Fleet investment pays off for essential worker

WHILE much of Scotland’s construction industry has been grounded during the Covid-19 lockdown period, Kelso-based groundwork specialist Owen Gillard has been carrying out a  variety of essential tasks in the Scottish Borders. 

Owen has been boosted by the purchase of two new excavators – a Doosan DX27Z and a Kobelco SK75 – complete with a range of Rototilt products. 

“I’ve been operating tiltrotators for seven years now, mostly Rototilt,” Owen told Project Plant. “Tiltrotators speed up jobs and are a lot safer. The type of projects I take on range from house builds to landscaping golf courses and council work. I do a bit of everything and have been doing a lot of farm work during lockdown.”

Owen’s recent farm-related projects have encompassed essential drainage works, track roads and ditching. He was also called in by one council to help tackle an emergency riprap project when a section of road had been washed away. “The riprap job was a four-day job,” Owen explained. “Rototilt was the main part of getting the job done safely and efficiently, especially with the QuickChange as I changed from grab to compactor plate and then bucket. I must have done this about 40 times a day. We were on the job within a day of getting the call and ordering material.”

Owen splashed out on a Kobelco excavator with a Rototilt R3 tiltrotator. He also added the S45 machine coupler above the R3, so the tiltrotator can be dropped off for certain tasks. Owen’s machine set-up benefits from an integrated grapple module and ICS control system with Rototilt joysticks installed, which offers full proportional control of all functions. 

Other features include GPS machine guidance/control ready, in-cab information and diagnostic screen. 

His attachment package includes specific trenching, digging, V-shape buckets and Rototilt’s Scandinavian-style universal/grading bucket, which are all designed to work with the tiltrotator. Rototilt also supplied a grading beam, pallet forks, head brackets and an MG30 multi-grab and C34 compactor plate.

For the Doosan DX27Z, Owen added a direct mount Rototilt R1, also with integrated grapple module, ICS control system and Rototilt joysticks. For this machine, Owen uses a S40 coupler for attachments, supplied with a full Rototilt bucket set.

“I’m always updating the fleet,” Owen added. “The Doosan was bought following a trip to the factory in Prague, organised by Gordons (local Doosan dealer). My previous machine was a Bobcat, which also had a Rototilt on it. 

“I just try to get the most out of the machines. The Kobelco is fitted with iDig, which works well with the tiltrotator, especially these days when we’re trying to socially distance. With iDig, you don’t need anyone on the ground.”

Owen revealed one of the factors which gave him confidence to invest in the Rototilt products was the manufacturer’s decision to take responsibility for sales and service in Scotland back in-house earlier this year. “It’s a good set up,” he added. “Angus MacAulay is on board now to do the fittings; you get on the phone to him and he’ll help there and then. Ever since I had my first Rototilt, I’ve never had any bother with them. The benefit of having them is unreal.”

Malcolm Long, Rototilt Ltd country manager said, “It’s clear Owen has seen the increased productivity and efficiency the Rototilt tiltrotator system brings not only across the entire range of jobs he does but how this also applies to the different machine sizes he operates. We’re delighted Owen has again chosen Rototilt as his tiltrotator partner and we’re there to provide direct manufacturer support all the way.”