Rubble Master’s high performance crushing at 3,000m
First publishedin Aggregates Business Europe & International
The RM 80GO! crushing rock on the Fee glacier covered with moraine. Photo credit: Rubble Master
Crushing rock in the Swiss mountains some 3,000m up has proved an unusual challenge for a company using Rubble Master equipment.
A tracked mobile Rubble Master RM 80GO! was in action in the summer and winter sports region of Saas-Fee where any moraine on the glacier tongue of the Saas-Fee glacier could be a hazard for skiers.
These are two reasons that prompted Bergbahnen Saas-Fee, the operator of the ski region, which extends up to a height of 3,500m, to make a major investment in the preparation of the ski slopes.
Some 20,000m³ of rock had to be dealt with, eliminating the large blocks of rock, and the filling channels and recesses in the ice. In future winter seasons, work on preparing the slopes can begin earlier even if there is not much snow. The removal of protruding boulders also means that snow-making equipment is not required as often, which in turn saves costs.
The contract for the project was awarded to the local construction company Andenmatten Hoch und Tiefbau of Saas-Grund which has a proven track record for the crushing of rock: Andenmatten had an RM80 Series 1 in operation for four years before changing to a new, larger and higher-capacity RM100 GO! with screen and oversized material re-feeding belt in early 2014.
When it came to the job on the glacier, Andenmatten opted for the newly-commissioned RM 80GO! with additional diesel particle filter from the hire fleet of Rubble Master Schweiz. The crusher is used primarily for the very hard gneiss, and transforms materials into high-quality cubic aggregate at up to 160tonnes/hour.
“The largest boulders lying in the moraine were broken down to an edge length of 400-500mm using hydraulic hammers and fed into the hopper by a hydraulic excavator,” says Rubble Master.
Transporting the roughly 24tonnes (without screen and re-feeding belt) crusher to the job site on the glacier proved to be a challenge in itself.
As entrepreneur Egon Andenmatten explains at just under 3,000m: “The RM 80GO! demonstrated its flexibility and performance in the process: thanks to its engine power of 168kW it was able to handle the 12km long and up to 30% steep slope up to the job site on its own. It was only on the steepest final part that it needed some towing assistance from an excavator.”
Despite all the machines in use coming with the latest low-emission engines, diesel particle filters had to be fitted in addition for use in Switzerland.