As the director of Canberra Contractors, Angelo Cerullo has been an icon of the earthmoving scene in the Capital region for decades. Established in 1983, Canberra Contractors has grown to become a well-established civil contractor in the Capital region. From small-scale projects, to large subdivisions and major government infrastructure works, Canberra Contractors has done them all.
From the moment you meet Angelo, it’s clear that his down-to-earth attitude, and his family values are integral to the success of the business. Despite running a crew of over 80 employees, he comes across as the kind of guy that will invite you over for a family barbecue the first time you meet him.
Angelo is a part of the second generation to play a substantial role in the company, continuing his father’s work while leaving his own unique mark on the business and the industry. Under Angelo’s leadership, the company has also become known as an industry leader in geospatial and construction technology, with a wide-ranging fleet of machines equipped with the latest in GPS and machine control technology.
Angelo has been active in the business from a young age, “at the age of 10, I started spending my school holidays working out on site with Dad, learning different parts of the business. I left to go and get an education and came back into the business, bringing new ideas and technology with me,” explains Angelo.
“I’ve had a long relationship with Kobelco, over many years, gradually adding numerous Kobelcos to our fleet. Our local Kobelco dealer, South Coast Trucks and Machinery, does such a fantastic job, if we have any issue, they will go out of the way to fix it – we work through it together. SCTM is always going that extra mile to make sure we’re happy. It doesn’t matter what size of fleet you have, whether its one machine on the back of a trailer, the dealer is doing that little bit extra.”
“We have also been on one of Kobelco’s factory trips to Japan, it was great to be able to see how the machines are being built and provide feedback. We have been to a number of factory tours, but this one in Japan, to see the amount of work that goes into just a Kobelco undercarriage, with the triple welding, the frames and the level of accuracy of how they check to ensure it is done correctly is great to see. They have been doing it long enough that they have mastered it, and it is second to none – you can tell that they are proud to be working for Kobelco.”
“The Kobelco reputation speaks for itself. When I think of Kobelco machines, I think of reliability and fuel efficiency – the green machine that doesn’t stop,” Angelo chuckles. “Things just don’t break, but when they do, which is very rare, you have the backing of the dealer and Kobelco.”
Testaments to Kobelco’s reliability and durability are evident throughout Canberra Contractor’s fleet. Only recently, Angelo has moved on a machine which had 12,500 hours on it. “There was nothing wrong with it, but it was just time to upgrade because of what we need to adhere to for construction programs. We also have another Kobelco in our fleet, a 50T which just had its 8,000 service. The durability is exceptionally strong, and the performance is great.”
Recently taking delivery of a new SK350LC-10, Angelo said he had his eye on this model for a while. “We chose the long carriage as the longer track chain is better suited for our style of work and for its versatility. We also benefit from the great synergy between Kobelco, Sitech and the Trimble Earthworks system. It all works very well together. We have this machine fitted up with full autos [ie. semi-autonomous machine control], not because operators need it, but for the efficiencies and thinking outside the box for what it has to offer.”
“The fuel burn and strength are what sets Kobelco apart,” claims Angelo. “When achieving a 10-15% less fuel burn with our Kobelco excavators, call it 50 litres a day, 5 days a week – the fuel savings adds up quickly.” Another reason why Angelo chooses Kobelco? The exceptionally strong and powerful digging power and smooth operation. “I do a simple comparable exercise, using comparable operators with comparable machines. Cubic metres vs fuel burn is how we look at the performance. We also try to keep operators happy and their feedback comes into decision making, and they are exceptionally positive when it comes to Kobelco.”
“I’ve probably sold 20 machines for Kobelco as people copy what we do. I have an analogy; I don’t want to be the sheep, I want to be the shepherd. If people copy you that’s the best form of flattery.” And what is Angelo’s aspiration for the future? “To keep going the way we are, keep having locals working with us as we don’t want to lose focus on who we are and where we’ve been. To remain an industry leader, with a lot of pride in how we do it.”