It is difficult to imagine improving the incredible views over Lake Windermere, in Cumbria’s Lake District. Yet Kendal-based groundworks contractor Andrew Harvey does just that, providing a range of groundworks services, hard and soft landscaping, external works and construction up to DPC, for many customers in the area.
The company completes that work with a range of compact machines, including the latest 2.5-tonne CASE CX25D and a 9.0-tonne CX90D, both recently supplied by local CASE Construction Equipment dealer Dennis Barnfield of Carnforth. The CASE mini and midi excavators are equipped with Engcon tilt-rotators and the company has a Digitec iDig 2D machine guidance system, that can be used with either model, to maximise versatility and productivity on site.
Mr Harvey is no stranger to the CASE Construction Equipment brand. Initially from an agricultural background, he started the groundworks business in 1997, with a CASE 580 backhoe loader and has been using machinery from Dennis Barnfield since that time.
“The support from the whole team at Dennis Barnfield over the last 25 years has given us the confidence to specify the machines the way they are today,” said Mr Harvey. “We know from our own experience that we’ve got a reliable product and a dealer that will back us up if there is ever an issue. That in itself is almost priceless to a smaller business in today’s climate.”
Both excavators have been built to the company’s own specification, with additional counterweight on the smaller CX25D to offset the weight of the tilt-rotator. The CX90D is equipped with rubber bolt-on track pads, allowing the machine to work on finished driveways. Both machines have extra LED lighting, on top of that supplied by Dennis Barnfield to all CASE excavators, for maximum visibility in poor weather and light conditions.
Perhaps most strikingly, the firm has had the side and rear glazing tinted, to prevent glare in the cab on sunny days. This modification has proven so popular with other businesses in the area, that Dennis Barnfield has already been asked if it can provide a similar specification.
Mr Harvey’s son Mark, who joined the company four years ago, is also driving forward the use of technology within the business, including the investment in the tilt-rotators and the machine guidance system. The company has a growing range of attachments to suit the Engcon tilt-rotators, including pallet forks and a grading bar, which may soon be joined by a materials handling grab.
“It’s just a completely different way of working,” said Andrew Harvey. “We looked at another brand, but we wanted to be sure of dealer back-up. We’d had the CASE machines supplied by
Dennis Barnfield and they are training up an engineer on the Engcon tilt-rotators, so we will have someone to talk to if necessary.”
The company purchased its first 8.0-tonne CASE excavator in 2006 and had moved up to a 13-tonne model in the past. However, the CX90D offers the perfect combination of size, power and reach for Harvey’s mainly residential contracts. Having the main boom mounted in front of the upper structure, with an offset facility, also makes the CX90D ideal for tighter working conditions and, when combined with the tilt-rotator, it is possible to operate a cross a wider envelope around the machine, rather than relocate on the tracks.
“The 9.0-tonne machine has bags of reach and it’s really stable,” said Andrew Harvey. “We can lift a full pack of blocks over the side on pallet forks, even with the Engcon tilt-rotator. It’s got the dozer blade as well, which makes it perfect for us.”
Mark Harvey added: “The D-Series is a lot lighter on fuel than our previous machine. We are saving 1-1.5 litres an hour against the C Series. It’s fast and it’s smooth, you really can’t knock it.”
With five full time staff, the business operates within a 20-mile radius of Kendal, in Cumbria. It has plenty of return business, though there is no intention to expand further in the short term.
“We’re lucky, we are well established in Windermere, Ambleside and Bowness and we don’t need to get a lot bigger. We like to have a family relationship with our clients,” said Mark Harvey.
It’s a similar story with the CASE dealer, as Dennis Barnfield works closely with the company to ensure that the machines are regularly serviced and maintained. “We’ve been happy with the dealer back-up since 1997,” said Mr Harvey.