The 2021 Diesel Dirt & Turf Expo was an outstanding success, with more than 90,000 people visiting the Expo over its three days.
The new venue of the Sydney Dragway more than lived up to expectations, with easy navigation to find exhibitors and plenty of parking to accommodate the huge crowds.
Best stand awards
Once again, exhibitors excelled in presenting their products, with JCB taking out the award for the best large stand and Kerfab being awarded the best medium stand. The best small stand award went to International Greenkeepers Association and the award for the best booth went to Hydraulic Steels. Engcon was presented the award for the most innovative product.
About 70 representatives of local councils attended the STA (NSW) Sports Turf Association local government educational seminar on the Thursday before the expo opened.
Cutting the ribbon at the opening of Diesel Dirt & Turf 2021 were the Mayor of Blacktown, Councillor Tony Bleasdale, Chris Moroz of gold sponsor Komatsu, Graham Gardiner of gold media sponsor Earthmovers & Excavators and the Hon. Shane Mallard MLC, representing the New South Wales government.
Councillor Bleasdale welcomed Diesel Dirt & Turf to Blacktown and noted the huge growth in the economy of the city whose gross regional product is estimated at $21.98 billion, or 3.51% of NSW.
Komatsu NSW Sales Manager Chris Moroz said “We are delighted to be back at the Diesel Dirt & Turf Expo as gold sponsor to show our equipment for small to medium-sized businesses,. This is our 100th anniversary year and to celebrate, we are showing a big range of equipment and the latest evolution of our smart machines.”
Graham Gardiner, general manager of Are Media, industry division and gold media sponsor Earthmovers & Excavators said “We are pleased to be playing a major role in promoting the Expo. Earthmovers & Excavators magazine is proud to be associated with the National Diesel Dirt & Turf Expo which is without doubt the biggest of its type in Australia.
“After the disruptions of 2020 it is awesome to be back at a big event like this. It’s great to be amongst the industry and to see clients we haven’t met with for some time. Earthmovers & Excavators magazine is a big part of the industry that we want to support through our sponsorship”, Graham said.
Shane Mallard MLC recognised the role of the construction industry in the growth of the region and explained the NSW government was investing $107 billion in the region in the next four years, which would create 88,000 new jobs in the construction sector.
Great new venue
John Pesch, Managing Director of Norm Engineering said, “This Expo is unbelievable and the new site is amazing. This event brings the whole industry together. It’s great to see all the new attachment products and machines in one place, and it’s also great to hang out together and experience the wonderful camaraderie of this earthmoving industry.”
Stephen Holt, managing director of Hydraulic Steels agreed. “It’s great to be back. We’ve been coming to this Expo for the last five years. Many of our customers are also exhibitors and it is important for us to be here as our products are used in the equipment manufactured by our customers.” Stephen added, “the new Expo site is more user-friendly and bigger; easier to get around it’s great for our visitors. The Diesel Dirt & Turf Expo is unique because it attracts smaller contractors and therefore brings a lot more people”.
Craig Carmody, National development manager of transport at National Transport Insurance expressed similar enthusiasm for the Expo. “We are a major supporter of the truck, transport and construction industry. We have a number of our products and brands on display, including Yellow Cover and other products such as Truck Assist which is a roadside assistance program for the construction industry,” said Craig.
“The National Diesel Dirt & Turf Expo is a great place for the industry to engage with suppliers and customers”, said Ryan Hoban, marketing manager of Kerfab, a company that designs and manufactures attachments for small to large machines for the construction and agricultural equipment markets.
“It is a great way to see everybody in the industry. We took on sponsorship of the event this year and to show our support for the industry and the Expo’s unique ability to reach out customers.
Field Day atmosphere
Landscaper, Jason Hodges who is a household name from his 20 years in television was visiting Diesel Dirt & Turf and said that the Expo is more like a country field day, but conveniently located on the outskirts of Sydney.
“For those many contractors who may not wish to travel several hours to a country field day, Diesel Dirt & Turf Expo is a great opportunity because it’s right on their doorstep and it’s on at the weekend, which makes it easy for people to get here.
