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Cat Trucks Thrive

Among The Desert


Remote region specialist takes Cat to



lifetime living and working in some of Australia’s

harshest and most isolated regions has taught

Neil Dunn a simple, uncompromising principle

about endurance. The way he sees it, you either have what

it takes to survive and succeed in tough country, or you


He applies the same steadfast principle to machines

of every sort and since early 2013 Cat trucks have been

showing all the inherent strengths needed to endure a life

lived hard, midst the wild extremes of South Australia’s

Strzelecki Desert.

Neil is founder and managing director of Dunns

Earthmoving, a remarkably resourceful and self-reliant

company operating from a remote base roughly 100 km

west of Moomba in the rich oil and gas fields of the Cooper


Isolated but Big

The scale of the operation forged by Neil and wife Sue is as

surprising as it is isolated.

With two publicly-listed oil and gas companies as its

chief clients, Dunns Earthmoving has evolved dramatically

in little more than a decade. What started in 2003 as a sim-

ple two-man operation living rough in desert isolation with

a few pieces of second-hand earthmoving plant has grown

substantially. Today, it is a business employing more than

100 resilient and variously skilled people who maintain

and operate an immense equipment inventory of trucks,

service and support vehicles, and almost every form of

earthmoving plant, from bulldozers to scrapers, graders,

excavators and skid-steers.

Yet as Sue Dunn emphasises, it is an enterprise built

from the ground up by the resourcefulness and tenacious

work ethic of her husband, born and raised in drought-rid-

dled cattle country and ingrained with a natural affinity for

remote and arid regions.

Neil Dunn explain, siting the extremes of summer tem-

peratures regularly at 50 degrees Celsius and winter nights

that dip well below freezing plus the high costs of operat-

ing in severe isolation:

“This is not easy country. We specialise in remote

area earthmoving and road works, repairing

existing roads and making new ones.”

“With new roads, we’re basically just given

a GPS location after all the environmental studies

and cultural heritage sites have been identified,

and carve a track through virgin country.

“On top of that, we do the earthworks for

drill rigs, tank farms and basically anything else

that needs a machine or a truck to move dirt.

“It probably sounds simple enough but

there’s a lot to it. You need to know what you’re

doing. This country is very unforgiving.”

Page 20

Contractors World International Vol 6 No 1