E J Civils is a groundworks company based in Lincolnshire – the company’s main source of business is groundworks for major housebuilding company Taylor Wimpey, alongside other leading developers, located in the Lincolnshire and Nottinghamshire areas.
Employing 48 staff – EJ Civils is never short of projects from small housing developments with 200 homes to large estates with 600 houses. The company is running five different projects currently. Infrastructure projects the company undertake prior to house building range from £6million to £20million.
Kevin Walsh Managing Director of EJ Civils explains “All of our work is ‘word of mouth’ and we are very fortunate to have such a good working relationship with Taylor Wimpey – who we do the majority of our work for.”
The company has a fleet of 20-machines ranging from three to 22 tonnes. The company’s most recent purchases were three 14 tonne Hyundai HX140L machines from Corby based Hyundai dealer, Willowbrook Plant.
The company also has a 22-tonne R220-9A Hyundai which Kevin purchased second-hand around a 1.5-years ago whilst the machine was still under warranty. Kevin said, “We were laying big pipes and we needed a bigger machine and the R220-9A came up just at the right time. Unfortunately, the demolition company who previously owned the machine went out of business.”
Kevin added, “We purchased the machine through Hyundai dealer HES Enterprises in Manchester – we got a real good bargain! There were two 22-tonne machines available, both in full demo spec, but we missed out on buying both as one was already sold – so we bought the last one. It is an excellent machine – a real work horse! The operator loves this machine and prefers it to competitor’s brands in the same weight class.”
EJ Civils smaller 13-tonne machines were a competitor’s brand and having bought two of the brands new machines Kevin reported that he had terrible trouble with them, he said, “We had shocking problems with these two new machines we bought. I got talking to a friend of mine Seamus Lawless from Lawless Civils in Lincoln and he runs a fleet of Hyundai’s and he said that I should try the 14-tonner and he put me in touch with Martin Lewis from Willowbrook Plant. I already knew the Hyundai brand as we had great success with the R220-9A.”
Kevin added, “We took an HX140L on demo from Willowbrook and we really liked the machine. It was excellent value for money if you compare a 13-tonner to a 14 tonne Hyundai machine. And they are a far better spec machine than the brand we were running – a lot stronger and a lot more powerful.
I like everything about the new Hyundai’s! The fuel efficiency is very good – if you hit some ‘hard stuff’ when you are digging it will automatically give you more power for that and then power down when you don’t need so much power. Also, the fuel lines are not so sensitive on the Hyundai’s which is particularly important during groundworks. The cab is very high spec as standard on the Hyundai’s and it comes with excellent vision.”
Kevin reported that the drivers took a bit of getting used to the new Hyundai’s he said, “Older drivers are always a bit finicky especially with new machines – whereas the younger drivers are all set up for GPS systems, voice control and Bluetooth – the Xbox generation – they love it. And with Hyundai these are all standard fit and much more!
One of the drivers I have on the machines is an absolute fantastic driver – but he is very set in his ways and was used to the 13-tonne competitors brand we had and was not keen on the change to Hyundai. As it happens the first HX140L Hyundai was not for him but another driver – and he asked if he could give it a go. He was only supposed to be on it for a few days, but he kept it for three weeks until the driver the machine was meant for asked for it back. So, I bought another HX140L and now we have three with more to follow.”
Kevin also likes the fact that with the Hyundai HX140L you get four LED lights on the front of the machine instead of two. And he also said that they were ‘proper lights’ and that even working at night there were no shadows. “We have the Around View Monitoring system on our machines too (AAVM) which means our operators can see all around the cab and shows if anyone is in the vicinity of the machine – if they do an alarm sounds alerting the driver. It’s brilliant! Health and Safety standards at Taylor Wimpey are one of the highest in the industry and they absolutely love the idea of this safety system.”
“Another safety aspect of the Hyundai is the fob system which is a keyless start – where your key stays in your pocket.” Added Kevin. “That’s also a rule on the Wimpey sites – you are not allowed to leave your keys in the machine – a big no no. With the Hyundai the key stays in your pocket and when you’re not in the machine in won’t start as the keys are with the operator!”
Kevin could not praise Willowbrook for the company’s service and support, and he anticipates that within three-years he will be replacing all of his excavators with machines from Willowbrook and will be running a 100% Hyundai fleet. Kevin said, “My friends Seamus Lawless and Pat Macdonald both deal with Martin and Willowbrook and said that I couldn’t go wrong dealing with these guys – and they were right. Martin is superb!
The machine will land on a Monday and he’ll be there taking the part ex away following the new machines delivery – not before! He’ll then come and see the driver and explain everything to him and talk him through the technical side of the new machine – the HiMate system and the functions. Another very good aspect about Willowbrook – is the machine will always arrive when they say it’s going to arrive! We won’t be using anyone else – they also supply our dumpers.”