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Posted by Nick Roche
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Jun 12, 2023

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7 mins read

One of the rapidly expanding franchises across Australia is a small mini excavator hire company known simply as Diggermate. The company specialises in hiring excavators up to 3 tonnes to DIYers and small trade businesses wanting to complete earthworks on domestic or small commercial scales. 

At a weight class of 3 tonnes or below, no licence or ticket to operate is necessary, meaning virtually anyone can give it a go. It’s a sector of the marketplace that Diggermate feels has huge potential.

 

Mick Watkins is the charismatic voice behind the brand adding a decent sprinkling of Aussie charm aimed at keeping it all characteristically friendly, easy, and can-do. As the Managing Director and Founder of Diggermate, Mick is also the Franchisor, responsible for plotting Diggermate’s growth.

His rich smile speaks before his words tumble forth “We’ve got business owners all around Australia,” he beams. “Currently 78 franchise locations around Australia and New Zealand and we’re onboarding at about four per month at the moment,” he continues proudly. It’s a huge achievement that reflects the growth in this segment of the marketplace. Mick also credits the business’s success with having a close awareness of what’s important to franchisee owners. He found that their two biggest concerns were 1) not receiving enough support and, 2) not making enough money. It led to a key realisation. “Once a business is up and running, it’s not the operational platform that will keep the phone ringing with fresh leads—it’s the marketing platform,” says Mick. Consequently, to bring success to franchisees, Diggermate invests heavily in marketing that generates leads.

Diggermate

They also like to work with like-minded suppliers who care about customers. Companies that share similar values, and keep things easy. One such supplier that held Mick’s attention was Attach2.

"Attach2 have a premium product and quality workmanship, which is really important in our industry because we encourage people who have never driven excavators before to jump on and have a go.” Mick is a big proponent of A2’s Performance Package – combining an A2 hitch with a variety of A2 buckets suited to the jobs that the excavator will typically be performing. It starts with his rental excavators being fitted with a quick hitch called the A2 Heli-Tilt. This offers a potential 180 degrees of tilt, and the sure-grip coupler base allows for very fast and easy swapping over of attachments. It’s usually hired as a general package alongside a narrow generalpurpose bucket for trenching, a digging bucket, and a wider mud bucket.

Using buckets with hitches that are made to go together ensures the optimal fit and performance of the excavator. Something Mick wants his customers to experience because of the time that’s saved in completing tasks and the general improvement that operators will see for themselves once they use the package. “So the [hitches and buckets] get belted around quite a bit and we want a product that we know is going to last even under the worst circumstances,” says Mick. “One of the greatest benefits of Attach2 is their point of difference. They [make a} really high-quality bucket and anybody who has ever used the product before or gets on our equipment and uses the buckets really notices the quality and the efficiency you can get out of using them.” 

Diggermate-2

“That point of difference really delivers efficiency and a lack of downtime.” It also removed the very real and common frustration that many operators come across – different branded buckets and hitches not fitting correctly or working well together.“One of the problems the A2 Performance Package solved for us was matching up the hitch with the buckets. For many years we had dramas with buckets and the hitch not perfectly fitting together.

“This package, as soon as we had used it once, there was no way we were going to buy any of the components separately. For us, it just needs to go together because it’s just completely seamless.”

Mick is all about attracting customers to his franchises. So the way the buckets would be seen and received by potential customers was given importance. “I just like the way they look,” he says. “They just look great on our machines. And when I come from a background that wants to attract customers, then these are great points of difference.”

Duggermate-3

Looks and performance were big ticks, but the final criteria for selecting Attach2 as Diggermate’s preferred attachment supplier was down to the company itself. “The decision to go [with] Attach2 was made easier by the team behind the product,” he says.

“There’s no nonsense. They helped us with quantities and configuration and made the purchase process really, really simple. The feedback we’ve got from our customers who have used the Attach2 range [performance package] is they don’t want to use anything else in our yard.”

Mick sums up the bottom line for choosing Attach2. “Diggermate is rapidly expanding around Australia and New Zealand and it’s really important for us to partner with the right suppliers who can deliver us the right products on time. I’m really excited about the relationship we’ve started and established with Attach2 and how we feel.”

For more about Diggermate, visit their website here.

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