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Excavators and wheeled loaders for quarry loading operations

First publishedin Aggregates Business Europe & International
2015 November December
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Hitachi ZX350LCH-3G excavator
A Hitachi ZX350LCH-3G excavator works at the Arigu Rock Quarry, near Tamale in northern Ghana
Excavators and wheeled loaders are the bread and butter of quarry loading operations, carrying out a variety of operations.

For example, two Hitachi ZX350LCH-3Gs, recently acquired by Logistics Support Services (LSS), operate at the Arigu Rock Quarry, near Tamale in northern Ghana, excavating granite materials for use in road construction and concrete works.

The quarry, with a lifespan of over 50 years, supplies aggregates to customers such as Brazilian companies Queiroz Galvão and Andrade Gutierrez, as well as local businesses.

After topsoil and clay has been cleared and the rock has been blasted, the ZX350LCH-3Gs (fitted with a hammer attachment and bucket) break down, sort and load the rocks, gravel and sand onto the site’s dump trucks.

The raw materials are deposited into the primary crusher to be processed into various sizes of aggregates: 0-0.5mm, 0.5-10mm, 14mm, 20mm and 25mm. In total, the quarry produces 500m³ of materials/day.

Meanwhile, Dutch company Heros Sluiskil, which processes 5,000tonnes of domestic and industrial waste each day as it arrives from a canal adjacent to the company’s site in Zeeland, is using three Hitachi ZW310 wheeled loaders and a ZX350LC-5 excavator running 16hours/day. Metals, including copper, aluminium and iron are recovered for reuse, and bottom ash is produced for road construction.

The Zaxis-5 medium excavator loosens the raw piles of metal while the three ZW wheeled loaders (including one -5 model) are vital for moving large volumes of materials around the site.
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Liebherr R 980 SME crawler excavator
The new Liebherr R 980 SME crawler excavator loads a dump truck to supply the crushing plant
“Operators were involved in the testing of the machines. We rented a -5 wheeled loader and their feedback made the decision to choose Hitachi easier. I collected data from the machine to present to the director and there was a positive response,” says Peter David, head of machines and planning at Heros Sluiskil.

At the Linhay Hill Quarry, Ashburton, County Devon, south-west England, E & JW Glendinning has taken delivery of the first Volvo L250H wheeled loader to be sold in Great Britain. The 35tonne loading shovel feeds the primary crusher at the quarry.

“The L220H we took delivery of at the end of last year has been doing a good job feeding the primary, but it is working hard all of the time which in the long term is not really viable,” says Richard Webb, operations manager.

“The L350F on the other hand is too big for this part of our operations so we took a detailed look at Volvo’s relatively new L250H model. With the larger 5.7m³ bucket, increased operating weight and horsepower we, together with the team at Volvo, made a conservative calculation that the machine will provide us with an additional 75,000tonnes/year, or around an extra 42tonnes per hour, using only one additional litre of fuel over the L220.”

The L250H features a 13litre Stage IV final engine along with Volvo-designed and manufactured driveline components, including OptiShift with torque converter lock-up and reverse by braking feature, are all designed to offer fuel savings each shift. Fuel savings are said to be further enhanced by the Volvo Eco pedal, encouraging the operator to run the machine at its optimum rpm in the engine’s torque curve.

The machine has an enhanced full turn tipping load of 23.5tonnes thanks to the addition of Goodyear L5 tyres fitted to the rear and L3 tyres complete with Pewag chains to the front.
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Volvo L250H wheeled loader
The first Volvo L250H wheeled loader to be sold in Great Britain
Volvo’s 50tonne flagship loader the L350F was delivered in July 2013 for face loading duties, and the L220H, delivered in December 2014, is deployed in the stockyard area.

Volvo Construction Equipment’s new H-series wheeled loaders sees the L250H being joined by the L150H, L180H, L180H HL (High-Lift) and L220H, which are also equipped with Volvo’s OptiShift technology, eliminating power losses in the torque converter and “reducing fuel consumption by up to 18%” while the company’s E-series crawler excavators incorporate a Tier 4 Final/Stage IV engine.

The new EC160E and EC180E excavators “are designed with a range of new features to ensure fuel efficiency is a priority in all applications.”

