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Dig It Contracting: Achieving Optimal Efficiency with a Mixed Fleet

Dig It Contracting Ltd. invests in the latest technology to keep their fleet ahead of the curve

Dwayne Flett has always had a passion for construction equipment. The idea to start up his company, Dig It Contracting Ltd. – a successful civil contracting company based in Kelowna, B.C. – began in his childhood.

"Dig It started, I guess, ultimately, when I was a little boy playing in the sandbox, and I just never really got out," Flett says. "Playing with trucks and equipment is something that I've always been passionate about."

Over the years, Dig It Contracting Ltd. has grown in the size and scope of projects it has taken on. And as the business has expanded, so has the fleet.

Investing in technology allows Dig It Contracting to be an industry leader and keeps them a step ahead of their competition. How? Watch this video to find out.

To read the transcript, click here

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Dwayne Flett
President, Dig It Contracting

As the industry slows down, we're going to be the guys that are cutting edge. There's nobody going to be able to compete with us, I feel.

Dig It started, I guess ultimately, when I was a little boy playing in the sandbox and I just never really got out so. Playing with trucks and equipment and its something that I've always been passionate about is equipment, love equipment and just took it to the next step.

Back in 2015, I started with a 210 LCi machine, and I made that decision to purchase that machine because it was Komatsu, but I was also looking at some of the competition, and at that time, most of the kits were bolt-on and they were indicate-only where the Komatsu LCi had a lot more technology and everything was integrated, the warranty was better because it was integrated and it was a Komatsu product as well as the screen, it showed you a lot more detail and with the technology, you could put gas lines for instance, or overhead power lines, you could actually put those right into the machine so that you integrated that if the operator got too close to any of those potential hazards the alarms will go off, I thought that was a really important aspect because safety is the number one important aspect out there in the field, so it led to that as well.

Steve Ten Veen Sales Representative, SMS Equipment
Dwayne has always been interested in technology and being kind of at the forefront or the leader in technology. He's run kind of a mixed fleet from bolt-on to IMC technology. And now that we've just added the Engcon tilt rotator package, he's kind of the only one in the Valley at this point that has that technology, so he is always looking for new opportunities that will set him apart from the competition.

In an urban setting, the 138 and the 238 are just well fitted for that application. The size, they’re nimble, they’re light, they have reduced tail swing so they can work in the traffic - If you're working in a single lane, they still have the ability to get the job done expediently and efficiently. And now I'll have those two pieces, and to me, that's going to really put a foothold in our ability moving forward.


The 290-i was the next step. Now that we started to gain some traction in the industry with the technology, we decided we needed a bigger excavator, and the next natural choice was the 290. Just a beautiful size machine, really. It's a brute. It can bulk, do a decent job of bulk-exing out loading trucks and still have the big reach. It's a nice size machine.

Next was the little sweetheart the little D51, again, looking at what the options were out there, not having the mast, when I looked at the mast, it just looked so archaic, and then you would look at a little D51 or any of the Komatsu i-machines, and not having any mast, again, ahead of their time. Basically, we do a lot of the pre-grading work with it, subgrade work, being able to cut on grade all the time, knowing where you are is instrumental. We do a lot of work in the orchards, and it helps a lot with that. We put a model into it, and you can basically build on design all the time.

Technology’s important because it helps us be a leader in the industry, it helps us to be more efficient with our jobs, it helps us complete the jobs on a better timeframe. The schedule is always important so to be able to stay on that schedule I feel that technology helps us with that because we’re not waiting for stakes, we don’t even use stakes anymore, stakes are a thing for the past for us. So, between a rover and everything in the equipment, we don’t need layout, and that’s huge, we don’t have to wait for the surveyor to come in, we’ve got it, proper setup from the get-go and we’re ready to roll from start to finish, right from putting the pipe in the ground to finishing and prepping for asphalt and basically type lighting, we’re there, we don’t need anything else.

With my vision of Dig It contracting and where I was going to go, I basically wanted to have a brand that I knew was going to be there in the long run. When I was looking around at all the different brands and different products that were out there, Komatsu really did stand out to me. They've got a huge track record, they're in mining, in construction and the product is there and one of the largest manufacturers in the world.

SMS has treated us very well. If you're looking at the equipment, if you're thinking of a Komatsu, and just from the simple fact that the first 2,000 hours you don't have to do an oil change. You don't have to worry about it. They service it. They look after it. They tell you if anything is going wrong, and we've had incredible success with the Komatsu product and SMS, it's been an incredible team.

Optimizing efficiencies

The company boasts a mixed fleet that includes more than several excavators and a host of other smaller equipment.

A significant portion of the fleet is comprised of Komatsu equipment, and that number has been steadily growing in recent years. The fleet features two PC238USLC-11s and two PC138USLC-11s tight tail swing excavators for urban settings in tighter spaces; a PC290LCi-11 and PC360LCi-11 excavators with Komatsu's built-in intelligent machine control (IMC); a D51PXi-24 dozer and two WA250PZ-6 wheel loaders.

No matter what type of equipment he owns, big or small, Flett believes in outfitting his fleet with state-of-the-art technologies. This includes purchasing two new Komatsu PC290LCi-11 and PC360LCi-11 excavators with built-in IMC and outfitting some of his existing fleet with aftermarket technologies to enhance their jobsite efficiencies.

The nimble PC138USLC-11 and PC238USLC-11 excavators are ideal for job sites with tight workspaces, due to their zero-tail swing. 

Using IMC technology, Dig It Contracting is able to build complicated designs without detailed staking. This is especially beneficial for jobs where regular re-staking is required - IMC technology removes the need for staking, saving both on cost and time.  
Investing in these technologies allows Flett's company to be a leader in the industry by improving efficiencies to complete jobs on tighter timelines. He says that as the industry slows down, Dig It Contracting Ltd. will be known as the cutting-edge company, allowing them to be one step ahead of their competition. 

Roto-assist Technology

Another example is Dig It Contracting's investment in roto-assist technology for its PC138USLC-11 and PC238USLC-11 tight tail swing excavators.

"Dwayne has always been interested in technology and being at the forefront. Now that we've added the Engcon tilt  rotator packages, he's the only one in the Valley at this point that has that technology," says SMS Equipment Sales Representative Steve Ten Veen.
Dig It Contracting Ltd. embraces iMC technology

Using the various technology solutions provided by SMS Equipment, Dig It Contracting is able to perform extremely difficult digs.

Service Along the Way

With the help of the latest technologies and the reliable one-stop-shop service from SMS Equipment, Dig It Contracting will be equipped for success well into the future.
“We’ve had incredible success with the Komatsu products and SMS Equipment. It's been an incredible team," Flett says.

An IMC excavator with tilt bucket can dig to design quicker and easier, making this the ideal construction machine for all applications.

Additional Related Resources

Find more information about IMC technologies and Smart Construction below. 

Diggin' intelligent machine control
Dig It Contracting Ltd. embraces IMC technology.

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