“Diesel Dirt & Turf is serious business, but at the same time it is a lot of fun! The Expo is entertaining for people who are in industry and also enables them to bring along their families. It is fascinating to see the huge variety of machinery on display. I enjoy visiting to see what is new because I have a little excavator and am interested in seeing what’s new, even in push mowers and whipper snippers.
“I am also always interested in seeing how I could do the job more easily to make sure my body is going to last longer,” Jason concluded.
Pickles Auctions is another long-term supporter and associate sponsor of Diesel Dirt & Turf. National industrial manager, Hugh Ranger said the event brings the industry together.
“There are not many trade fairs around the country where people who share a common interest can visit. It is evident from looking at the attendance at our auctions that there are people who are all working for the same goal. At every Diesel Dirt & Turf Expo we hold an auction where about 120 lots are put up for sale which usually generates around $2.5 million. We are big fans of the Expo and will continue to come back for many years,” said Hugh.
Recruitment services booming
Jason Sultana, director of Just Automotive Recruitment said, “We welcomed the opportunity for sponsorship this year because our recruitment service is a large part of the truck and equipment industry.
“The Expo is a good fit for our business as we are a local and overseas recruiter who helps local businesses find staff. We also have an overseas arm that helps bring skilled workers into Australia to fill market that is short on skills. We help employers find skilled people such as mechanics, fabricators, body builders and welders.
“The event is important for the industry because everyone can get together to see what is happening and look at the latest equipment and discuss matters of common importance. Looking around the Expo you can see who is offering similar products, or who is able to supply a specialised product or service which may be helpful.” Jason said.
So much enthusiasm
Jamie Gray of associate sponsor Earthmoving Equipment Magazine said “It is so awesome to be back at Diesel Dirt & Turf in 2021! It is good to see everyone being so positive and enthusiastic after what has been a difficult past twelve months. The Expo is great for the industry, not only in terms of people being able to meet each other but also to showcase the huge range of new products that are appearing in the market.
“There is no better way to get product and brand awareness out there in the market and is an ideal way for us to engage face-to-face with the decision-makers in our market.
“Diesel Dirt & Turf is probably the only time in Australia that can rival some of the large overseas equipment fairs that we are able to visit. To get everyone together in Australia from “the industry at one place is a fantastic achievement” said Jamie.
The Takeuchi excavator challenge has become a regular part of Diesel Dirt & Turf and lets top gun contractors show off their skills. This year’s daily winners were Matt Anderson, Ryan Rayner and Ryan Burgmann.
Some expo visitors wanted to bypass the traffic jams and come to the Expo any way they could, including some who flew in from the Central Coast by helicopter.
Matt Wynne who develops storage facilities was anxious to get to the Expo. The fastest way was to jump on a helicopter from Lake Macquarie. “We want to see what was the latest in plant and equipment and we just had a one day, so this was the quickest and easiest way to do it”, Matt said.
Record crowd at Sydney Dragway
Market Easthope, maintenance manager at the Sydney Dragway said, “this Expo is by far the biggest show I have ever seen held here, and certainly the biggest crowd we have ever seen.”
Speaking to several visitors to the Expo, typical of the responses came from Ben Green from Greenway Contracting who said “We like to come to Diesel Dirt & Turf Expo because it’s a day out with the kids. I operate a small civil construction business in Sydney and it is good to see new construction equipment on display at the one place.
Patrick Makerry, director of PJ’s Plumbing & Excavation, Sydney said “I like to see new equipment that is available in the industry so that I can keep my business up to date with the latest.
Shaun Sabri, Business Development Manager, Business & Equipment Finance of CreditOne Group spoke for their team and the many exhibitors when he said, “Thanks very much for an incredible Diesel Dirt & Turf 2021. We value our relationship with this great event and look forward to participating into the future.”
Contribution by sponsors
Expo Manager Marti Zivkovich said sponsors had a major impact on the Expo’s success and paid special tribute to gold sponsor Komatsu Australia, gold media sponsor Earthmovers & Excavators magazine and Deals on Wheels, major supporter/associate sponsor Pickles and associate sponsors Just Automotive Recruitment, Norm Engineering, Truck Assist, Yellow Cover, Hydraulic Steels, Kerfab, Earthmoving Equipment Magazine, constructionsales.com and Australian Earthmoving magazine.