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01 May 2017

Going underground at Perryfield

First published27/04/2017
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Volvo L220H
A new Volvo L220H loading shovel has been ordered and delivered to Portland Stone Firms Ltd
A new Volvo L220H wheeled loader has been ordered and delivered to Portland Stone Firms Ltd to spearhead the company’s relatively new mining operations at Perryfield Quarry on the Isle of Portland, in Dorset, South West England.


The new 32tonne loading shovel was chosen by Portland Stone Firms following a competitive tender process, according to quarry manager Andrew Jackson. “We started our mining operation here at Perryfield Quarry back in March and required a suitably sized loading shovel to extract and handle dimensional stone from the underground faces of the mine,” he says. “We found the team from Volvo to be very proactive in working with us to agree on the specification of the L220H and checking all the details were correct to ensure the machine would do ‘what it says on the tin’. The overall package was very competitive too, so all in all this prompted us to choose Volvo once again.”

The Perryfield site has a long experience in operating Volvo loading shovels having previously run the larger 50tonne L330E from the end of 2002 when the stone was being extracted in the quarry, and even before that in 1996, when an L180C was delivered and ran for 18 years. “Back then the quarry was operated by the Hanson Bath and Portland Stone Company and the L180 was an excellent machine, clocking up an impressive 31000 hours with only a transmission change in all that time,” says Andrew. “So if our new L220H can perform in a similar manner we’ll be extremely satisfied.”

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Volvo L220H 2
The new 32 tonne Volvo L220H wheeled loader was said to be chosen by Portland Stone Firms following a competitive tender process

The L220H has been supplied complete with hydraulic attachment bracket, a 4.7m³ general purpose bucket and 1500mm heavy duty block forks capable of handling blocks weighing up to 24 tonnes. To facilitate this the machine has been equipped with an additional block handling counterweight, XLDD2A L5 wheel and tyre assemblies, a fire suppression system, an RDS Loadmaster weighing system, Sensor vision, a Brigade white noise reversing alarm, flashing blue rear lights and a full lighting package. This enables the machine to be used primarily for extracting stone blocks from situ, then carry them to the mine entrance where they are sorted and cut to customer requirements. The L220H is also used to carry the sawn material up to a marshalling area at the top of the quarry where it is loaded onto trailers destined for either customers directly or to Portland Stone Firm’s cutting shops. To aid this activity, the machine benefits from Volvo’s ride control or boom suspension system. Additionally, the machine is used to clear waste material from the mining process which is disposed of in the old quarry workings at the Perryfield site.

Generating 274kW in a relatively low rpm range, the 13 litre Tier IV final Volvo engine coupled to Volvo designed and manufactured powertrain components are the significant features found on the L220H. These coupled to other fuel saving devices such as optishift with torque converter lock up, the reverse by braking feature, and the Volvo Eco pedal encouraging the operator to run the machine at its optimum rpm in the engine’s torque curve make this a highly efficient and productive loading shovel in its size class.

Portland Stone Firms Ltd has been involved in the extraction of Portland stone for over 100 years operating from a 680 acre estate, quarrying oolitic limestone reputed to be 145 million years old from the Whitbed and Roach seams found exclusively on the Isle of Portland. In March this year, the company switched its extraction operations from quarrying to mining at the Perryfield site, where the already exposed face has allowed the company to mine directly into the beds yielding the famous stone, and giving access to over 680,000m³ of reserves. The change to the mining process has made an immediate and positive impact on the local environment as well. The extracted material is highly desired for prestigious buildings and features in many famous edifices - for example in London where Portland Stone is once again be used in the new Chelsea Barracks development project. 

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