1 min read / January 29, 2020 / Staff Writer
Emerald Excavating Co. Inc. is a family affair. Inge Kellehe, president, and her husband Jim passed their love of the industry down to their sons, Operations Manager Sheamus and Business Manager Rory, who are also co-owners.
The company started out as a one-man operation, where Jim ran the backhoe. Today, Emerald Excavating has 50 employees and handles site development for large projects, including roads, infrastructure and grading, which require precise planning and execution.
“Rory and I are civil engineers, so we dove right into GPS technology,” shared Sheamus. When Komatsu introduced intelligent Machine Control (iMC) with integrated GPS technology and semi-automation, the Kelleher brothers quickly realized they needed it.
“We were using add-on systems on another brand,” said Sheamus. “We liked it, but our main wish was for a feature that would allow us to control depth. When we saw Komatsu’s intelligent Machine Control, we were blown away.”
Emerald Excavating now deploys a fleet of Komatsu equipment, including several iMC excavators and dozers.
“We literally run our entire business with the GPS,” said Rory. “The difference between Komatsu’s intelligent Machine Control and a third-party system is capability. On the dozers, the load-sensing capabilities allow our operators to cut and carry or cut and fill, using the system the whole time. The machine automatically loads the blade and grades. It’s so much more efficient.”
The brothers view the company’s use of iMC equipment as a clear advantage. “Using these excavators reduces the likelihood of over-digging and makes the job easier for operators,” Rory adds.
“There are a lot of places that have had GPS for a while, although they don’t use it to the degree we do,” said Sheamus. “The biggest advantage in adopting it right away is that we are ahead of the curve on the learning process. Now, when something new comes out, we can add it and see an immediate benefit.”