The Cat Rental team at Hastings Deering has worked closely with the Gemlife Group to tailor a unique rental solution. Gemlife Civil Project Manager Brett Stehbens and Hastings Deering’s Rental Account Manager Damian Higgins share their experience.
A day at a civil construction job can take unexpected turns. That’s why, Brett Stehbens, Gemlife’s Civil Project Manager, likes to know that he always has backup.
As a major developer of premium over-50s lifestyle resorts and luxury homes across the Australian Eastern Seaboard, from Woodend, Victoria all the way up to the Sunshine Coast, Gemlife handles all aspects of project development, from civil works to design and construction in-house.
For the past two years, Gemlife has been working closely with Hastings Deering, both for purchase of new Caterpillar equipment and to benefit from Hastings Deering’s extensive rental fleet.
At present, Gemlife has two complete Caterpillar excavation and earthmoving fleets, while also renting equipment from the Hastings Deering Cat Rental team.
“We also use the rental gear where we have to fast-track a project and Hastings Deering can come to the party with extra equipment for us to rent,” says Stehbens.
The advantages for Gemlife, as Stehbens explains, is to have a “one-stop-shop” through Hastings Deering for both new and rental gear.
“I don’t have time to shop around, so I can just ring up my local rep, tell him I need a specific piece of equipment and by the end of the day, I’ll have a phone call that it’s here, it’s coming on a truck to you,” he says.
But where Stehbens sees most value in the relationship is when something out of the ordinary happens, which requires a proactive response.
“It’s those relationships that help our business to profit as well, because we’ve got someone there that’s got our back,” says Stehbens.
In one recent example, when working on a major project in Toowoomba, the Gemlife team had a crusher unexpectedly pulled out of their site, leaving them in a limbo.
One phone call later, the Hastings Deering team in Brisbane had identified a Cat 349F 3D excavator that could replace the crusher if reconfigured with a suitable rock breaker attachment. Within the day, the reconfigured excavator was on its way to the site, bundled with suitable dump trucks and two dozers needed to finish the excavation job.
Damian Higgins, Hastings Deering’s Rental Account Manager for Brisbane and Gold Coast, says it’s quite common for the team to work out tailored solutions, with different configurations to align with their customer’s project needs.
“We have a broad range of later model Caterpillar equipment in our fleet, covering all stages of work from early site preparation and commencement of earthwork, all the way to the very end of the project,” says Higgins.
“But if a customer needs a piece of equipment and we don’t have it in our rental fleet, we will take the lead and assist them with options outside of Hastings Deering to try and accommodate their request. A customer can come to us with a project, wanting a large number of plant and equipment, with different configurations and specifications for specific job requirements. We have the product range and flexibility to work with our customers to set up our machines to suit their needs and to manage fleet to align with project changes,” he adds
Proactive fleet maintenance
With a broad range of hydraulic excavators, motor graders, rollers, skid steer and track loaders, dozers, compactors, wheel loaders, backhole loaders and dump trucks, Higgins. Says Hastings Deering is very strict on keeping the rental fleet up to date and ‘young’.
“Our rental fleet is always young. We are constantly rolling out the older machines to our used equipment division and replacing them with the latest machines. An example is the 3D technologies on our hydraulic excavators, motor graders and dozers,” says Higgins.
Helping the team constantly monitor and pro-actively maintain the fleet is Caterpillar’s VisionLink asset management and productivity solution, which also offers remote production and performance reporting capabilities.
Hastings Deering has also implemented HDAdvantage on all new and rental assets, which facilitates proactive monitoring of machine health, performance and maintenance to maximise up-time and the profit-making potential of Cat equipment.
For Stehbens, these added-on features and technologies mean he can keep an eye on his Cat fleet, both the owned assets and the rentals, using a single platform.
“Before we settled on buying Caterpillar equipment, we went through a lot of different brands and they each had their own setups for asset monitoring, but what Caterpillar has is years ahead of any other ones,” says Stehbens.
“With VisionLink, I can monitor the equipment from my office and see if an equipment is sitting idle. It’s a very handy tool to improve productivity and it gives us better reporting capabilities. HDAdvantage is great for monitoring all of our assets from a maintenance perspective. Hastings Deering also use HDAdvantage to monitor our assets remotely and they inform us if a machine needs servicing so that we can either service it ourselves or they will send someone to do it for us.”
With offices across Queensland and the Northern Territory, the Hastings Deering rental team supports customers from Gold Coast to Townsville, from Darwin to Alice Springs, and everywhere in between.
At the end of the day, Stehbens says an up-to-date and well-maintained fleet ensures maximum efficiency for Gemlife.
“At Gemlife, we predominantly use Caterpillar’s GPS controlled systems. Because Hastings Deering offers the latest equipment, our operators can enjoy maximum comfort, the latest gear, and a very well-maintained fleet. The Hastings Deering service guy is right up to speed with it, so if there’s any issues with the equipment, it’s pretty much just a phone call and they will either help us out via phone or be on the road to come and help us.”
This article was originally published in the October edition of our magazine. To read the magazine, click here.