It has been dubbed ‘The Smurf’ – a big blue Komatsu excavator painted to support a worthy cause – Beyond Blue.
Every hour the Townsville-based machine works, owner RMS Engineering and Construction is donating $2 to Beyond Blue. Over a full year, that should amount to more than $6,000. “Beyond the money, the feeling of goodwill it provides to our own staff is substantial, and the visibility of Beyond Blue just might help the community,” RMS operations manager (Australia) Glen Langfeldt said. The machine chosen to become the company’s Beyond Blue ‘ambassador’ is a Komatsu PC88MR-8 with 4,500 hours and its latest assignment is a highly visible job on the Bruce Highway at Bluewater, north of Townsville. Beyond Blue is a non-profit organisation addressing issues associated with depression, suicide, anxiety and other related mental disorders. “Often construction guys work away from home for long periods and its understandable they get a bit down in the dumps,” Mr Langfeldt said. “We thought we’d do something positive to show our support.” RMS operates a fleet of six Komatsu excavators from offices in Townsville and Rockhampton on projects as far flung as East Timor and Vanuatu. “Recently we brought back three excavators from a Vanuatu project and when it came to freshening them up for work in Far North Queensland, we thought why not take the opportunity to make one of them very special,” Mr Langfeldt said. RMS has created a link on its website rmscivil.net.au so that people influenced by the excavator can make contact with Beyond Blue.