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Wed April 24 2024

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Supporting archaeology

Digger Blogger | 11:00, Wed February 14 2024

A Cambridgeshire contractor uses crawler excavators to support archaeological digs

Archaeological investigation brings to mind a small trowel and a hand-held brush, or perhaps a compact mini excavator at best. It certainly doesn’t conjure a picture of a 33-tonne crawler excavator loading an articulated dump truck. For LK Construction however, bulk earthmoving, to reveal the lower levels of soil for teams of archaeologists, has become a major part of the company’s work.

Cambridgeshire-based LK Construction has rapidly established itself as the go-to contractor for pre-construction site investigation by the archaeological community throughout the southeast. Started in 2016 by former plant operator Lloyd White, the company bought its first used HD Hyundai HX210A in 2017. A year later it acquired a new HX220AL from Northamptonshire dealer Willowbrook Plant and hasn’t looked back since. The business now operates five HD Hyundai HX220A crawler machines, along with two HX330ALs, two HX140As and an HX130A.

“It was a good price that first attracted us, but they’ve been very reliable,” said Mr White. “We just have very few issues with the Hyundai machines. The user comfort as well for the operator is excellent. They are really comfortable with a spacious cab, something that I appreciate as someone who has operated machines. We get lots of feedback from our drivers saying how smooth they are to operate.”

The majority of the archaeological work is carried out prior to the start of major construction projects, such as house building and industrial sites. LK Construction provides initial evaluation trenches, with archaeologists investigating once they have been excavated. If anything of interest is found, the company then returns to open up larger sections of the site, removing and stockpiling topsoil and subsoil, to allow access to lower strata and potential areas of archaeological interest.

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As it has becomne more established, LK Construction has expanded its offer to supply additional equipment to these sites, with a growing fleet of 40 welfare units and tool stores, that can be supplied alongside the machinery.

The company is also expanding into other sectors, establishing a bulk earthmoving, site clearance and demolition division, called LK Contracting. The HD Hyundai machines will work across both companies and the latest HX330AL excavator has been supplied Trimble-ready and with four-way hydraulic piping for a range of attachments with contracting in mind.

While growth has been rapid, Mr White has not simply been purchasing new machinery. The company spent much of 2023 putting a host of systems in place in the office, to support its expansion on site.

“We have had very rapid growth over our six years in business,” said Mr White.

With a number of major orders in the pipeline, the company is looking forward to another year of growth, as its reputation continues to build in the specialist contracting business. That will no doubt require additional machinery, along with further service support from local dealer Willowbrook.

“We will almost certainly be buying a couple more HX220AL excavators this year,” said Mr White.

MPU
MPU

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