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Hard-work and loyalty comes first at Ditch Witch CEA and Walker and Gray Earthworks

Dedicated to delivering expert advice to its customers, Ditch Witch CEA has helped businesses like Walker and Gray Earthworks establish themselves as reputable contractors throughout the trenchless industry.

Walker and Gray Earthworks has come to be recognised as one of the leading and most well-respected directional drilling companies in the whole of South Australia and Western Victoria since it was first established in 1998 by Greg Walker and Dave Gray. 

With well over a decade’s worth of experience in civil construction, Walker and Gray has the expertise, experience and professionalism to complete an ever-widening range of projects to the loftiest of industry standards. Thanks to its partnership with Ditch Witch CEA, Walker and Gray Earthworks is more well equipped than ever to tackle any project that comes their way.

With 14-years’ worth of experience working for Gambier Earth Movers under his belt, Greg Walker was the one to reach out to his brother-in-law, Dave Gray to ask the question that would alter the trajectory of their careers for the better: Do you want to get into the earth-moving business?

The answer, of course, was yes.

Sitting down to speak with Trenchless Australasia, Gray spoke about his experience of building the company from the ground up. A glazier by trade initially, Gray explains that stepping outside of his comfort zone and his area of expertise to begin his career in the trenchless industry was a daunting in the beginning. 

“When we first got into the telecommunications side of the industry, we started directional drilling,” says Gray. “At the time neither Greg nor myself knew anything about it.”

With time, a bit training and a whole lot of determination the two men taught themselves the tools of the directional drilling trade. Since that humble beginning, Ditch Witch CEA has helped Walker and Gray develop company-wide expertise in an expansive selection of horizontal directional drills (HDD), excavators, trenchers a myriad of high-quality earthmoving equipment.

Ditch Witch CEA provides the most complete line up of directional drills, drill pipe, HDD tooling, vacuum excavators, trenchers, chain, teeth, sprockets, mini-skid steers, and vibratory plows, available on the market today.

But Ditch Witch CEA is about more than just selling clients equipment; the company prides itself on finding the right product for every customer and getting to know every business so that they receive the most accurate sales advice possible.

“We’ve had a good relationship with Ditch Witch over the years; we’ve been with them since we started. Being able to work alongside likeminded people who are not only excellent at what they do but have the best interest of you and your company at heart is always a pleasure,” says Gray.

Ditch Witch CEA is dedicated to delivering the highest level of product support to its customers. Employing factory trained sales and service specialists who are dedicated to supporting clients and all machinery requirements, Ditch Witch CEA is equipped with the expertise and knowledge to help businesses like Walker and Gray Earthworks develop a strong reputation in the industry.

“From the beginning, we were always taking small steps toward our goals of being bigger and better but thanks to the telecommunications industry and to partners like Ditch Witch, we always had plenty of work to do and the best equipment to do it,” says Gray.

One of the first jobs Walker and Gray Earthworks completed was demolishing an old and unsafe office building, on behalf of Telstra. Since then, the company has had a steadfast relationship with the telecommunications juggernaut that has continued to progress largely thanks to the high level of workmanship and professionalism Walker and Gray commits to every project.

One of the most noticeable and major places of growth within the company, explains Gray, is in the growth of employees. As Walker and Gray became more well-known and began to draw the interest of the likes of the National Broadband Network (NBN) for contracts, the scope and size of the business began to shift as well. 

Subsequently, the company has completed civil construction projects on behalf of major Australian stakeholders including ESTA Utilities, Telstra, SA Water, Origin Energy, VisionStream and ServiceStream among several others.

“There have been a couple projects that we have all felt particularly proud of. One big job, the team was over in Orange, NSW, alongside Robin Johnson Engineering,” says Gray. 

“From memory, we were pulling back three 225 conduits and two 100’s, all through the township of Orange. Because we aren’t local, we didn’t know the ground conditions of Orange before starting the job. The existing services of telecommunications and gases and the like all work in different assets of each other in NSW, which was different to what we were used to.

“That was a yearlong project, and it went off without a hitch; it went smoothly. We didn’t have any hiccups, nothing went wrong at all…So that was definitely an outstanding point of our career for the whole team.”

As of mid-July 2022, Walker and Gray Earthworks are currently completing works as part of a major infrastructure upgrade project in Mount Gambier, SA. The project centres on the construction of the Wulanda Recreation and Convention Centre which has endured delays due to sourcing issues thanks, in part, to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

The almost $60 million project is set to improve quality of life for residents across the Mount Gambier area, with Walker and Gray Earthworks playing a large role in the continued progress of the project.

“It’s been a fairly big infrastructure project for us; we’re still completing works on it now,” says Gray. “That’s involved installing multiple conduits around the streets and around the hub to accommodate for the construction of the hub itself. That’s definitely still ongoing at the moment, but the goal is definitely to have the works completed and the hub ready to open by the end of the year.”

A crucial aspect of what drives the Walker and Gray Earthworks team is not only their uncompromising work ethic but also their honesty and accountability. 

“If you say you’re going to be somewhere at a certain time, if you’re going to reach a certain deadline or achieve a certain goal; you’re going to do it.” 

“I think leading by example is a great way to keep that outlook present on a day-to-day basis. We’ve got a lot of ongoing, long-term employees that really follow our lead in maintaining those values,” says Gray. “And we’re working bosses too, so we’re on site as much as anyone else on the team to lead by example and put the best foot forward, so to speak.”

Looking to the future, there is a lot more to come for Walker and Gray as it set its gazes firmly on breaking into the quarrying business to coincide with the civil work they already perform.

“That’ll be our next big step. Limestone and rock supplies will be the next phase for the business that will look even further into the civil side of things, whereas in the past we’ve spent a lot of time working on the telecommunications aspect of the trenchless industry,” Gray says. 

“This will give us the chance to branch out a little bit, try our hand at something that’s a little bit different. It’ll be exciting to see how we go.”

Supporting them during this exciting time, Ditch Witch CEA is committed to continuing to provide the company with expert advice on what equipment best suits the company’s needs and ensuring each piece of machinery is of the highest quality.

For more information visit Ditch Witch CEA.

 

This article appeared in the August edition of Trenchless Australasia

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