company would continue to use Komatsu in the future.
"We found the service and the backup from Komatsu to be very good, right from the beginning of our relationship.
"I deal with Curtis Bateman in Bunbury and he is always there to help us," said Brad.