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Liebherr R 970 SME crawler excavator a must for Recycling Lahnau

First publishedin Aggregates Business Europe
July August 2015
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Liebherr R970sme crawler excavator
Recycling Lahnau has been successfully deploying a Liebherr R 970 SME crawler excavator in a chalk pit in Dornap, near Wuppertal, Germany. More than 2,000 hours of on-site operation reflect the reliability and stability of the near-80tonne operating weight machine.

In April 2015, Liebherr supplied the company with another two 80 and 90tonne category crawler excavator models, which will be used in the same quarry.

The Liebherr R 970 SME crawler excavator was developed and manufactured in Colmar (France). Its diesel engine offers 330kW of power and complies with emissions standard Stage IIIB / Tier 4i.

The R 970 SME is used at Dornap chalk pit for loading and hammering and tearing-out tasks. In the chalk pit there is a so-called cleaning section with partially good limestone between the spoil and the limestone layer. This cleaning section is broken out and loaded using the R 970 SME. For hammering and tearing-out tasks, it is equipped with a hydraulic quick-changer and various protection and safety options. Furthermore, the crawler excavator is used to load detonated material.

For these arduous conditions, Recycling Lahnau relies on a reliable, tough and sturdy machine. Since the Liebherr R 970 SME was commissioned, it has completed up to 50 operating hours per week.

Ralph Lang, head of engineering and member of the firm’s management board, added: “The machine has minimum periods of inoperability and almost no unscheduled downtimes.”

Liebherr’s SME (Super Mass Excavation) crawler excavators are said to be particularly suitable for deployment in quarrying and extraction. These crawler excavators are equipped with a reinforced undercarriage featuring components from the next model up in the product range. As such, the R 970 SME is equipped with the undercarriage of the

R 976 model. Compared with the standard version, the ballast weight is also higher. This means that not only is the stability of the machine assured but buckets with a greater volume can be used.

The equipment has been adapted with larger cylinders and matching kinematics to allow for higher tear-out and break-out forces. Essentially, these measures enhance the performance and economy of the crawler excavators. The SME product range from Liebherr also includes the models R 950 SME, R 960 SME and R 980 SME.

In total, the fleet park at Recycling Lahnau comprises 77 large machines. Fifty-two machines are made by Liebherr, which include 18 wheeled loaders, 18 crawler excavators, nine crawler tractors and seven articulated dump trucks. “The quality and resilience of the Liebherr machines are spot on, and that is especially important to us,” says Lang. “We also only hear positive feedback from the drivers: good handling, good performance, plenty of space and comfort in the cab.”

The service provider for quarrying companies needs to be in a position in which it can react flexibly to the requirements of its customers. Sometimes there are occasions when it needs machines at short notice. Recycling Lahnau has relied on the Liebherr Rental Services organisation for 12 years so that it can react to the needs experienced on a daily basis. Lang emphasises: “We have competent consultants and use their experience when it comes down to the right choice of tool attachments, for example.” Moreover, Recycling Lahnau can bridge the period until a new machine is delivered with hire equipment from Liebherr at short notice.

With 52 machines in operation nationwide, service is a key factor. In most cases, a mechanic can be on-site the same day or the following day at the latest. “The availability and response time of the Liebherr service teams is superb,” stresses Lang.

The range of services offered by Recycling Lahnau covers quarrying, extraction and processing of natural stone, gravel, sand and clay. The company was founded in 1998 and has a direct interest in two basalt quarries and a clay and quartz sand pit. The company also operates its own earth deposit and construction waste dump plus three construction waste recycling plants in the region of central Hessen.

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