With its headquarters located in Beccles, Suffolk, DS Watson Civil Engineering (Anglia) Ltd has made a significant investment in a range of Volvo excavators for its plant fleet, which specialises in all disciplines of groundworks, utilities, site infrastructure and civil engineering for blue chip house building contractors.
Most recently, the company has taken delivery of twelve ECR88D reduced swing excavators from SMT GB’s utility equipment dealer, Contractors Equipment Sales Ltd of Norwich. In addition, SMT GB has supplied a larger reduced swing ECR235E, a 30 tonne EC300E and a 40 tonne EC380E; which is DS Watson’s largest excavator to date.
“We now have a total of 48 excavators in our fleet, of which 41 carry the Volvo brand,” explains Managing Director Danny Smith. “The reason we choose Volvo excavators is down to the quality of the product, good reliability and equally good residual values. But underpinning this is the quality of the aftersales service we receive both from CES and SMT GB.”
With a line-up of excavators in DS Watson’s fleet that range from 1.5 to 40 tonnes in operating weight, the company also runs a fleet of 50 site dumpers, of various capacities, 17 rollers and backhoe loaders. “Having a comprehensive range of excavators means we can deploy the right sized machine for any specific job on a variety of sites, and switch them around according the application required.” explains Danny. “For instance, we find the 9 tonne ECR88D an ideal sized machine for working in the tight confines in and around housing plots. It has plenty of reach and a good dig depth. It is also quite capable of loading and dispatching 20 tonne tippers quickly. At the other end of the scale, we opted for the Volvo EC380E in order to lift and lower large sewer rings, which can weigh up to 4.5 tonnes, into place. We also use the EC380E to carry out bulk excavation work on new sites that are opening up.”
Equipped with a 13-litre Stage V Volvo 311hp engine, a 6.45 boom and a 3.2m dipper arm, the EC380E machine has a generous lifting capacity of 5.8 tonnes at full reach of across carriage in the worst position, i.e. 1.5m above ground level. It also demonstrate a maximum digging depth of 7.5 metres, a practical load over height of 6.9 metres and a forward reach of 11 metres.
Elsewhere, DS Watson use the smaller EC140E and ECR145E with specialised attachments, such as tilt rotating bucket and grading beam, to prepare access roads for paving with sub base and the final wear course. The machines also carry out the finishing processes and landscaping duties when building is completed.
Whilst DS Watson carries out its own maintenance on the smaller utility machines, the larger Volvo GPE models have all been supplied with SMT GB’s Level 2 ENHANCE service package. This means that a highly qualified SMT GB engineer will carry out all scheduled servicing for and update the machine’s software throughout the year. They also have a CareTrack Advanced subscription on all machines allowing DS Watson to view critical operational data such as fuel consumption, machine utilisation and idling data. Insight reports will also be provided to enable DS Watson to drive down their total cost of ownership.
Established over forty years ago by the current Chairman, Dennis Watson, DS Watson Civil Engineering (Anglia) Ltd carries out large ground working and civil engineering projects in the housing sector across the whole of East Anglia, which encompasses, Essex, Suffolk and Norfolk. The company has a complement of 160 employees, comprised of operators, site workers, bricklayers, administration and maintenance staff. It also has an annual turnover of £19M.