Ducon Concrete, based at Kanturk, County Cork, sees the first Doosan DL450-5 Stage IV compliant wheeled loader bought in the Republic of Ireland working at its Ballyhest limestone quarry near Castlecor, Mallow, where the machine, with a heaped bucket capacity of 4.5m³, is loading and stockpiling products from the quarry’s mobile crushing and screening system.

Output at Ballyhest is split between supplying the limestone aggregate for ready-mix concrete and concrete block production near Kanturk, and producing various grades and sizes of aggregate for road construction and for sale to external customers.  

The DL450-5 is powered by the Scania DC13 six-cylinder engine producing 257kW of power at 1,800rpm. 
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Doosan DL450-5 wheeled loader
Ducon Concrete's new Doosan DL450-5 wheeled loader
“Costs for running plant can get out of control fairly quickly so another factor for us was the excellent fuel consumption: just 15-16litres/hour,” says John Murphy, quarry/plant manager at the Ballyhest Quarry.

Also new from Hyundai Heavy Industries (HHI) are the HL955 and HL960 wheeled loaders, launched with an eye on the North American market.

Equipped with Tier-4 Final/EU Stage IV compliant Cummins engines, the loaders are said to offer up to 5% increase in productivity as well as up to 10% greater fuel-efficiency over their predecessors, the 9A series.

HHI expects the HL900 series wheeled loaders to build up a presence in global markets soon.

Indeed, an HL960 has already found favour with Hopkinson Waste Management, based in County Derbyshire, UK, which runs a 100% Hyundai fleet of ten machines, representing an investment of almost £1million (€1.4 million). The HL960 and a 22tonne R220LC-9A crawler excavator are recent additions.

The 18tonne 960 was the first in the planned HL series, and will include the HL970, HL975 and HL980. The HL960’s electrically-operated engine cover, which also features on the HL955, is said to be a big improvement on the HL 760-9A model.

Another first has also been notched up by Excel Excavations, which has taken delivery of the first Hyundai 30tonne HX300 L crawler excavator in the UK. The company carries out bulk excavations and supplies building aggregates, carries out ground remediation, demolition and site preparation. 
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Caterpillar 352F hydraulic excavator
The new Cat 352F hydraulic excavator has a maximum operating weight of 53,300kg
Fitted with the latest 180kW Cummins engine, which complies with the latest emissions standards Stage IV for the reduction of particles and NOX in exhaust gases, Hyundai report that compared to the 9A series of machines, the HX range boasts a 90% reduction in PM and NOX.

Among Caterpillar’s latest offerings are the new 352F and 340F hydraulic excavators, with the 352 having a variable-gauge undercarriage; maximum operating weight of 53,300kg, and Cat C13 ACERT engine that meets EU Stage IV emissions standards. It offers a net power rating of 317kW.

“The 352F features heavy-duty main structures for long-term durability, a spacious operator’s station, simple routine maintenance, and fuel-saving systems that reduce operating costs in a range of applications, including quarry, road building, and heavy earthmoving,” says Caterpillar.

Fuel-saving features include three power modes, high, standard, and economy that allow the operator to select an engine operating speed to match the application.

The Cat 340F has a maximum operating weight of 42,800kg and is powered by a Cat C9.3 ACERT engine, which meets EU Stage IV emissions standards and has a net power rating of 226kW, while fuel-saving features include two power modes, standard and economy.

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Hyundai HL960 wheeled loader
Hyundai Heavy Industries' new HL960 wheeled loader
Two new 100tonne Liebherr R 980 SME (Super Mass Excavation) crawler excavators are being deployed at Schwenk Zement’s limestone quarry at Heidenheim an der Brenz, southern Germany, for direct excavation. The company runs the quarry with adjoining cement works.

The excavators, manufactured in Colmar, France, are deployed with a wheeled loader directly at the quarry face where material is excavated using two of the three machines.

“We used to work with three wheeled loaders in production. With the two Liebherr crawler excavators, we have now found the ideal solution as we have a greater output and productivity and maintain flexibility thanks to the wheeled loader,” says Wolfgang Kuhnt, quarry manager.

The excavators achieve an average material handling performance of 350tonnes/hour to supply to the crushing plant, which is restricted to a capacity of 700tonnes/hour.

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