Industry News

Rental option gives contractor the best of both worlds

Coleman specialises in providing civil works for mining companies in the Bowen Basin, which can cover anything from cleaning out drains to building and maintaining haul roads, along with general infrastructure construction and maintenance.

He started his business in Brisbane in 2007 – initially with a used Komatsu PC200-6 excavator, which he traded on a new PC200-8 about 18 months later – working on major infrastructure projects around the city.

In 2010 he relocated to the Bowen Basin, and since then has purchased two more Komatsu excavators: a second PC200-8
and a PC350-8.

Last year Coleman needed another two excavators to service his clients: a third PC200-8 and a PC450-8. With Komatsu offering a purchase and a rental option, he carefully considered both.

“The industry is very up and down at the moment,” Coleman said. “I did look at both options and I was offered a very good deal through Komatsu for a brand new PC450 and a brand new PC200, but the way the industry is at the moment, it’s still quite unstable.”


Coleman opted for a long-term rental through Gary Rogerson, Komatsu Rental’s Queensland business development manager.

“That meant if it all was to turn bad overnight, I’ve got the opportunity to turn that tap off and not be stuck with the usual repayments,” Coleman said. “It also helps the relationship. If I can put through a couple of rentals up here, help Komatsu get some gear on the ground as well, that’s what it’s all about for me – and it also does me a favour.

“The price I’m paying for the rental means that I still achieve acceptable margins on hiring them out to my customers – plus the back-up service with the rental machines is brilliant.”

When establishing his business Coleman did his research on the best machines in the marketplace, and decided to go
with Komatsu.

“I’ve always been a bit cautious in business, so I wanted a brand that I’d believe I could get good resale value on,” he said.

“I find with the Komatsu excavators, even when they start getting a few hours on them, there’s always a market for resale. If you need to clear your debts, there’s always a very good chance that you can unload a machine if you have to, and come out square.”

The other major reason for choosing Komatsu was the feedback from others in the market.

“When I went to buy my first one, I did a fair bit of homework on Komatsu and the other brands. What I like about the Komatsu machines is they’re well known, they’re well tried.

“They also run a six-cylinder motor, as opposed to the other brands that are running four-cylinder engines these days – I don’t like that. And since I’ve started buying Komatsu, I’ve found the service and back-up I get is second to none.”

Coleman said he enjoyed a very good relationship with John Frater from Komatsu’s Mackay branch and Komatsu rental manager Rogerson.

“If there’s ever any dramas, I can just make a call and, whether it be parts or service back-up, it will be sorted out.”


Coleman also uses Komatsu’s KOMTRAX remote monitoring system to keep an eye on his machines’ performance.

“Because I don’t have a lot of machines, I just look at the monthly report from KOMTRAX. The main thing I focus on with the KOMTRAX report is the idle hours and the walk hours.

“I don’t like our machines walking too far, that’s why I bought my own low-loaders, so we can move them around and limit
the walking.

“In the early days one of our machines did a lot of walking, and we had a whole lot of undercarriage problems and all sorts of dramas directly related to walking too far for too long. So the main use for KOMTRAX for me now is to look at my idle hours and walk hours.

“But as far as repair goes, I find Komatsu machines just bulletproof. We have very, very little trouble with them. I’m more than happy with them and I’ll continue to stay with Komatsu forever and a day while I’m in business.”

Source: Komatsu Australia

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