One of New Zealand's leading drainage contractors has seen productivity double in the twelve months since it took delivery of a Mastenbroek CT12.

One of New Zealand's leading drainage contractors has seen productivity double in the twelve months since it took delivery of a Mastenbroek CT12.

In March 2020, Awakeri Drainage in Hastings became the only company in the Southern Hemisphere to own the latest version of the Mastenbroek crawler truck.

The CT12 is the second Mastenbroek machine to feature in Awakeri's fleet, with company director Brayden Bishop having purchased a 20/15 trencher in 2017.

It was the performance and reliability of the 20/15 trencher that made buying the CT12 an easy decision.

"Like many drainage companies in New Zealand, before operating the Mastenbroek 20/15 we were running gear made by our engineer, and while it was doing its job, it was starting to show its age," says Brayden. "As a company, we like to invest in the best gear and stay up to date with machine development. If you're not careful, the cost of repairs and maintenance of older machines can become more than the cost of repayments on new equipment.

"It also becomes frustrating and inefficient to have breakdowns in the middle of a busy trenching season as it just puts more pressure on us. So, by having newer gear, we eliminate that."

Fred Clarke, Sales Engineer at Mastenbroek, was first contacted by Brayden's father, Jim, in 2005, who was looking for a company to supply replacement wearing parts for some of their smaller drainage trenchers.

"We were happy to work with Awakeri, and for more than ten years we sent them the parts they needed to keep their fleet operational," says Fred. "In 2017, Jim decided to invest in a new trencher and asked us to quote for supplying them with a 20/15, which we did with pleasure."

The Mastenbroek 20/15 trencher was delivered in June 2017, with Fred flying out to oversee its commissioning personally.

"We were very impressed with the level of service we received from Fred and both the capability and build quality of the 20/15," says Brayden. "So, when we decided to improve our fleet, it really was an automatic choice to go with the CT12. The two machines go hand in hand and are designed to work in tandem.

"Another reason for opting for the CT 12 was the fact it is the biggest self-propelled gravel cart available, which can be transported without permits.

"There are options of trailed gravel carts, but they need something to tow them, and as our tractor needed upgrading, it made economic sense to go for the specialised machine. It also gave us a massive edge on our opposition. We are the largest land drainage installer in our region. However, the competition is always nipping at our heels. By purchasing the CT12, we've maintained our market-leading image as many people are still using noticeably home-made and very second-rate gear.

"Our customers also appreciate us keeping up with the times, and they can see that we are here for the long term by investing in specialist machinery. I think some of our customers were just as excited as us when the CT12 arrived!"

According to Fred, the CT12 offers the perfect combination of features demanded by drainage companies, with its low ground pressure suspended and oscillating undercarriage with high tracking speeds allowing it to be used in environments where wheeled vehicles cannot operate.
"The CT12 is one of our most versatile machines thanks to its tipping hopper and forward conveyor," he says. "The hopper allows the CT12 to be used as a dump truck to haul aggregate along pipeline rights of way.
The discharge conveyor system is designed for controlled, accurate placement of backfill material either directly into a trench or a hopper mounted on the trencher. The front swing conveyor is controlled by a joystick for left and right-hand discharge through 180 degrees and variable height up to 2.75m. A hydraulic hopper door combined with variable speed control on all conveyors allows the flow rate of the material to be adjusted as well.
Since deploying the CT12 alongside the 20/15 Awakeri has seen productivity double. 
"We have gone from installing approximately 60 to 70 kilometres of pipe to around 100 to 120 kilometres per annum," says Brayden. "The improved productivity has been achieved as the CT12 is so efficient. Mastenbroek has incorporated backfilling blades on it, so it's a one-pass operation. With the CT12 every metre we install is complete in one go. With our old system, we would trench all day then we would have a lot of backfilling to do before going home that night, now it is all complete at the time.

"Minimal ground compaction is a big subject for the growers we are working for, and we are always trying to keep it to a minimum. As the CT12 has such a large track frame, it has a relatively light footprint, even when fully laden, which reduces ground compaction. It also means there are fewer trips back and forth across the paddock for loads as we are carrying more."

The increased productivity achieved by running the Mastenbroek 20/15 and CT12 has delivered a 40% increase in turnover, as Awakeri has been able to take on more work than ever before.

"The CT12 has helped us refine some inefficiencies and helped us streamline the whole operation. We have only had the CT12 for one drainage season, so it is early days, but we have come to rely on the CT12 and definitely aren't looking back! In my opinion, Mastenbroek gear is the benchmark for the game we are in, and I don't think we would look anywhere else."

Awakeri Drainage was established in 1970 and primarily works with farmers and growers in the Hawke's Bay region. 
Mastenbroek manufactured its first trencher in 1977. Since then the company has grown into a globally respected name in trenching, machine automation through its partnership with Trimble®, subsea cutting technology, ground stabilisation and groundwater control.


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