As a highly-experienced construction company specialising in large-scale water-related civil engineering projects, Grant Ltd, based in Penrith in the UK, is used to requiring hard-working, reliable and versatile machines to support its operations. The family-run business has therefore invested extensively in Doosan excavators over the past 14 years and has now purchased the all-new Stage IV compliant DX300LC-5, the first to go into operation in the UK, from Carlisle-based Lloyd Ltd, the Authorised Doosan and Bobcat dealer for Cumbria and the southern part of Scotland.
Grant Ltd is run by the Chamberlain brothers – Roger, George and Charles – who have been involved in general civil engineering and construction projects for the likes of United Utilities and Scottish Water, as well as private landowners, since 1983. From pipe-laying and sea outfalls to environmentally-sensitive projects and complex excavations, they are at the forefront of specialised civil engineering and are using Doosan machines to help them deliver their projects on budget and on time. This is no mean feat, given the almost-inaccessible locations in which they are operating, particularly in the Scottish Highlands and the Lake District.
Two such remote projects are those for adjoining hydro schemes at Eas a Ghaill (EAG) and Lochy on which Grant Ltd is working with the new DX300LC-5 as the specialist pipeline subcontractor for Gilkes Energy in conjunction with Global Infrastructure. In the depths of woodland miles from Oban on the west coast of Scotland, the excavator is operating in extreme conditions to deliver a privately-owned hydro-electric scheme which will take over a year to construct.
Until at least Spring 2016, the DX300LC-5 will be proving its versatility – excavating trenches for laying pipe, breaking rocks and even operating as a crane to lift pipes and other equipment. This project is highly machine-intensive, requiring six crew members, with the new machine working in tandem with an older Doosan 30-tonne excavator model.
Roger Chamberlain, one of the three Managing Directors of Grant Ltd, is clear about why he is such a loyal Doosan and Lloyd Ltd customer: “There are three reasons why we’ve chosen Doosan – first of all is the total cost of ownership. The initial capital outlay is not expensive and the machine holds its value well for resale, so it’s a good balance for our business.
“Secondly is the reliability and servicing. We don’t want too much downtime so we have signed up to a service contract and extended warranty to make sure that our machines can be serviced or repaired anywhere for a fixed cost.
“And thirdly is our relationship with Lloyd Ltd, our local Doosan supplier. We have worked with Lloyd Ltd for 30 years so it is always easier doing business with people you know.”
The purchase of the new machine was a natural progression as Grant Ltd looked to add to its fleet of eight Doosan excavators to support its business growth. An additional benefit to those Roger highlighted has been the improved fuel economy of the new model, which has been evident with it being used together with the previous version.
“The drivers have noticed how much less fuel the new machine uses compared to both the previous model and those of other manufacturers,” noted Charles Chamberlain. “It’s not a scientific study, but they think they are using around one-third less fuel than before. They have also felt that they have a higher level of comfort and usability too.”
The DX300LC-5 will certainly be put through its paces over the winter months as the terrain becomes increasingly challenging due to the weather, but Grant Ltd is confident that it will be more than up to the job. With the addition of telematics to the new model, Grant Ltd is able to gain remote access to the status of the machine’s operational data, from location tracking to fuel consumption and usage.
Lloyd Ltd too is able to benefit from this functionality, with key component performance information available in real time to identify any servicing or preventative requirements. This means that Lloyd Ltd’s mobile servicing team can identify any potential issues in advance and respond accordingly to ensure that machine downtime is kept to a minimum. With the additional peace of mind that the fixed price servicing contract offers, the relationship between Grant and Lloyd Ltd is going from strength to strength.
The Doosan machines are essential to the success of the project. The pipe easement activities are extensive, with the EAG development running for 4050 m with DI pipes of 700 mm diameter and the Lochy scheme requiring 3500 m of 1500 mm GRP pipes in very deep peat.