There are some sites that you drive into, and you just know they're run with utmost proficiency. MDL Civil's Mangawhai project is a prime example. Arriving onsite early morning after a classic Northland rainstorm, you expect to see machinery sitting idle, but no such evidence is seen during our visit.
After being run through a professional and well laid-out induction process by Sean – one of the Project Manager’s onsite, we were guided down to the primary work area of the project. Here we met a number of the operators and were presented with the scope of the project and what it entails for the workers.
Mangawhai is an outstandingly tidy job site where there is no idle time to spare, and clearly, everyone knows the importance of the role they play.
Every person onsite is busy working on a task at hand like a well-oiled machine, quite different to some other large scale sites where you can find stationary machines and operators waiting on another process to complete before moving on.
The management team at MDL Civil have got the right balance between having fit for purpose machinery and a sufficient amount of staff. When I arrived, over ten excavators were developing a stretch of new roadway, and the vast majority were busy moving earth.
The lack of costly downtime is not only a balance of numbers, but one of having people with the right attitudes and an influential company culture. MDL Civil's crew are a high performing team; everyone knows what their job is and are genuinely motivated to achieve a common goal.
MDL Civil's Hamish Wylie, suggests that running a proficient site is more than just planning. "Running a project like this effectively comes down to excellent communication and coordination, but underscoring that is having great people!"
While the operational efficiency at scale is an eye-opener, not to be overlooked is the equipment. MDL Civil have supplied their crews with the latest machinery available on the market today. Along with the 10 + diggers (ranging from 5 to 30 tonners), they also have graders, trucks and other heavy machinery, the majority of which would have less than a thousand hours on the clock.
This Mangawhai project is no small feat, with a new housing development and road layout. MDL Civil is building a new town centre for Mangawhai on a 130-hectare block of land.
This development, known as Mangawhai Central, will be the uniting of Mangawhai Heads and Mangawhai Village.
The 'Village' and the 'Heads' are separated by an iconic strip of land where Mangawhai Central will be located. This development will bring the townships together over a collection of new amenities, recreational facilities and smart housing options.
Designed to become the heartbeat of the area, this project will comprise of a town square, supermarket, hardware store, a service zone precinct, and future provisions for schooling, retirement living and health care. With new amenities supported by the creation of a large residential zone.
During our visit, the team at MDL Civil was in the process of completing the Molesworth Drive Upgrade. Not an easy job to manage, there are several different hazards to be conscious of the entire time – from working right beside the current Molesworth Drive and managing the traffic of this busy road, to directing works beneath overhead power lines.
The upgrade comprises of re-aligning the current road, adding two new large roundabouts, one at the Mangawhai Village end, and another closer to Mangawhai Heads. 75% of the new road layout has been formed with the footpaths and earthworks sections by the road currently in development.
The footpaths sub-base at the time of our visit, were being brought up to height by one of the latest PC55's fitted with Heli-Tilt and 1,400mm Attach2 wide bucket, perfect for completing nice wide footpaths.
On the opposite side of the site, MDL Civil's newest PC228 was working with a drainage crew installing new roadside culvert drains in preparation for the roads final grade and sealing.
MDL Civil runs an extensive range of Komatsu excavators fitted with the latest Attach2 Heli-Tilt Couplers and subsequent attachments from wide and general digging buckets through to spade buckets for the stickier damp material.
With all new MDL Civil's excavators running Attach2 gear, Hamish tells us why he chose Attach2 Equipment as MDL Civil's preferred attachment supplier. "We've been sourcing the attachments for our latest excavators from Attach2 as they're a trusted brand in the industry, and we've known them for a long time. We know without a doubt, we’ll always get backup support and prompt service."