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by Nick Drew  |  Mon 27 May 2013

JCB excavators hit right note in the home of calypso

News reaches the Digger Man Blog about a fleet of eight 20-tonne JS200 crawler excavators that have been bought by a construction company and put to work one of the biggest ever highway projects in the Caribbean.

JCB excavators hit right note in the home of calypso
Construction company Construtura OAS has purchased the machines and pressed them into service on the US$7.5 billion Solomon Hochoy highway extension project in Trinidad and Tobago. They have been bought from JCB’s distributor in Trinidad & Tobago, FT Farfan.  The customer, a division of the OAS Group, has a fleet of more than 150 JCB machines in its domestic market of Brazil, and the level of service and back-up provided by JCB and its dealer network has played an important role in this latest purchase. Construtura OAS has been awarded several sections of the highway contract and the company decided that because the contract was due to last for around five years, that it was more economical to purchase equipment outright rather than to hire in excavators from local companies. JCB Dealer FT Farfan, a member of the Bryden Group, has supplied the fleet with full service contracts for the first three years of ownership. Farfan will provide OAS with 24/7 emergency support, as well as carrying out all regular maintenance on the contract. The Solomon Hochoy Highway is the major north-south highway in Trinidad and Tobago, connecting Chaguanas with San Fernando. Originally built as a two-lane road in the early 1970s, it was expanded to a four-lane highway later in the decade. The Ministry of Works and Transport is now undertaking the project to extend the road to Point Fortin. The project will include a new section of four-lane highway from St Mary’s Junction to Point Fortin, a four-lane highway from Golconda to the Siparia area, a four-lane section from the Siparia area to Point Fortin with a two-lane road connection to La Brea, and the creation of four lanes on the existing South Trunk Road from Gulf City to Paria Suites. One of the biggest construction businesses in Brazil, Construtura OAS is no stranger to large infrastructure projects and already carries out major works throughout Latin America, with current contracts in Haiti, Columbia and the Dominican Republic. This is the firm’s first project in Trinidad though. OAS has dealt with JCB dealers in a number of countries as well as in its native Brazil. “We have always had a good experience working with JCB and have been satisfied with the machinery before,” says Construtura OAS Equipment manager Carlos Albuquerque. Derek Cumming, Industrial Sales Director at FT Farfan, added: “OAS is a global customer of JCB. We are happy as the local distributor to be involved and we hope that this will lead to business on other local projects.”

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