Excavators – The Importance of Preventative Maintenance

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Aside from the initial purchase price of an excavator, a considerable amount of money is required for the up keep of all heavy plant equipment, whether it be a skid steer, excavator or dump truck. A heavy plant dealership or independent workshop will obviously bill out all the labour spent on a particular service or repair, as well charge the customer for the parts and fluids used such as hydraulic oil and filters, grease, engine oil and other elements that may need replacing.

Carrying Out Own Maintenance on Heavy Vehicles

Many owner-operators around Australia choose to carry out a lot of their own maintenance on their trucks, trailers and excavators. One of the main reasons is to save money. As a rule, a dealership will normally recommend pre-emptive action on any number of things such as windscreen wipers on the cab of an excavator that look a bit worn, or recommending a bearing, hose or other item be replaced. Aside from having the best interests of the customer in mind and providing customer service that goes ‘above and beyond’ this is also in order to avoid the risk of being blamed for a subsequent breakdown, as well as the additional repairs generating more profit for the dealership. Owner-operators, on the other hand will perhaps stagger the various repairs needed, whilst closely monitoring the worn item in question, in order to get maximum life out of it as well as spreading out the amount of money being invested in the maintenance of their excavator at any given time.

Another reason why operators carry out their own maintenance is to be able to do it in their own time. A dealership will typically require the excavator for the day, whilst someone carrying out their own maintenance can do it after hours, or between excavation work, which saves relying on the availability times of the dealership.

Getting Maximum Life Out of Parts

The risk of attempting to get the maximum possible life out of, for example, hydraulic hoses is that there is such a fine line between a worn hose and a blown hose. On the surface waiting for a hose to fail before changing it out with a new one seems like the most economical way of getting maximum life out of it, but there are many downsides to neglecting replacement of a hydraulic hose until it actually fails.

The main negative aspect of a hose failure is that it is often unexpected and usually at the worst possible time. Whilst every operator prays that if a hose failure does occur, it is at a convenient time like the end of a day or at the completion of the job, not everyone is this lucky. Downtime from a blown hose or other worn part finally failing can be a lot costlier than if it was changed slightly prematurely.

Extra Challenges with Under House Excavation Breakdowns

An excavator operator carrying out delicate under house excavations has enough on their mind already, like ensuring they avoid digging into existing electrical or plumbing infrastructure such as wiring or piping without having to face the prospect of their machine breaking down at the same time. A breakdown whilst carrying out an under house excavation is something to be prevented if at all possible, as it is often difficult to retrieve the machine due to limited access. Usually the only option is to have the machine repaired onsite which can incur hefty call out fees and after hours rates if it is a weekend.

Home Demolition Project – Where to Start

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A residential demolition project, despite starting out as a fairly small-scale affair, can be a hassle to do without the help of a contractor who specializes in demolition. Demolition contractors can carry out in a day or two what may take the average home owner weeks or months. Why? Most of this comes down to priorities. When people finally come home from work and have dinner, the last thing they generally want to do is work on a home project, whether it be painting, carpentry, or in this case demolishing something that has been on the ‘get rid of’ list for perhaps the better part of a year.

The very nature of demolition is messy and a half-finished demolition project that gets chipped away at one day a month can quickly become an eyesore. This can be avoided if your budget allows for it, by hiring a demolition company to take care of it.

Examples of Home Demolition Projects

Some things in your front or backyard that may warrant demolition could be something like an old garden shed that is past its use by date. Other things that contractors can demolish in an effective manner are things like old concrete garden paths and concrete garden bed borders that were all the rage in some point in time. Other small-time demolition projects could be a disused chicken run or dog enclosure.

Benefits of Using a Demolition Contractor

There are a lot of benefits in engaging residential demolition services for these kinds of home projects. A big advantage is that all the waste can be disposed of in the correct manner and you can avoid having remains stacked along your fence or dumped along the side of your house, which could be a tempting alternative when carrying out a demolition project yourself.

