Branching out into secondhand grader sales is a new field for Makin Traks, but its dedication to quality maintenance and repair remains the same.
Image: After seeing strong demand for graders, Makin Traks is now importing high quality machines, mostly Caterpillar and John Deere
Challenges with securing supplies in the wake of COVID-19 is a common story across the country, and Daz Scale, the owner of Sunshine Coast premium second-hand equipment dealers Makin Traks, says his customers have not been immune.
Demand has been high for the company’s supply of quality second-hand bulldozers, and Scale says this demand has also rolled over onto graders – a machine the company had not previously stocked.
“For the past six months, where people have known us for quality in the dozer realm, they would come to us and say ‘oh if only you did this’,” he says.
“So we started sourcing some of those and they have been a red hot ticket item – I think it is just because of the serious delay in new gear that is taking hold worldwide.
“It was just going to be another string to our bow, but now a lot of them are sold before they even get here.”
Like its dozers, Makin Traks secures its graders from quality overseas dealers, typically with about 5,000–6,000 hours on the clock – a level that Scale says means the grader still has plenty of life left in it.
Typically, the models are either Caterpillar graders – the 140, 140 M2, 140 M3, 12M2 and 12M3 being the most popular; or from John Deere, typically the 670, 672, 770 and 772 models.
“You can get a lot larger, but this is sort of your go-to,” Scale says.
“Just in getting them to Australian standards and specifications –there are certain sizes that are particularly suited for our work environment.”
Makin Traks, based at Yandina on Queensland’s Sunshine Coast, has developed a solid reputation as a premium second-hand dealer, priding itself on the care it takes to ensure that it provides the best machine possible, for the hours that have been worked.
“We are just applying the same model – the same quality of workmanship, the same workshop report, the same effort that we are renowned for in the dozer world; we’re just incorporating that into the grader space,” Scale says.
That means seeking out a service history and an ECM product status report to verify the hours worked on every machine to be sold, putting together a 40-point workshop report, an itemised service report and a handover folder for the machine in question.
Using a serial number to check a vehicle’s service history is also an essential step for Scale – as well as determining how much of that servicing has been done by the manufacturer, and how much by third parties.
“You apply the same principles that you do to dozers, but instead of focusing on the blade out the front, the undercarriage and the tracks, with the grader it’s more about the blade, the turntable and the articulation,” Scale says.
The turntable and lifting cylinders typically control the grader blade, which Scale says does the lion’s share of the work on a typical grader – and thus is where most of Makin Traks’ effort goes as well.
“The work that we do, taking it into the workshop, is going over the shims, going over the turntable, going over the lift cylinders, going over the guides, going over the articulation pins, going over the lifts then the seals… there are all just those wear components there that are already on the machine but at 5,000 or 6,000 hours they just need adjusting,” he says.
“The articulation allows the back to move independently of the front, so you can just angle it out and have it go in an articulated motion instead of being a solid unit,” he adds.
Makin Traks will also make additions to the graders on request, with many customers seeking out additional GPS levelling capabilities.
“We fit them with their preferred level end device GPS device whether it be Scitech, Kommand Machine Control, Precision Partners, Trimble… whichever brand they wanted to go with,” Scale says.
Customers also often sought out a push block at the front of the unit and a Multi Shank Ripper at the back – both of which are designed and developed by Makin Traks.
In addition to that, Makin Traks offers its customers ongoing servicing at either 250, 500 or 1,000 hour intervals – depending on what the customer wants.
“People are going to end up with the same quality product that represents value for them for the hours on the machine,” Scale says.
“It is just another product that we are adding to the fleet where it goes through the same system.”
For more info contact Makin’ Traks on 0402 940 490 or visit makintraks.com.
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