Stabilcorp paves the way for flood-impacted communities

In 2022, New South Wales suffered many catastrophic flooding events. Lives were lost, homes were damaged and roads were destroyed. Almost two years on, road rehabilitation company Stabilcorp is helping communities by revamping vital local transport infrastructure.

In February 2022, an inundation of rain smashed New South Wales, resulting in one of the most catastrophic flooding events in Australia’s history.

Community members tragically lost their lives, homes and property were destroyed, and roads were among the swathe of infrastructure across the eastern seaboard washed away.

Almost two years on, road rehabilitation company Stabilcorp is helping the community by revamping local transport infrastructure, left damaged or unusable by the devastating floods.

Their help is being warmly received by the local community, who are going out of their way to make contractors feel welcome and thanking them for their contribution to reconnecting towns and neighbours.

“Some of the communities that we’ve been working in still have marginal access or no access to heavy vehicles,” Stabilcorp General Superintendent Brendan Pinson explains.

“The community members have knitted socks for our guys on colder days, and we get sandwiches brought out all the time, the community definitely appreciates what we’re doing out there.”

Most of Stabilcorp’s recent work has involved overlaying, stabilising, and at times, completely replacing roads impacted by the 2022 floods.

“The biggest project at the moment is Grafton,” Brendan says.

“Where we are at the moment up the top of Clarence Way, the roads out there have been impassable to the point where the Council has been up there just ripping the road and regrading it, trying to keep it good enough until we got there.”

With at least another eight months of work at Clarence Way alone, Stabilcorp has armed itself with a WesTrac supplied Cat® RM400 Road Reclaimer, which is designed to rehabilitate roads and provide soil stabilisation efficiently and effectively.

“The stigma around Cat gear maybe not being the top tier for soil stabilising is completely false. I think that these are definitely industry leading machines,” Brendan explains.

For Brendan, the Cat RM400 not only suits the job but is also comfortable and easy to operate.

“A new operator in the RM400 would pick it up very quickly; everything’s laid out very well and any size operator would be very comfortable sitting inside the cab,” he says.

“Any of our reclaimers that we update in the future, we’ll definitely go with the Cat brand.”

WesTrac Product Specialist - Paving and Forestry Products Michael Kelly says the Cat RM400’s main attraction is the vast range of features, including operator comfort, easy-to-use multifunction controls, a suspension seat, and machine size.

“Because of the size of the machine, it’s very easy to transport; like a little pocket rocket,” Michael laughs.

According to Michael, demand for Cat Road Reclaimers has continued to rise in New South Wales as more flood repair work is commissioned.

“In some areas where roads were literally washed off the surface, they had to build the road base back up and start building road over the top of it, so we’ve seen a massive uptick in the requirements of these machines to undertake these jobs.”

For Stabilcorp, the decision to invest in a Cat RM400 Road Reclaimer through WesTrac was about more than just the machine.

“One of the main reasons we went with Cat gear was because of the service; we knew that we were going to get quite a good service out of WesTrac,” Brendan says.

“No matter where you were in the State, there was usually, within half an hour, a WesTrac service vehicle available. We spend a lot of time on the roads, so we see the guys out there driving past all the time.”

WesTrac’s service proved invaluable when Stabilcorp had a mechanical issue with its newly acquired machine.

“Their communication was key there,” Brendan says. “They weren’t filling us up with false hopes and telling us we’d get it next week and it was a month later. They were very honest the whole way through which was pretty refreshing.”

WesTrac Product Support Sales Representative Jim Hewitt was on the front foot with this support, ensuring Stabilcorp’s machine was back up and running, with minimal downtime.

“They’re quite complex pieces of equipment and when new gear like that is in the field, fresh off the production line, commissioning with WesTrac support is critical to ensure the customer is going to reach full productivity fast,” Jim explains.

“Getting through that process as quick as possible is our highest priority. We do that by utilising our local field service technicians, WesTrac’s team of experts back at the branch, and with the help of Caterpillar’s product specialists. It’s always an ‘all hands on deck’ situation to keep the machine productive and to ensure they get the maximum value out of the product they’ve just invested in.”

With 14 branches across New South Wales, WesTrac has businesses like Stabilcorp covered when it comes to servicing Cat Road Reclaimers.

“We look after large customers through to small businesses, and these pieces of equipment are their money makers, their prime product,” Jim says.

“We understand that whenever there’s any type of mechanical concern in the field, we need to be onto it as soon as possible and we need to keep the customer informed on the progress. If they need anything from us, it’s a quick phone call and a few questions, and we’re off and on the right track.”

WesTrac’s primary service goal is to reduce downtime, which is why WesTrac collaborates with Stabilcorp to provide flexible maintenance and repair options.

“We’ll be flexible and work around their productive timeframe,” Jim says.

“We make sure we schedule the repair when the machine is stopped or paused in the day, and we fit it in so it doesn’t interrupt their schedules. These machines, they pay mortgages, they send kids to school, and if they have a down event, it has a massive impact on a small business.”

For Brendan, bringing the Cat Road Reclaimer into Stabilcorp’s fleet is only the beginning.

“We definitely want to increase our fleet to have more Cat equipment, we’re just about to hit the button on buying a new grader,” Brendan says.

“There is no one in Australia that can match WesTrac’s service.”

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