Columbus, Georgia — Robinson Paving Co. has a reputation based on reliability and knowing what it takes to get results on the job. What started as a small family business back in 1971 now employs over 200 full-time employees specializing in grading, drainage/sewer, asphalt and the widening of state highway roads.
Darrell Robinson, Vice President, applies the philosophy of “knowing what works” when it comes to his choice of construction equipment. Darrell said his company began using some Komatsu machinery when they first got into the business and he freely admits “there was a time I was skeptical.” He goes on to say “however, Komatsu has proven itself in reliability and longevity; Komatsu’s machines (particularly their excavators) increase our production and give us a competitive edge and an ‘option’ in our choice of equipment that we did not have in the past. Komatsu has earned a place in our company’s future.”
History and versatility combined with cost-savings
Every contractor knows matching the proper equipment size to the job at hand is a key to maximizing productivity and minimizing cost. That’s why Robinson Paving chose the PC300HD-7 excavator for their road widening projects. The PC300HD is a unique machine that incorporates the PC300 upper body structure with a PC400 undercarriage. The result is an excavator with excellent power and stability in all working applications, especially when lifting over the side of the machine.
Darrell’s company added a PC400LC-6 excavator to their fleet several years ago and he says its history of excellent productivity and minimal downtime along with the reliability and durability of the machine’s undercarriage helped his decision to add the PC300HD-7 to his fleet. He chose the PC300HD because the heavy-duty undercarriage provides them with the stability of a PC400 excavator combined with the cost of operation of a machine in the PC300 size class.
When asked about the PC300HD he says “it gives us the versatility of loading highway trucks with site material with the strength and most importantly the stability to quickly shift job functions to move and place concrete barrier walls.” As with any road development project, Robinson Paving are constantly placing concrete barriers as traffic patterns change. “We are lifting and swinging barriers that weigh over 5,000 lbs, changing several thousand feet of lane configuration at a time” says Robinson. He adds “the speed, dependability and versatility of the machine make it a multi-purpose unit delivering faster cycle times with less downtime which all add up to increased productivity and cost-savings at the end of the day.”
While he may be vice president of the company, Darrell regards himself as a “hands-on type of boss” who is involved in every aspect of the job. He still likes to operate the machinery and sees first-hand the technological improvements in every generation of Komatsu equipment. When asked about Komatsu’s latest PC300HD he replies “our operators feel very comfortable with the responsiveness of the joystick controls; they know when they are moving/swinging barriers the machine remains stable and well-balanced. Once they see how the machine maintains a solid base it raises their comfort and confidence levels and they establish a rhythm that results in faster cycle times.” This in turn helps to increase the completion time of the road projects and reduce traffic congestion and as Darrell says “who doesn’t hate delays due to road construction when you are trying to get somewhere. The PC300HD helps us keep those delays to a minimum.”
Distributor Location Parts and Service are crucial components
When asked what goes into choosing a piece of equipment Darrell points out factors such as performance and reliability but equally important are parts and service availability. He says that Tractor & Equipment Co. (T&E), Komatsu’s Georgia Dealer, recognizes those concerns and has expanded their branch locations. There was a time when distance was a major concern for rural business locations like Robinson Paving. T&E has responded and continue to grow their operations to the point that Robinson Paving now sits in the middle of four main branches and more importantly their service facilities.
Darrell says “I know that if a machine goes down T&E’s field techs are able to service us quickly and efficiently, minimizing our downtime without incurring large travel costs in the process. Their continued expansion and dedication to their customers needs (especially over the past 3 or 4 years) has changed my mind about what kind of equipment we operate.
Something else Darrell considers when choosing or deciding upon a piece of equipment is he likes to talk to someone else who owns the same (or similar) piece of machinery “T & E will always supply me with the phone numbers or locations of other companies who own the type of equipment I am interested in purchasing. Knowing the history of a machine, not only its performance but particularly its service history, lets me know what to expect and Komatsu equipment has always received high scores from other customers.”
When asked what he felt Komatsu equipment does for him, Darrel says “from my personal experience of operating your equipment and knowing how it has constantly improved over the years I feel it gives us the tools necessary to stay within budget and make our deadlines. We know our equipment is going to be up and running when we need it the most and we are proud to have Komatsu equipment on our job site.”