- Energy & Power
- Construction & Mining
- Buyers' Guide
In April 2010, Enzo Plant Hire (E.P.H.) from Gauteng Province, South Africa, took delivery of its 12th Atlas Copco MB 1700 hydraulic breaker.
Enzo Chiocchi launched E.P.H. in 2003. Since then, the business has grown tremendously. Part of Chiocci’s success in hiring plant to the construction industry is specialisation. Some time ago, he changed from hiring out tractors, loaders and backhoes to renting out more reliable and versatile excavators, which carry his Atlas Copco hydraulic breakers.
“If one specialises, the niche that one creates delivers superior returns,” says Chiocci. “The capital needed for my excavator/breaker combinations is rather higher, but then my customers benefit from the increased capability,” he continues. Construction contractors are generally happy using a machine in the 25-ton range, as this gives both speed and versatility.
However, at the sharp end of E.P.H.’s business are Atlas Copco hydraulic breakers. These have a demanding life, as they are always breaking rock or concrete. However, Enzo Chiocchi places great emphasis on both service and reliable machines. Downtime is to be avoided at all costs. “We can’t afford having our customers being held up by downtime,” he explains. “Should a machine break, we are able to replace it with minimum delay. I have bought other brands of breakers, however, Atlas Copco keeps the range of spares and gives the support that I need.”
After testing the MB1700 breaker, Enzo Chiocci found it was well suited to the weight of his carrier excavators. “As the MB 1700 is an all-round breaker, it can do everything that E.P.H. customers require of it,” he says. Something he appreciates is that if there is a persistent problem, Atlas Copco is proactive in upgrading the breakers to support continued reliability.
Amanda Roets, Area Sales Manager for Atlas Copco Construction Tools in South Africa explains that E.P.H. bought its first three Atlas Copco MB 1700 breakers in 2006. Over the following three years, E.P.H. bought three more breakers annually, bringing its fleet of MB 1700s up to 12.
Maintenance concept for long lifetime
The purchases were to augment the breaker fleet, not to replace units, as the first breakers the company bought are still in operation. “For breakers to survive four years in harsh plant hire service testifies to the quality of the Atlas Copco MB 1700. However, the MB 1700s are helped by the fact that E.P.H. takes exceptionally good care of its equipment,” Amanda Roets says.
Enzo Chiocchi echoes this saying that good maintenance is critical for success. When equipment is returned, it is immediately checked, serviced and repaired, if necessary. However, Chiocci tends not to run E.P.H.’s machines much over 6000 hours before replacing them. “This cuts down both on downtime and maintenance costs,” he adds.
Two thirds of the life-cycle costs are caused after the investment
Many users tend to focus on the purchase price only. The total cost of ownership is often not visible at time of purchase. And there is a tendency to overlook their impact. When considering the total cost of ownership over the life-cycle, it becomes clearly visible: two thirds of the total cost is operating costs like operator salary, fuel consumption, maintenance costs and more.
“The performance-to-weight ratio is of major importance for the cost of ownership,” explains Amanda Roets. “That means you can do the same job with a lighter breaker and a smaller carrier, using less fuel. Both the initial investment and cost of ownership are lower. The higher the efficiency of the breaker, the lower your fuel costs. You can also get more work done with the same breaker. In terms of our breakers, while there might be cheaper alternatives for the initial investment, Atlas Copco quality, reliability and Parts & Services offers support low life-cycle costs and sustainable productivity for the customer,” concludes Amanda.
Hiring heavy breakers for the mining industry
Atlas Copco´s breaker range contains heavy hydraulic breakers which are well suited for non-explosive mining. This is an area of business Enzo is considering for the future.
“I have worked with my father in the mining industry and, with the right equipment, I am confident that we will be able to offer a cost competitive service,” says Enzo Chiocchi.