Eddie Wards Grader Service recruited to the North Burnett for major road reconstruction
Veteran Eddie Ward has been a grader operator most of his life. He started out at the age of 19 with Mundubbera Shire Council – now the North Burnett Regional Council. Since then, Eddie has gained over 43 years experience in the operator seat – most of them with John Deere motor graders.
During his time at Mundubbera Shire Council, Eddie operated several different models. He first worked in maintenance with a second-hand Galion 160 grader before progressing onto road construction with an L Series Galion in 1972. The first new grader Eddie operated was a DRMCO D562 in 1976.
The purchase of a Deere 770A three years later marked the start of Council’s relationship with John Deere. A series of graders followed including a 770A, a 770B, a dual horsepower 770BH and a 770CH, followed by an All Wheel Drive 772CH Series II in 2003.
Whilst still working at Council he bought an old Deere 777BH articulated grader off his mate Ross Upham in 2009. This led to Eddie starting his own business, Eddie Ward’s Grader Service, where he worked for Council five days a week and for himself on the weekends.
“I decided to trade the 770BH for a second-hand 772CH,” he said. “I left the Council in the Christmas of 2010 to go out on my own and work for RoadTek and Brosnan’s in Rockhampton.”
When Eddie won a contract with AbiGroup in December 2012, he sold his 772CH to Trevor Taylor Earthmoving in Gayndah, fulfilling a lifelong dream of buying a brand new grader – a John Deere 772G – proving the perfect complement to Eddie’s proficiency and precision as an experienced operator.
As part of a joint effort between the North Burnett Regional Council and AbiGroup, both man and machine are supporting the reconstruction of approximately 100km of state-controlled highways and roads across Queensland’s North Burnett region. Major road works include stabilisation, widening and resurfacing.
“The Deere graders are excellent – so easy and innovative,” said Eddie. “I would highly recommend them to anyone. Greasing time is reduced and joints are kept tight for longer and more productive operation – the articulation arms don’t require greasing.
“Service points, filters, gauges and reservoirs are located in one area for easy access and these new graders have tapered roller bearings in the articulation which are easily adjustable. The blade rail can also be quickly adjusted with only four grab screws and the rippers are far advanced compared to all other grader models I have operated.
“Rob Curtis and the parts team at Hitachi have been excellent,” commented Eddie. “Rob would be one of the most honest and genuine sales reps I have ever dealt with. I have known him for about 13 years and I wanted to deal with him personally when buying my new grader.”