I’m the service manager for Conplant’s hire fleet. We have about 850 machines across Australia (on track to reach 1000 this year) and they all need to be serviced and maintained so they’re in good running order and our clients can get their jobs done as easily as possible. Basically, we make sure the Conplant machines can handle whatever conditions or hours our customers can throw at them!
To do that, we created servicing templates for all our branches, so the processes are easy to manage and comply with all Australian safety and manufacturing standards – and of course, the demands of our clients. Our servicing and maintenance system also has a high-tech edge – we’ve got a GPS that records the working hours of all machines on site and calculates when they’re due for a service, which we can view from anywhere. It makes our lives a lot easier!
I’m a qualified mechanical engineer. I’ve been a member of Engineers Australia since 1996.
I’ve had about 22 years’ experience in compaction. People say they’re simple machines, but when you really look at them – the vibration systems and everything else – they’re quite unique.
We call compactors ‘self-destructive machines’. Because they vibrate so much, they work in such hard conditions (especially in Australia), and they’re usually the first machine on-site, it’s quite a challenge to maintain them long-term. The lifetimes of these machines are normally a lot shorter than other construction machines. Just keeping them running is a challenge! We’re always talking to the original equipment designers (OEMs) about ways to make these machines last longer by improving them wherever we can.
We have lots of different clients that use our machines – government entities, civil construction, mining, contractors and private construction companies. That means our machines take a lot of punishment. I love collaborating with our clients and the OEM design teams to develop and improve the products we offer. We learn a little bit from every job. Whenever we have a new product or innovation, we go to our clients. We ask, ‘what’s good about it?’ ‘What’s bad about it?’ and I always get honest feedback that we can act upon.
That’s what we’re all about at Conplant. We listen to our customers to understand their needs, then we work hard to come up with a practical solution. Of course we get very technical at times, but we always present the most practical and easy-to-use version of the products to our clients.
One of the things we’ve tried to tackle is rollovers. Previously, they’ve been a part of life for compactors. That’s the nature of their job – they work on soft and uneven surfaces to make them safe for what will be coming along next. Rollover protection has been mandatory on rollers for a while, but we knew it could be done better. That’s why Conplant created the Rollover Preventive System 2 (ROPS2). We designed a system that gives a pre-warning to the operator and stops the vibration when the machine starts tilting sideways. It’s vital that detection happens at a very early stage – before gravity has a chance to take over the roller.
We tested it extensively over two years and tuned it over three generations before it was introduced to our fleet, and it’s in use on Conplant’s machines today.
Also, coming soon is Conplant’s Collision Avoidance System (I-CAS). We have been working on it for 2 years and it’s almost ready to be released. Watch this space!
Absolutely. Very excited to be showing off the manned/unmanned roller incorporating the new II-CAS system. Stop by and say hello!