Brains as well as Brawn.
EquipmentShare prides itself on offering quality machinery with the telematics software you’d expect from a digger you owned yourself.
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Cousins, Danny and Michael White first started working together as boys; the pair ran a rubbish removal business throughout high school and university.
“We always thought that when we grew up, we’d run a business together,” says Danny. “It was simply a case of finding the right opportunity.”
At university, Danny studied marine engineering and worked for a number of years as an engineer looking after diesel and hydraulic systems on large ships and luxury yachts.
Michael, in contrast, stayed on solid ground, working in construction. There he could see ‘pain points’ in the industry – things like underutilised machinery and a lack of information on the work and performance of the machinery on site.
This gap in the market for technology in the heavy machinery industry was the opportunity the pair had been looking for and so, in early 2016, EquipmentShare opened for business in Auckland.
“We teamed up with EquipmentShare in the USA,” says Danny. “They build world-leading technology focused specifically on contractors’ needs.
“They have some really cool stuff regarding rental equipment. We use a telematics package that tracks the machinery, giving real-time alerts on location and hire status. And you can pull utilisation information off it – who’s using it, the hours it’s working, and all sorts of other helpful stuff,” he explains.
“The system is called Track. It gives project managers and site managers a whole lot more insight into the machinery they have working on site. They then have a much better understanding of how well the gear is being utilised, and this helps in decisions like whether it is better for them to hire equipment or buy their own.
“We’re talking many thousands of dollars here – either in rental fees or the expense of buying a piece of kit – so it’s better if these decisions are well informed.”
This technology is not usually available in rental machinery, so by offering Track on all their hire gear, EquipmentShare delivers more to its customers.
“We are on a mission to bring transparency, technology and excellent customer service to the traditionally ‘blind’ hire process. In doing so, we can help contractors to get more from the machinery they hire to get projects done.”
A lot has happened in the past four years at EquipmentShare.
Initially, it was just Danny and Michael working out of their site in Mangere in south Auckland.
The team has grown considerably too and now numbers around 25. At the beginning of this year, the pair opened their second branch.
“We cover the whole of the greater Auckland region,” says Danny. Expansion, while not a pressing priority, is inevitable, with their reach stretching south to projects in Hamilton and Tauranga.
Demand for EquipmentShare construction machinery is not solely based on the technology it comes with; the machines themselves are young and comprised of the best brands in the industry.
“We have diggers from 1.7 tonnes up to 30 tonnes, as well as access equipment of all sizes, and rollers, dumpers and skid steers.
“We also have a full range of attachments for the excavators – various buckets, augers, and rockbreakers.”
EquipmentShare has purchased five new Yanmar VIO17 mini excavators to go into its Silverdale branch and have fitted them with the latest attachment from Attach2, Mini-Tilt® Couplers. This brand-new attachment is designed for mini diggers in the 0-2.9 tonne range, giving them a full featured tilt function with any attachment.
“You usually only get a tilting function on your wide buckets, but this new attachment means you can tilt your trench bucket, for example, giving you a bunch more options,” Danny explains.
“It makes the job easier, especially when you’re working in tight spaces.”
“The other key feature of the hitch is the speed and ease they allow you to change attachments,” says Danny.
“Traditionally, if you wanted to change a tilt bucket, you’d have to take the hydraulic hoses off to do so, which can allow dirt to get into the hydraulics. Also, it can be a bit tricky and time consuming for the operator to disconnect and reconnect the hydraulics.”
“The new Attach2 hitch has no hoses to change. You simply pull a pin, drop the bucket, and pick up the next bucket. It will save so much time and frustration.”
Danny acknowledges that while Attach2 are not the first to venture into this territory, he is confident that the Attach2 product is superior, based on the hitch itself and the reputation Attach2 has for quality.
“It’s a solid looking unit,” he says of the Mini-Tilt hitch.
“We have always worked with Attach2 and have had very few issues with their products. In the rare instance that we have, they have sorted it out for us really quickly. Their service and support are excellent.”
“We’re proud of the partnerships we have – Attach2 builds some of the best equipment for rental in the world – and EquipmentShare in the USA truly understands the issues contractors face and is creating exciting software solutions to better monitor machinery on site and help to reduce costs,” says Danny.
“We’re happy to be able to bring these advanced technologies to our customers.”
Article Written by Mary Bell
Video and Photos by Simon Johnston, Seb Kwan-Parsons and Jacob Hart