Packington Estate has invested in more Bell Equipment UK models – the latest a L1706 wheeled loader
The Packington Estate, a thriving West Midlands, England mixed-use enterprise combining farming, forestry, residential and commercial divisions, has extended its Bell
Equipment UK fleet from four to five vehicles with the purchase of a new L1706 wheeled loader.
The Estate, which extends to nearly 5000 acres across Birmingham and Coventry, began its relationship with Bell Equipment in 2012 when it was granted permission to develop ‘The Stonebridge Quarry’ within a mineral-rich area of the estate.
Quarry manager Lindsay Smith joined the team in early 2013, to oversee the setup and operation of the project, which was designed to reveal a quarry of two distinct layered tiers; a top layer of ‘dry screened’ sand to be utilised as mortar sand, and a mixed bottom layer of both sand and gravel, which once processed, could be used within concrete mixes.
Successfully converting the land from farmland to a working quarry required the acquisition of new equipment, together with creating the necessary earthworks and engineering to establish the site. Sourcing the most capable and appropriate machines for the job was assigned to Smith and his team.
He explains: “In order to effectively create the quarry, and begin excavating from within it, we needed two different designs of machine; wheeled loaders and articulated dump trucks.
“I was already familiar with the Bell Equipment range of Loaders and ADTs, and knew the size and types of machine the company manufactured would be correct for our purpose in the quarry. More importantly, I had worked with the excellent team at Bell previously, and knew they had the experience and competence I was looking for from a supplier. I trusted Bell and wanted to work with them.”
Smith explains that he chose to secure two new B25D trucks at the outset of the project back in early 2013. The machines became ‘excavation enablers’, and were used to dig out the lagoons as part of the initial site setup.
“These models were the ideal work horses for this extensive task,” Smith continues. “Their impressively low fuel consumption has been a stand-out feature over the years, and I’m happy to confirm that regarding the vehicles, I’ve received the level of service, maintenance and support I was hoping for from Bell; which was one of my main objectives in choosing them.”
Over three years later the ADTs are still being used daily, hauling raw material from excavation to processing plant, and performing earthwork and restoration procedures on-site.
The machines still work alongside the two L2106 wheeled loaders which Smith bought for the quarry’s fleet at the end of 2013; a decision made after Bell offered him a trial of a L2106. He says how pleased his operatives were with the machine at the time, favouring it over competitor models, as they “felt the Bell Loader’s engine power made it easier to operate.”
The ‘power’ his team referred to is driven by a John Deere POWERTECH Plus 6090H engine, certified to EPA Tier 2 EU Stage II non-road emission standards, and capable of a 197kW peak power.
Impressed with the loader’s abilities, Smith secured the two models for the quarry’s fleet as soon as the facility’s wash plant was installed. Both L2106s have performed successfully ever since, with one used to load material into lorries for ongoing sales, and the another to fill the wash plant feed hopper.
Recently however, call for materials has steadily increased, leading Smith to make a further investment with Bell, and bring a new L1706 on board to help meet growing demand.
“We’re delighted with our newly acquired L1706, and are setting it to task, feeding material into the quarry’s dry sand screen.
“The machine’s performance has been superb to-date. We’ve had no major issues, and any minor problems have been quickly resolved. Bell’s service team has kept all our machines in good working order, and has made itself readily available to us; providing support and information whenever it's needed.
“I’d certainly buy from Bell again because in my experience, when it comes to choosing a plant machine, there is often little between brands. However, for me, it’s the people you deal with that make the difference, and with Bell, I get what I’m looking for from a supplier, each and every time.”