Penrith City Council, based in the outer western suburbs of Sydney, has recently purchased a new Komatsu PC55MR-3 excavator largely based on operator preference following an evaluation of eight similar machines.
According to Ken Myhill, Penrith City Council's Fleet Co-ordinator, the new machine is being used for general excavations and maintenance work throughout the council's area, including excavating concrete guttering and footpath excavations, cleaning up roadside table drains, culverts and related works.
Purchased in June 2009, the PC55MR-3 replaces a backhoe, a move which the council's works team opted for.
"Despite having to be trucked around, they find the excavator more versatile and compact, especially when working under shop awnings on footpath work," said Ken.
He said the council evaluated eight machines of around the same size from different manufacturers.
"You could throw a blanket over them in terms of price; they were all very competitive and three of our operators tried them all out to see which they preferred.
"The Komatsu PC55MR-3 won on things such as good ergonomics, a clean and simple control layout and design, and good access to major components with the tilt cab.
"In the end, the decision came down primarily to operator preference," said Ken.
"We also considered the backup available from Komatsu Australia, and the fact that Komatsu machines have a good reputation in the marketplace."
Other key factors were the fact that KOMTRAX remote monitoring is included as standard, along with the first year's service built in, so all maintenance and servicing is carried out Komatsu, and there are no warranty issues.
"With KOMTRAX, I get reports sent to me, or I can look them up whenever I want to on the internet and it means I can log in at any time and see where the machine is working," he said.