Ingenium grow their fleet with two new Kobelco SK140’s

September 25, 2023

As a relatively new start-up company, Ingenium have only been trading for four years. The company who are based in Bristol have in that time built up a portfolio of regular clients whom they work for across the M4 corridor and as far north as the Potteries and as far south as Cornwall and Devon. The company specialises in the delivery of all aspects of groundworks and civil engineering along with reinforced concrete sub and superstructure projects.

Constant investment in new equipment when possible has seen the company invest in a range of excavators from 2.5 tonnes up to 15 tonnes with anything larger hired in as and when it is required. Until recently, Ingenium had relied on the services of a well-known Japanese manufacturer for their machinery but following repeated waits for back-up and a poor quality of service from the local dealer, they have changed brands whilst still staying with a Japanese brand. “We have invested considerable sums of money with this brand and repeatedly had issues with the service and back-up from the dealer.” Managing Director Matt Collier explains “Looking at the market for possible replacements we spoke to the majority of the main manufacturers and their dealers before settling with the Molson team and purchasing a range of Kobelco machines. We looked at the overall packages available from a number of manufacturers and the whole deal coming from the Molson camp was by far the best available or us.”

EARTHMOVERS caught up with the Ingenium team as they were part way through the groundworks for a new automated block making plant on the shores of the Severn Estuary. The company had already been on site for the development of the new batching plant and had returned to develop a large portion of the site for the installation of a fully automated block making plant which, when fully operational by the middle of 2023, will churn out up to 10,000, 100mm blocks per day! To allow the building work to take place, Ingenium have the huge task of delivering a reinforced concrete slab with steel framed building sitting on top. To do this in most locations would be a relatively straightforward task, on the banks of the Severn Estuary however, is a different matter. Like any of the new developments popping up along the shoreline, the site has been covered in a grid of with concrete piles to keep the building in place. The piles, now protruding through the pile mat require cropping to allow the reinforcing mat to be laid and tying the entire substructure together.

The first of the Kobelco arrivals on the fleet is undertaking the slow and laborious work of excavating around some of the piles. The SK130LC-11 has been with Ingenium almost 12 months and was the catalyst in developing the on-going relationship the two companies have. “We have had very little in the way of issues form the 130.” Matt comments “It’s been a reliable and productive excavator for us.” Using a 400mm bucket operator Lee Turberfield was carefully excavating the material from around a pair of closely sunk piles before loading the material into a waiting 9 tonne dumper. “I have to say it’s a great little excavator to operate.” Lee commented “It’s very comfortable and very smooth on the controls too. I’ve operated a lot of the big names, but this has to be one of the nicest machines I have operated. The only thing I would change would be getting a tiltrotator on it. It would make my life so much easier digging out between these piles!”       

The SK130LC-11 has been a popular addition to the Kobelco range in the UK since its launch just a couple of years ago. For companies wanting a high specification machine without the additional cost of a compact tail-swing variant, the SK130LC has found huge approval with UK ground works contractors. Powered by a 78.5kw Isuzu diesel engine, the SK130 is said to provide the ideal combination of productivity and fuel economy. “Whilst we do watch the fuel consumption to a certain degree, the reliability and performance are key to what we require.” Matt comments “Having a machine stood still from a breakdown with the men on the ground doing the same costs far more than a couple of litres of fuel. Knowing that we have a reliable machine in the Kobelco is why we have returned to Molson for our latest additions to the fleet.”

The newest arrival on the fleet was also at the concrete plant project. Similar in weight and power output and with a performance to match, Ingenium have recently taken delivery of their second SK140SRLC-7 excavator to the fleet. “We like the compact tail swing of the SK140.” Matt comments “They are an ideal machine for when we are working in and around buildings.” The SK140SRLC is one of the most popular models sold by Molson and has been supplied with an almost identical specification to the SK130LC. Both machines share an identical undercarriage consisting of a 3780mm track length with two top and seven bottom rollers along with a dozer blade, something rarely specified on the SK130LC. Digging equipment is the same with a 4.68m mono boom and 2.84m dipper.

Whilst operator Anthony Thorne was waiting for the pile heads to be exposed, he was busy stockpiling the excavated material and keeping the site clean and tidy following a few days of torrential rain. “I’ve been working with Ingenium for almost three years now and they are a very good company to work for.” He comments “We have some very good jobs of all shapes and sizes on the go which keeps you focussed. The kit they get is always top notch too. Having the new Kobelco is great. I’ve only had it a week or so, but it has really impressed me so far.”

Such has been the good impression that the Kobelco brand and Molson have made so far with the Ingenium management, the company have ordered a pair of SK85MSR excavators to add to the SK130LC, two SK140SRLCs, two SK45SRX and a single SK17SR. “We have chosen to partner with Molson for a number of reasons.” Matt explains “They were the only supplier who was able to come back with realistic delivery dates and tie them into prices that wouldn’t change as we got closer to the delivery times. We also liked the set-up they have at Avonmouth and the number of mobile service personnel. For us, it’s all about having the machines ready and able to work when we need them to.”