Evan Graham is a man in motion and clearly happy with that situation.
“I’ve got a plumbing and drainage company called Limcora,” he beamed over the phone. “We predominantly do plumbing and drainage across Sydney, but we’re in Tasmania, too. We’re just outside Hobart in a town called Kingston, but we serve basically the whole south of Tasmania.”
With a head office in Mulgrave to the northwest of Sydney, Limcora’s core business operates in and around Sydney, Newcastle, west to Mudgee, Bathurst, Orange, and then as far south as Nowra.
As Evan accurately describes it, “Sort of everywhere.”
There’s plenty going on to keep 60 staff busy.
Limcora has been around for 40 years. Evan proudly points out he’s the second generation in the business started by his father and twin brother four decades ago. After running the business himself for 17 years, he’s a firm fan of his Hitachi machines.
“We do a lot of digging internal and external drainage on new residential homes,” said Evan. “Child-care centres, factory-unit complexes, townhouse developments…all different kinds of work. We could have a machine that’s doing three or four maintenance jobs a day, or one of our bigger machines parked onsite for up to two to three months.
“We’ve had so many excavators,” he recalled. “All the brands. You name it, we’ve owned it. We bought our first Hitachi around 15 years ago, I guess, and that’s all we’ve bought since. Our whole fleet is Hitachi. We’ve got from 1.7-tonne to 6.5-tonne machines and everything in between. I think we own nine at the moment, and probably the most important thing for us is reliability. If our machines aren’t working day-to-day, then they’re not earning. We seem to get a lot more life out of Hitachi equipment and we just don’t have any troubles with them.”
Limcora turns over its Hitachi machines every five or six years, where Evan felt machines from other brands didn’t last as long.
“We’d start having issues with other brands,” remembered Evan, “and have to replace different parts and whatnot. We just don’t have those issues with Hitachi.
“And the resale at the back end is really good, too.”
Limcora has recently opened an office in Tasmania, a stunning setting for any kind of work. “It’s beautiful!” exclaimed Evan, “but I don’t know if could get past the cold. I was only down there last month, and mate! It was a top of seven degrees and snowing. It was just crazy,” he chuckled.
The move into Tasmania came about after Evan’s cousin, ‘AJ’, moved to the southern State.
“AJ was our general manager in Sydney,” recounted the Sydneysider. “He moved to Tassie for love, and I was like, ‘Okay. Let’s see what we can do down there’. Plus, Hitachi has a national branch network, so I knew we’d be well supported with product and servicing no matter where we expanded our business to in the future.
“So we’ve literally kicked off an interstate business with one guy living in another State, and that team has grown to 10 in the space of two years.”
Maintenance downtime and costs on heavy machinery are big factors every owner and operator needs to take into consideration. The purchase of a new car set Evan thinking.
“One of the biggest things with European cars is the cost of servicing. When we bought our Range Rover the servicing was all included for the first four years. I thought, ‘Why can’t we do this with our machinery?’”
“I got talking with the guys at Hitachi, and I could have this arrangement with my machines as well, basically covering the servicing costs for the next four years with Hitachi’s service package.
“So now when we buy our machines they’re fully paid-for and serviced for the next four to five years.”
Evan has found service intervals very similar across all brands of machinery.
“You’ve got to keep them updated every 250 hours, and you’ve got your majors at 500 hours and 1000 hours,” he outlined, “but now when I buy the machine everything is paid for up front. The servicing is all done by Hitachi in-house. It’s just streamlined and provides peace of mind.”
More to come
The future looks very bright for Evan Graham and Limcora. With the Tasmanian part of the business growing fast and well supported by Hitachi’s Launceston branch, Evan believes it’s a good time to expand.
“We’ve just started doing work out west,” he said. “Our next growth plan is to use the same model as we’ve used in Tasmania. We want to place someone out in Orange or Bathurst and service that whole central-west growth area.
“There’s a lot of housing going on out there, and that’s where the growth will be for the next five years, I think. It’s going to be huge. People want to get away from the city and have a country lifestyle and still be able to do their city jobs. Working from home allows that.
“So that’ll be our next step. Then, we do a lot of work in Newcastle and on the central coast, and we want to start something similar in that area.
“That’ll probably be our model: keep Sydney nice and tight with a good serviceable number, and then create these satellite businesses. A satellite business in the north, a satellite business in the west, we have our satellite business already in Tasmania. And we’ll still have our nine machines in Sydney.”
Evan said his business plans, coupled with his working relationship with Hitachi’s Light Equipment Sales Representative Bryce Gibson and the Hitachi branches, will ensure steady growth into other regions of Australia.
Hitachi Construction Machinery (Australia) Pty Ltd said it will continue to support Limcora and its business operations with reliable, world-class performing machinery and wishes Evan and his team the best with their upcoming projects in 2023.
That’s a lot of hard-working Hitachi machinery.
For more information on Hitachi mini excavators and other products, visit www.hcma.com.au or phone 1300 HITACHI.