Another huge plus is the speed at which your demolition project is carried out at. An experienced demolition contractor is equipped with power tools and other equipment that perhaps you would have to go out of your way to buy otherwise. They can accomplish in a weekend what you would otherwise perhaps be doing in your spare time over weeks or months.

Get a Demolition Contractor – and Spend More Time doing what you Love Instead

Aside from sparing you the physical exertion associated with actually getting out there on the tools and demolishing your own garden shed for example, it also reduces that burden of having it constantly in the back of your mind as something that needs to get done. Think about it, every time you have a spare Saturday, even if you do spend it playing golf, cycling, or other form of leisurely activity, that project awaiting you in the backyard is nagging at your conscience, not allowing you to fully enjoy the activity you have immersed yourself in for the day.

So, if you do have a home demolition project on your to do list, be it a shed, a run-down granny flat, green house, or other structure taking up space and often on your mind, pick up the phone and get a demolition contractor around to do it all for you. Don’t leave it until next month, you’ll be kicking yourself as it is, for not getting around to it earlier.

Investing in a Driveway Excavation – First Impressions Count

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If there is one thing many real estate agents agree on, it is the impact that an impressive driveway has on a potential buyer’s first impression of a house. A house with a gleaming driveway and a well-maintained front yard is already well on the way to attracting a good price at the time of sale.

Environmental Factors that Influence Deterioration of Driveways

All driveways will at some point require excavation and re concreting or paving. This is inevitable due to a number of reasons. One of these is the Australian climate. The long, dry summers we experience, coupled with a lack of rain throughout our winters during times of drought, cause the soil density to change over time. Add to this the weight of the average car being driven in and out of a driveway twice a day or more and you will start seeing cracks in concrete as the underlying surface shifts over time.

Machinery Required for Driveway Excavation

If you have come to the point where your concrete driveway is riddled with cracks and uneven surfaces a driveway excavation is the way to go. Concrete is a tough material to work with and requires machinery to remove it. On a smaller scale you can hire an electric jack hammer and strategically attack one square metre at a time. This can be both time consuming and exhausting due to the rapid movement of the hammer, as well as the incessant noise these contraptions emit. Even with a good pair of gloves and a quality set of ear muffs, this is not something you want to be doing for two days straight. Neither is it something you want to start at 8am on a Sunday if you value the good relationship you have with your neighbours.

If your concrete is particularly thick, or you are not physically able to use a jack hammer, another option could be to hire a small excavator with a hydraulic hammer attachment that will do the hard work for you. Yes, the noise level will be the same, if not worse due to the sound of the excavator, but you will be able to carry out the work from the comfort of the operator’s seat. Bear in mind you may need a licence to operate it, but your equipment hire company should let you know if this is the case.

Removing Rubble during Driveway Excavation Project

Once your concrete driveway is broken up into manageable chunks, its time to start stage two: clearing the rubble. Again, depending on budget, physical abilities and the number of people available, it may simply be a case of getting an able-bodied team in with a bunch of wheelbarrows to manually clear the rubble. However, to save your back from all the lifting, you can also get in a skid loader, or a skid steer.

A skid steer, commonly referred to by one of the brand names that produce them, Bobcat, is uniquely qualified to assist in driveway excavation. It is manoeuvrable, small enough to access narrow driveways, and when fitted with a 4 in 1 bucket, is probably one of the most versatile small machines in its class, well suited to driveway excavation.

There are also many reasons some people would choose not to engage in this kind of work themselves and hire a contractor to do the entire job. Mr Dig has extensive experience in driveway excavation.

Tips for Managing Home Contents During a Home Demolition

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One decision owners of old homes are often faced with is whether to sell, engage in extensive renovations or simply to knock down the entire residence and start over. In many cases the cost of a home demolition and rebuild is similar, or even cheaper than extensive renovations. By staying on site, as opposed to selling and buying a new home at a different location, a lot of costs and fees can be avoided, such as stamp duty. Demolition is an exciting milestone in the process of building your new home and careful planning can make the process run as smoothly as possible. This article explores effective ways to manage your contents, make a profit here and there and avoid double handling.

