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Digging and hauling down under with EPH

Sun 18 Aug 2013

Digging and hauling down under with EPH

EPH was formed in 1996, initially starting out as a dedicated plant hire agency, supplying reliable and highly experienced earthmoving operators in Victoria. Since those early days the business has expanded rapidly, and today the company provides a specialist service to various builders, trades and civil engineering contractors from all over the Melbourne area, where their men and machines can be seen at work on a whole host of jobsites, from small domestic builds, to major civil engineering projects. The company have been involved on some of the most high profile projects  in the Victoria area over the years, having successfully worked on the Eastern Freeway extension, Craigieburn and Hallam bypasses, and the $2.5 billion Eastlink Project, where EPH were appointed as the preferred haulage provider. The company’s involvement in those early projects was a catalyst for them winning many more major contracts in the future, including, the M80 upgrade, Deer Park Bypass, Nagambie Bypass, and the Regional Rail Link project. Some of the rail work has been especially challenging, like the St Kilda Road Light Rail project, where EPH have supplied the majority of the trucks and plant, either from their own fleet, or from the company’s extensive portfolio of registered sub-contractors, of which there are currently 6000 on their books. This job involved the breaking up of the old tracks, and the ground preparation to facilitate the laying of new rails. In this shot, we see a mixed fleet of excavators breaking up the concrete ahead of machines that would load away the resulting hardcore. Working conditions were made harder by overhead cables, which one would suspect were not live at the time of excavations, but it certainly made loading the wagons more difficult, having to operate at full stretch to load whilst keeping the boom low to avoid any contact with the overheads, as clearly demonstrated here in this shot of a Cat 320C excavator loading one of EPH’s Kenworth Sar 404 trucks. Once the bulk of the hardcore was removed, the mini excavators moved in to trim up the edges of the excavation and clean up any residual material. Once the excavation was complete, the stone was levelled out using a combination of dozers and a classic old Komatsu GD825 motor grader. The teams involved in this project worked day and night until project completion, on what must have been a very interesting job to be involved in. The company run several Kenworth Sar 404 trucks, and more recently several Cat CT610 units have joined the fleet. In addition, EPH offer a wide selection of machines ranging from Bobcat skid steers, through to 30 tonne + excavators. Another popular piece of typically Australian marketing, involves the deployment of the team of EPH girls. These stunning ladies visit sites in the region, giving the lads a massive boost as they tour around the jobsites, giving away EPH merchandise and candy bars. Talking to the Digger Man Blog, an EPH spokesman said, “We will never forget where we came from and what has got us to where we are today, so you can trust that from driveway to highway, we will always provide ‘The Best Service on Earth!” Australia has always had a massive fascination for me personally, especially from a plant and machinery perspective. I have relatives down there and although I have never visited, I often wonder what it would be like to live and work in such an amazing country. A move down under is something I have pondered over many times in the past, I guess it’s a bit too late for me now, but if you have read some of my reports on our Englishman down under Michael Bullocks adventures, you can see just what can be achieved, if you are prepared to work and play hard in that great country.  

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