From the outside the mining industry looks like a pretty good place to be, and in many ways it is.
Just ask Edge Drilling proprietor Wayne Edge.
The former motor mechanic who turned his hand first to earthmoving and then, fortuitously, drilling has been enjoying the snowball effect that the mining boom is renowned for.
“I had been working for the same company for a decade and a half, I was over 50 and I thought it was time to start up my own small business, see if I couldn’t have a play around and spend a bit more time at home before I retired,” Edge told Australian Mining.
However, things didn’t go quite to plan.
Edge bought an Atlas Copco ROC F9C Smart Rig, but before he even had the time to realise the possibilities his new business could bring, Edge was inundated with work opportunities.
“All of a sudden, a bit of work popped up here, there, then everywhere and now I can’t keep up with the amount of work I’ve got,” Edge said.
Since buying that first drill, Edge has since invested in another two and is looking to purchase more in the coming months in order to keep up with the increased demand.
“I’ve got 11 quarries to service and there is civil work building up too. I’ve been in the industry for 25 years or more, but only really been out on my own for the last couple of years,” Edge said.
Edge is currently training a new operator and expects to shortly add another experienced one as the company gears up to meet its expanded workload.
“The new technology from Atlas Copco is helping me get the job done,” he said.
According to Edge, the technology is fool-proof.
“It has the potential to eliminate a lot of labour from various areas,” he said.
“The hydraulic controls, GPS navigation and the automated rod handling system combine together to make the whole machine easier on our consumerables and operator-friendly.
“Because I have the ability to set the machine to depth I want it and then let it do the rest, I know that it will complete the job quickly and accurately, giving me more time to concentrate on ramping up production and increasing the size of my business.”
Edge said the drills best asset was its reliability.
“I work primarily in quarries and if the drill doesn’t work, the quarry wont be able to fulfil its production demands. In this climate, no company will wait around while their contractor gets their act together – there are too many options to choose from,” he said.
“I am under pressure to get it right first time, every time, and luckily with this drill, I am able to do just that.”