Russell runs a Zaxis 120 which he purchased from CablePrice in 2005. This is the fourth Zaxis120 that has been purchased new from Cable Price as well as a ZX160LC which replaced an earlier EX150-5 and a CablePrice KiwiClass Import Dynapac RC45 roller. Russell recalls “TPP purchased its first EX120-2 from CablePrice in 1991 and have had a trouble free run out of the excavators and can’t fault CablePrice on service”.
Both the ZX120 and ZX160 slowly and steadily walk their way up the mountain, walking over tyres to assist with traction, but mainly to avoid damaging the lava on the mountain. The excavators are also fitted with JB quick hitches and a pick which is used to assist stability during the assent, and to being preparation work for pipe laying. Tight conservation requirements mean all earthworks must return the land to the way it was prior to the work being started.
The mountain hungry Hitachi ZX120 was recently utilised by TPP to run new pipelines to the top café/restaurant on the Whakapapa Ski Field as part of a mountain resource upgrade for D.O.C and Ruapehu Alpine Lifts.
The busiest time of the year for TPP’s general maintenance and contracting work is the off-peak ski season. In the summer Russell rushes around the National Park preparing it for the next winter ski-season, while in the winter months Russell also gets into snow and track clearing on the mountain, with a ZX120 based on the mountain year round.