What Goes into Storage and What Doesn’t?

Now is the time to think about what you want to keep for your new house and what is time to upgrade. If you have been living with old worn out furniture, now might be the time to get rid of these, rather than paying to keep them in storage. You can put items up for sale for free on Gumtree or Facebook groups. Money earned on sales and saved on storage fees can help to pay for new items that fit into your brand new home.

Selling Off Old Whitegoods

Similarly, it might be a good time for whitegoods such as fridges, washing machines and driers that have had their time to go. Selling off unwanted items or even giving them away means fewer items for you to dispose of and fewer items to store, saving you tip fees and the like. It also saves you time and effort moving them into your new home, only to decide then that you would actually like to replace them.

Salvage Items with Resale Value

Even if your home is old, there may be items that are in relatively good order that can easily be sold online. Take photos of things like laundry benches, vanities, bathtubs and kitchens before you pull them out. Even if you only make a small profit, at least you don’t have to worry about disposing of them or pay extra tip fees. Organising a garage sale is a fun way of getting rid of smaller unwanted goods and you might make a few dollars.

Reusing Quality Materials

There are some items that may not look particularly attractive or valuable, but may still have use for you. A fresh coat of paint can bring old doors or skirting boards to life. A stainless steel laundry sink could also be used in your new home. It may not seem like a lot, but it is surprising how a lot of small things add up and you can end up saving a considerable amount of money. Don’t forget your outdoor assets either. Pavers, for example, have a long life and could be used in your new outdoor entertaining area. Plants take years to establish, so rather than starting fresh, keep some of your favourite ones.

Move the Rest to Storage

The rest of your contents can then go into storage where they will be safe and secure while your home demolition takes place and your new home is built. When the time comes all your belongings will be ready to be picked up in one place.

Is it Time to Fill in Your Backyard Pool?

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A house with backyard pool has been the ultimate luxury for Australians for many years, and the concept is still attractive to many potential home owners. But all good things come to an end and for some home owners, this applies to their swimming pool. Some are choosing to fill in or demolish their swimming pools rather than pouring time and money into ongoing maintenance or upgrades.

Do Your Research Before You Decide

If you are considering filling in your pool, it’s smart to weigh up the pros and cons and to do some real number crunching, comparing the cost of the pool demolition to how much you would need to spend to maintain or repair the existing pool. This article outlines some of the most common reasons people choose to fill in their swimming pools.

The Pool is Hardly Used

There are several reasons that pools are no longer used and one of the most common ones is that the kids have grown up and moved out. Additionally, the weather may rarely be warm enough to entice you to jump in and the time spent cleaning the pool simply isn’t justified.

Excessive Pool Maintenance and Repair Costs

If you employ someone to maintain your swimming pool, eg. clean it, check the filter, water levels and maintain pH levels, it might be very convenient, but it also cost money. Repairs are also inevitable when you own a pool and no matter how small, they do add up. A pool pump might need replacing or repair, and this may simply not be in the budget.

Remodelling and Compliance with New Requirements

While you might have been in a position to maintain the pool in its existing form, new requirements which are sometimes placed on pool owners and require specific actions are more than you had bargained for, and it’s simply not viable. If the pool is old and in need of a substantial upgrade, this could be an investment you simply can’t afford.

You Just Want the Space for Something Else

While a pool can be a great source of entertainment for young and old, it’s not the only way to spend time at home. If the backyard is quite small, there may not be much space to use it for anything else if you keep the pool. There are so many other options, like a landscaped garden, a patio or simply a patch of lawn.

Pool Demolition is not a DIY Project

Before you remove your pool really think about it, weigh up the advantages and disadvantages, and make sure that everyone in your household is on board. If you do end up deciding to get rid of your swimming pool, make sure you engage professional demolition services. Experienced contractors will be able to get it done quickly and efficiently, leaving you with a clean slate that you can develop.