SBH Civil puts the pedal to the metal with Cat equipment (2020)

By jumping up to the new Cat® 306CR-6 tonne excavator, SBH Civil has seen significantly reduced dig times and quicker pool installations thanks to the machine's impressive power and built-in technology.

This story was produced by Caterpillar and published as an interview case study in Earthmoving Equipment Magazine. It has been edited and re-published here by WesTrac in December 2020.

Winter and spring are the seasons to put the pedal to metal for businesses in the pool excavation industry, like Shane Bugeja from SBH Civil, to ensure their customers’ pools are complete for the summer with sparkling water and stunning landscapes.

By jumping up to the new Cat® 306CR-6 tonne mini excavator, SBH Civil has seen significantly reduced dig times and quicker pool installations off the back of the machine's impressive power and built-in technology. Needless to say, Shane’s new investment is something his clients and operators are very happy with.

Focusing mostly on the Northern Suburbs, and working for major pool companies like Narellan Pools, efficient earthmoving turnaround times are the backbone of Shane’s business.

Shane prefers Cat equipment due to their impressive performance, precision, efficiency and operator comfort. Shane and SBH Civil have built a great relationship with WesTrac and his sales rep Michael De Angelis. This relationship has seen Shane’s fleet grow to include a brand new Cat® 306CR as well as a 5 tonne, 3.5 tonne, 1 tonne, 15 tonne, a few 1.7 tonnes, and a Compact Track Loader.


When discussing why Cat machines have served Shane so well over the years, he shared:

“A lot of the time we are working in narrow and tight backyards. Access is always a big factor for us. We don’t just rely on our Cat machines to efficiently excavate the site, we also rely on their lifting power, especially when it’s time to lift the fibreglass pool shell into position. This is also a big part of our role, with some shells weighing well over a tonne – the lifting/rotating power of our Cat machines is critical for us.”

Shane continued, “In the pool digging business you need to ensure your positioning, set out and depth are all spot on. Clean edges, which are often battered, are very important for the pool to sit exactly in position. This precision heavily relies on the fact that our Cat machines are great to operate on multiple levels. Having plenty of power and precise controls give my team another level of expertise in this area.”


I was impressed with the speed of the operation after watching Shane at work in his new Cat® 306 CR in a relatively tight space, where the boom had to lift and swing very close to a property fence before unloading into a truck that was sitting on a higher platform. There has been an increase in the multi-functioning performance, which is perfect for operators like Shane and his team. The 306CR delivering maximum power and performance, in a mini size, means a faster turnaround for SBH Civil, allowing the team to DO MORE in a single day.

One thing that also stood out from filming Shane at work was how important the great visibility in the 306CR was, allowing extremely precise cutting in.


When I asked Shane about his favourite features on his new purchase, the obvious ones like the suspension seat, improved air-conditioning and the sealed and pressurised cab were all quickly mentioned, but closely followed was the after-sales service from WesTrac.

Being a small business, if one of Shane's machines goes down it can cause big headaches for timing and scheduling. For him, having WesTrac in his corner to limit and prevent those headaches is everything.

Shane was very quick to highlight the value of his relationship with WesTrac, and the impressive turnaround on the very few issues he has had with machines over the years

“The very few issues we have had were dealt with on the day and we were back up and running that afternoon, which is exactly the result you hope to receive,” said Shane.


Catching up with Michael De Angelis (WesTrac) and Shane together onsite, the banter flowed and it was obvious they are a good team with a solid appreciation for each other.

Michael shared, “As a sales rep I’ve been looking after the North West area of Sydney at WesTrac for almost three years, and in that time I’ve been working with Shane for two years. The benefits of Next Gen Excavators, that Shane has gotten used to with his 301.7CRs, are now in his bigger machines, with stick steer, cruise control, smoothness of operation and operator comfort being appreciated features."

Shane previously had a 305, but he can now fit the stronger 306 into the same width entrances and get the job done quicker.

The SBH Civil Team and WesTrac

Michael continued, “Shane and I have built a lot of trust over the years. It has been one of the highlights of my time at WesTrac – watching how Shane has grown his business and how continually improve how we support him. With the instant tax write-off our industry has been boosted with encouragement. COVID-19 has provided us an opportunity to assist our customers in times of need that could never really be planned for. Particularly Cat Financial offering deferrable payments to keep businesses using their machines midway through their loans.”


It has been a challenging time for many businesses this year because of international overseas travel and holidays being put on hold for the foreseeable future. Instead, many families have decided to invest that money back into their own homes, which has seen an increase in the pool industry around Australia.

Companies like SBH Civil are busier than ever excavating with an even higher demand on their fleet. This means less downtime is allowed for maintenance and servicing, which is where the impressive numbers the Next Gen range have achieved to reduce areas like maintenance makes them an even more valuable option.

A great relationship with WesTrac means SBH Civil are more than confident to push themselves and their fleet harder to exceed their client’s expectations.

This site uses and sets "cookies" on your computer to help make this website better. By continuing to use this site without changing your settings, you are agreeing to our use of cookies.