Toronto Owner Operator Finds Increased Productivity In The Tightest Of Places

Sept. 7, 2014

Trailering in a 59,300 pound excavator to demolish a brick building will definitely draw notice especially when the buildings on either side of the structure to be razed are literally just a couple feet away.

That’s the challenge that family-owned RoadEx Contracting Ltd, a three-generation owner operator construction company located in Toronto Canada, frequently faces. “We’ve had occupants of buildings sit and watch our operators all day as we knock the structures down,” said Ernie Campoli, RoadEx owner. “Having the right equipment to operate smoothly in tight places provides the confidence we need to work quickly but safely.”

The machine of choice for this project is the KOBELCO SK260SR, a new addition to RoadEx’s stable of excavators. The SR stands for “short rear swing” and a unique ability to perform continuous dig, 180-degree swing and dump operations within a working space as small as 12 feet 6 inches. “KOBELCO was the first manufacturer to develop a SR-capable excavator in the industry,” said Bob Green, founder and owner of Robert Green Equipment, an exclusive KOBELCO dealer in Toronto Canada. “It’s just one of many innovations the company has pioneered over the years.”

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But despite their stellar history of building innovative excavators, up to this year RoadEx had never operated a single KOBELCO machine. “We’ve purchased and operated excavators from Caterpillar, Case, John Deere, Volvo and Komatsu,” said Ernie. “We’re always looking for an edge to compete against the big fleets around town. Paul Ambler, our salesman at Robert Green Equipment, finally convinced us to demo a KOBELCO 350.”

That meant the patriarch of the family, Ernie’s dad Joe, got first dibs during their test run. “The next day, Ernie gives me a call and tells me right off they don’t like the KOBELCO,” remembers Bob Green. “But before I could respond he adds “˜we love it’ and I knew we had a sale.”

There were three things that won Joe, Ernie and the other operators over as they put the 350 through its paces during the trial: smoothness of operation through every maneuver they attempted, overall operation comfort, and fuel economy that was up to 40% better than what they were used to seeing in the other excavation equipment they operated. “The combined benefits means greater productivity on the job site for us,” summarized Ernie. “But the fuel savings alone allows us to now bid on and win projects we traditionally might not have gotten.”

Choosing to purchase the smaller, more nimble KOBELCO 260SR is a case in point for gaining profitable new demolition and site prep work for RoadEx. “Other short tail excavators have a tendency to be so neutrally balanced that they’re like a rocking horse to operate,” said RoadEx operator Jason Rorsion. “The 260SR is the first short rear swing machine I’ve operated where I don’t have to slow down in even the tightest of spaces.”

Demolishing the all-brick building was quick-work for the 260SR. The maximum digging height of 36’9″ and digging reach of 32’4″ combined with the compact swing capability provided ample power and control for the RoadEx operators to topple the building safely and quickly. After a while, even the onlookers were convinced their structures weren’t going to be affected by the work being completed.

The full-size KOBELCO cab was another welcome surprise for the RoadEx operators. “In other short tail machines, I’m lucky if I can fit a sandwich in the cab with me,” said Jason. “The KOBELCO 260SR has the same full size cab as the 350 with plenty of room to store my lunch pail, construction hard hat, and a whole bunch of other stuff.”

But the greatest number of comments Bob Green has heard from his newest customer has been the fuel-sipping technologies KOBELCO has included in their complete excavator line. “We received a call from one of the RoadEx operators saying he thought the fuel gauge was broken because it wasn’t going down fast enough,” recounted KOBELCO dealer Green. “We told him to check the liters per hour rating and he was amazed it showed 2.1.”

“With our new KOBELCOs, we’re saving thousands of dollars a week on fuel,” said Ernie. “Fuel use is consistently lower across all modes of operation.” Fuel consumption boosts productivity, too. “On the other excavators, as soon as the fuel gauge hits the one-quarter mark I have to call for a refueling truck,” said Jason. “With KOBELCO excavators, I know I can finish out the day’s work without a worry.” Even when that day’s work is in the tightest of spaces.

RoadEx Contracting Ltd was established in 1977 to provide excavation and grading work for general contractors and design build firms in Toronto. The three-generation, family-owned owner operator company specializes in earthworks, from site remediation to bulk excavation, and is also an expert in demolition services for the commercial and residential sectors. In the last year, the company has more than tripled the size of their business.

Robert Green Equipment started business in 1982 and became an authorized KOBELCO dealer in 1991. He has served the Toronto metropolitan and surrounding area as an exclusive KOBELCO dealer ever since, and averages selling between 35 and 40 KOBELCO excavators each year.

KOBELCO Construction Machinery USA is dedicated to producing a full range of crawler excavators from 3,000 lb. to 180,000 lb. classes for the rental, construction, landscape, aggregate, roadbuilding, material handling, site preparation, recycling, demolition and ancillary markets, including zero tail swing, standard, long-reach and compact models. KOBELCO is well-known worldwide as excavator perfectionists for its steadfast focus on improving and enhancing its singular line of products.

For more information on KOBELCO excavators, please visit or call (905) 888-9070 today.