Founded by joint managing directors Aaron Evans and Kylie Hall, earthmoving equipment rental operator AK Evans Earthmoving (AKE) initially commenced operations as a dry hire provider in 2006. Based in Port Hedland in northern Western Australian, the company has since expanded it’s suite of services, drawing on an in-depth knowledge of the Pilbara, Kimberly and Mid-West regions.
AKE General Manager Michael Still explained that in addition to dry hire, AK Evans now also provides a broad range of services, including wet hire, transport and haulage, mechanical servicing, site mobilisation and demobilisation, road construction and maintenance, rail maintenance, civil works, subdivisions, rehabilitation works, dam construction and waste remediation.
AKE is also a major ownership partner in Maramara joint venture alongside 100 per cent Indigenous family-owned company Kurtarra. Established in December 2013, Maramara provides mining and civil construction services in the north-west of Western Australia.
AN EXPERIENCED TEAM AND A DIVERSE FLEET
Michael said that AKE draws strength from both its family-owned background and vastly experienced staff. The company is able to draw on extensive collective industry experience providing contracting services across the state.
“Having the privilege to lead this organisation, I am acutely aware that a big part of my role and where we are heading needs to be to continue to retain the value our business has offered for so long,” he commented. “Being able to bend and flex to the market requirements is as important as when you are a team of 20 or a team of 200 and having one of the most diverse earthmoving fleets in the area helps as well.”
It is a fleet that encompasses earthmoving plant and heavy haulage machinery for the civil and mining industries, including excavators, loaders, graders, skid steers, rollers, trucks and attachments.
AKE’s fleet is currently being employed across a range of projects, including supporting BMD Constructions with runway upgrades for the Port Hedland International Airport and providing road construction services to cyclone affected areas within the Pilbara region, with an upcoming project in the Goldfields to see AKE deliver civil and mechanical packages for the construction of a solar farm.
Michael pointed to efficiencies in cycle times, fuel improvements and the incorporation of smart technologies across the machines in AKE’s fleet as being a strong factor in enabling the company to provide competitive rates to its clients.
“For our hire fleet, it gives our customers the confidence that they are armoured with some of the world’s leading technology,” he said.
“There are also the obvious benefits of being able to track performance and use of a machine when we operate a fleet like ours in some of the world’s most remote areas. Being able to reconfirm data shared with us by our customers from anywhere in the world means we are dealing with the right issue at hand.”
CJD EQUIPMENT AND VOLVO A STRONG COMBINATION
Michael explained that AKE’s relationship with privately owned Australian construction equipment and trucks distributor CJD Equipment goes “back quite some time”, with a major motivation for AKE being access to the Volvo brand, which he noted “continues to push the boundaries of what is possible in a machine”.
He additionally cited CJD’s comprehensive range of services as being a determining factor in the ongoing relationship, noting that “without the back-up support and service offering of CJD, we simply couldn’t entertain their units”.
“Knowing that when we buy from CJD, we are also supported by a network of branches and field service techs gives us a lot of confidence,” he said. “CJD also takes the time to know our business and ensure we are getting the very best out of their product.”
“The machines are great, with low-cost running and maintenance, but most of all the service and back-up that has been provided to our business is second to none. Support and back-up is paramount when you are operating in remote areas, and the ability to have parts and service available locally makes all the difference.”
SUPPORTING BEYOND BLUE
The relationship between AKE and CJD has also seen the two companies come together to support awareness about mental health in the workplace, collaborating on an initiative earlier this year that saw the team at CJD Guildford covering the expenses to paint the couterweights of two new Volvo EC350D excavators blue in support of the Beyond Blue organisation. AKE has committed to donating $1 to Beyond Blue for every machine hour worked by the machines for its clients and is inviting clients that hire the excavators to match that donation.
ON THE COVER
Michael said that both AKE and CJD have embraced the Beyond Blue initiative, believing “we can make a difference with the alternative way we have gone about promoting the organisation to assist people in working through their mental health problems”.
“As AKE was purchasing the machines it seemed fitting that they were used as a big ‘billboard’ for promoting this message, with the message and the phone number sitting in the middle of a construction site, slewing around showing everyone on site the message that there is someone out there that can assist,” he commented.
James Daniels, CJD Regional Sales Manager, who has been with CJD for eight years and who has been working with AKE in recent years since taking on responsibility for CJD’s north-west region, said that AKE has purchased a number of machines in recent years, and also pointed to the positive impact of the Beyond Blue initiative.
He advised that in recent years AKE has added to its fleet via the purchase of four Volvo EC350D excavators (including the two excavators supporting Beyond Blue), four Volvo L120F wheel loaders and a Volvo L90F wheel loader.
James said that for the most part he has worked with Aaron over the course of his dealings with AKE and pointed to the role that Aaron has played in driving forward the Beyond Blue initiative.
“We have been working together for four years now, further building the relationship between CJD and AKE,” James said. “This relationship really took off in working on the Beyond Blue machines, when Aaron approached us to assist with the great work he is doing in the Pilbara around mental health awareness.”