Earthmovers, Industry Infrastructure, Operations and Maintenance, Plant and Equipment, Rail industry news (Australia, New Zealand), Track Construction

Liebherr: Fortmoy stays ahead of the game

liebherr fortmoy

In the space of less than 10 years, Sydney-based Fortmoy Excavations has made a name for itself as a major plant hire and excavation company. And the business is of the firm opinion that when it comes to excavating machines, Liebherr leads the way.


Fortmoy was established in 2014 by Shane Donoghue, named after his home town of Fortmoy in South Tipperary Ireland.

Having worked on his family’s 250-acre farm up until he left for Australia in 2011, Donahoe had a strong knowledge of agricultural machinery, but his interest in construction equipment only started after he got his first job with the Killard Group in Sydney as an operator.

His younger brother Henry – who was well-experienced in working on large construction projects – moved to Australia in 2013 and joined the business as a partner in 2015.

From a humble start, the Donoghues identified a gap in the market to provide equipment and experienced operators to Sydney businesses, with the company growing strongly over the past few years.

“Today we provide plant hire and excavation services to a wide range of civil construction industries, including rail,” Donoghue said.

“We are also part of the operation team when we run hi-rail equipment on various rail projects throughout Sydney metropolitan and other parts of NSW.”

Some of them include Sydney Trains, Sydney International Airport, the rail shutdowns throughout the Sydney metro area, and working with Laing O’Rourke.

Fortmoy bought its first Liebherr A 922 Rail excavator in May 2022, and it’s fair to say that the machine has impressed.

“Currently we have three A 922 Rails in operation. I believe the A 922 Rail is the best machine on track and it has the best lifting capacity,” Donoghue said.

“In the last few years, the railway activity across construction and maintenance has risen strongly and it will continue to grow in the next five to 10 years.

“With so many significant construction and maintenance projects, the industry has seen reforms regarding policies, procurement, compliance, and safety to drive innovation and ensure greater productivity and efficiency for the whole industry.

“Therefore, it is critical for Fortmoy to keep up and stay ahead of the game, which means we need the best possible team and equipment.  Liebherr machines meet and exceed these requirements.”

Donoghue valued the A 922’s more advanced features, acknowledging that the machine had been purposely built for the rail industry.

“To my knowledge, Liebherr is one of the first OEMs which produces purpose-built high rail excavators and as the result, Liebherr is far ahead of other competitors,” he said.

 “Thanks to all of that, Liebherr rail machines are ready to go to the track without any modification, like other OEMs tend to do, and are able to deliver the higher level of efficiency.”

 He said the A 922 Rail’s features included:

  • Faster and safer operations
  • Best lifting capacity in the class
  • Fuel efficiency
  • Strong stability on the track

“As a result, Fortmoy can optimise our operation, increase productivity and lower operation cost,” Donoghue said.

An important part of using the equipment is that operators love it.

“It is easy to operate and very comfortable to use, even in extreme weather,” Donoghue said.

Henry and I are very much hands on and have spent considerable time using the A 922 Rail in various applications and can attest to the comfort, visibility and performance of this machine.

“They also feel more stable and safe and it’s clear everything has been designed by Liebherr with the operator and safety in mind.”

Fortmoy expects to increase its Liebherr fleet in the future.

“As mentioned before , the rail industry keeps growing in the short to medium term and with the increase in new rail infrastructure a steady rise in maintenance will be required in the long run,” Donoghue said. “Fortmoy has a strong future as we see high growth in the business over the years.

“We continue to invest in Liebherr machines and will have a few more A 922 Rails coming in the next few months.”

THE A 922 RAIL

The development of the A 922 Rail was the result of decades of experience and striving to create products with the highest level of efficiency and performance.

The new generation continues the formula for success of its predecessor with new ideas and improvements.

With an operating weight of 20,400-23,400kg, the railroad excavator is designed for high performance and can be configured to meet country-specific emissions regulations.

Liebherr recognises that a sophisticated machine concept is essential to deliver optimal performance in payloads, stability and flexibility.

The new R 922 Rail delivers continued, familiar, intelligent superstructure design with a separate boom cylinder mounting and a solid rail chassis to ensure reliable stability and maximum load capacity for track operations.

In addition to standard ballasting, a revised heavy ballast weight with a reduced rear swivel radius of 2000 mm is now also available. The maximum payloads can also be increased by a Power Lift mode and an optional four-point support.

Underneath, there is a range of undercarriage versions with different gauges, rail wheels and suspension systems, enabling it to be used on tracks anywhere in the world.

Find out more at the Liebherr display at AusRAIL PLUS, stands 33-35. For more information, visit here.