First publishedon www.AggBusiness.com
A Volvo L260H loading shovel at work at Ashcourt Group's Partridge Hall Quarry
The Hull, northern England-based Ashcourt Group has added more SMT GB-supplied Volvo machines to its aggregates, civils and recycling division fleets during 2018.
Featured at this year’s Hillhead exhibition near Buxton, central England, was a 34-tonne L260H loading shovel destined for Ashcourt Group’s Partridge Hall Quarry, near Pocklington, North Yorkshire. The machine, with its unique Union flag proudly displayed on the engine hood in reflective micro-prismatic vinyl panels, takes over as the quarry’s prime mover as production output is ramped up.
“Moving from the smaller L150H to the L260H brings many benefits to our production here at Partridge Hall,” explains quarry manager, Damian Towse. “With its 7m³ rehandling bucket, we can now load eight-wheeled tippers in just two passes and articulated trailers in three, which means the machine is able to dispatch vehicles far quicker and therefore free up more time for rehandling material around the quarry. We’ve also seen gains on the overall fuel consumption per tonne moved. Furthermore, we can now manage our activities in the quarry without the need for a dumptruck which, again, has provided us with a significant improvement on all round productivity and cost saving.”
The L260H features a 13-litre stage-IV final engine developing 420hp in a relatively low rpm range of between 1,100 and 1,200 rpm. The machine also benefits from Volvo designed and manufactured driveline components including Optishift with torque converter lock-up and reverse-by-braking feature – all designed to offer considerable fuel savings each shift. Fuel savings are further enhanced by the Volvo Eco-pedal encouraging the operator to run the machine at its optimum rpm in the engine’s torque curve.
Specifically for Ashcourt, the new L260H has been equipped with a large capacity 7m³ rehandling bucket with a straight edge enabling the machine to easily handle ten tonnes of crushed chalk every pass. The machine also benefits from an enhanced full turn tipping load of 24 tonnes, thanks to the addition of Goodyear 29.5R25 GP4D tyres and other features on the new L260H include CDC (Comfort Drive Control), Volvo’s optional ride control or boom suspension system, an automatic lubrication system and an RDS Alpha 100 weigh loader. Safety features including all round visibility aids such as sensor vision, blue strobes, white noise alarm and additional LED working lights that are also included in the machine’s specification.
Two new excavators have been added to Ashcourt’s fleet for its civils and bulk earthmoving division and come in the guise of a forty-tonne EC380E and the larger fifty-tonne EC480E in standard heavy-duty backacter configuration. Both machines are powered by a Volvo Stage-IV compliant 13-litre engine developing 311 and 385 net horsepower respectively, offering the latest in engine technology and operating sophistication. The Volvo Care Cab offers a large, roomy interior with plenty of legroom and foot space. The excellent all round visibility is enhanced by pressurized and filtered cab air supplied by a 14-vent, climate control system. An adjustable, easy-to-read LCD colour monitor provides real time information of the machine functions, important diagnostic information and a wide variety of work tool settings besides providing visibility to the operator from the rear and side-view cameras.
Since acquiring a large recycling facility located at Foster Street in Hull three years ago, Ashcourt Group has made significant investments at the premises including a new, state-of-the-art, concrete batching plant. This has allowed the company to greatly expand the area set aside for recycling a diverse range of materials including inert building waste, aggregates and waste wood which is processed and recycled for biomass. In order to process and re-handle this material through the plant, Ashcourt has added a Volvo EW240E MHE (materials handler) specifically rigged for the task in hand, with a hydraulically elevating operator’s compartment to aid the safe loading of high-sided bulkers. The new arrival joins an EC220E similarly rigged that was supplied two years ago.
Powered by a six-cylinder Volvo engine developing 171 nett hp, the EW240E has been supplied with a 6.5m straight boom and 4m sorting arm with a Kinshoffer selector grab for the business-end of the machine. Thus rigged, the EW240E material handler provides a maximum forward reach of 10 metres and a maximum height of 12 metres measured at the attachment pin. With an optimum 800L capacity grab the machine has a generous 3.7 tonnes lifting capacity at maximum reach across carriage with its outriggers down. To facilitate grab rotation, the machine is equipped with x3 hydraulics along with x1 hammer/shear hydraulics and hose rupture valves fitted as standard.
Uniquely, the EW240E supplied to Ashcourt is the first in the UK to feature CDC control (Comfort Drive Control) which has eliminated the need for a steering wheel (and thus the steering column). By taking this option, the operator’s forward field of vision is dramatically improved for loading material into high sided bulkers when the cab is elevated to its full height.
The Ashcourt Group has a range of operating divisions which include civil engineering, house building, purpose-built luxury student accommodation, aggregates and recycling, highway construction and maintenance and more recently, suppliers of bulk fuels, all of which is underpinned by a growing transport fleet that includes over 90 predominantly Volvo branded FH low loaders, bulkers, skip wagons, tankers, sweepers and Volvo FMX eight-wheeler tippers.
SMT GB markets Volvo Construction Equipment products which include wheeled loaders, articulated haulers, hydraulic excavators, Volvo utility equipment and Volvo road equipment products in Great Britain. There are eight strategically placed customer support centres, a dedicated National Used Equipment Centre and a network of utility equipment dealers to ensure high quality customer support is maintained throughout the country.