First publishedin Aggregates Business Europe
I have always loved Eastern Mediterranean food, and you should never underestimate the restorative powers of lamb shish served up with mint yoghurt and pitta bread at the end of a long day visiting leading companies within Turkey’s buoyant marble quarrying sector.
In August I was travelling with representatives from U.S. global construction and quarrying OEM (original equipment manufacturer) Caterpillar, including sales executives from Cat’s Turkey dealer Borusan Cat, visiting two of the company’s key Turkish marble quarrying customers, both based within two hours by road from the city of Antalya, on Turkey’s south-west coast.
It was fascinating to hear bosses at Imsa Mermer and Bej Mermer speak of the huge demand for Turkish marble, particularly, in Bej Mermer’s case, from Chinese customers. As you will read in this issue’s Quarry Profile, Caterpillar loading and hauling models have played a key role at Bej Mermer’s Bej quarry since 1978, when the company purchased a Cat 955 track loader.
Fast-forward to August 2018 and I was enjoying standing in the quarry, high above the town of Eğirdir with its stunning lake vistas, to see Cat block handlers, excavators and articulated haulers working hard to move and help process up to 300tonne marble blocks diamond-wire machine-cut from the Bej quarry face. Inside, you can read in detail how Bej Mermer uses its Caterpillar machine fleet. The inside track on Imsa Mermer’s use of Caterpillar block handlers will feature in the November-December 2018 edition of Aggregates Business Europe.
Talking to the Cat Borusan team during our day together, I was also very interested to hear how Turkish quarrying and construction equipment customers are increasingly looking to rebuild their existing machine fleets, at around half the cost of purchasing new models. In addition to its well-established rebuild facility in Istanbul, Caterpillar recently opened a second rebuild site in Turkey’s capital city, Ankara. The OEM believes Ankara’s central location within Turkey made it the perfect location from which to extend its customer machine rebuild service, with the manufacturer having traditionally carried out 20-25 rebuilds/year, each taking up to three months to complete, at its Istanbul facility. I plan to visit the new Caterpillar rebuild centre in Ankara next year as part of our plans to write more regularly about the global quarrying and construction machine and plant rebuild market.
We always look to have a strong focus on crushing and screening plant in each issue of ABE, and this issue is no exception, with my four-page interview with Terex Corporation CEO and president John Garrison and Kieran Hegarty, president of Terex Materials Processing, a business line including the major quarrying sector brands Terex Finlay, Powerscreen, Terex Minerals Processing Systems (Terex MPS), EvoQuip and Terex Washing Systems.
Following the 2017 sale of its material handling & port solutions (MHPS) business, and the 2016 sale of its UK- and India-based compact construction firms, John and Kieran stress how what is now a leaner Terex Corporation is placing more emphasis on its Terex Materials Processing business. Both underline how the business is hungry to innovate and grasp technological advances to best meet its quarrying customers’ present and future needs. Such talk from Terex and, indeed, similar statements of intent from other major and ambitious medium and small OEMs in recent times, will be well received by efficiencies-minded aggregates quarry operators and contractors in Europe and beyond.