Volvo heavyweights land at C A Blackwell
First publishedin Aggregates Business Europe
C A Blackwell's EC700C provides material for the 36 kilometres of road at the Carraig Gheal wind farm project east of
County Essex, southern England-based CA Blackwell has taken delivery of two new Volvo EC700C excavators for prestigious contracts awarded in the north of Scotland.
The two 70tonne excavators represent a replacement of an EC700B bought in 2007 and an additional unit to the Blackwell fleet. The original machine clocked up nearly 7,000 hours.
The two new EC700Cs are being deployed as prime movers on the Scottish contracts. One is contracted to Graham Construction on a 250,000m³ excavation for Client Dounreay Site Restoration.
Blackwell is contracted to Graham to undertake the drilling, blasting and excavation of approximately 200,000m³ of Caithness rock to form two 15m deep vaults with associated ramps to allow for the construction of the concrete chambers which will become storage facilities for low-level nuclear waste.
The excavated rock is used to create a geosphere enhancement feature adjacent to the sea cliffs. Further Blackwell works include installation of underground drainage, construction of the associated access roads and bolting and netting to the exposed rock faces.
The second unit is in charge of prime excavations at the Carraig Gheal wind farm project east of Oban. Under this ‘balance of plant contract’ twenty 2.5 megawatt wind turbines are to be erected for client/developer Green Power, and C A Blackwell’s task is to install 36km of access road, excavating huge expanses of peat and bog, quarrying rock and processing it from several borrow pits en-route and laying the road to precise tolerances.
The EC700C is charged with loading Blackwell’s fleet of trucks with blasted rock initially for the road construction. Later it will be deployed excavating for the mass concrete bases for the turbine masts for which Blackwell will be using its site batching plant and off road truck/mixer units
“Both machines are working in extremely remote locations and this is another reason why we opted for the EC700C from Volvo,” commented Blackwell’s resource manager Rob King. “Volvo’s support centre at Stirling is only two to three of hours away from either site.”
At the heart of the EC700C a 16litre Stage III V-ACT engine operating in conjunction with an advanced mode control system ensuring the maximum possible hydraulic power available is delivered at a constant engine speed under varying load conditions.
A maximum torque of 2250Nm is achieved at just 1,350rpm and this in conjunction with the machine’s advanced hydraulic system ensures maximum fuel efficiency is achieved through every work cycle, says Volvo.
Equipped in mass excavation configuration, the EC700C offers a maximum reach of 11.2m, a digging depth of 7.25m and a lifting capacity across carriage at full reach of 12.4tonnes.
The specification of the new Volvo excavators delivered to Blackwell has further been enhanced with the addition of Groeneveld automatic greasing systems and the ‘CareTrack Advanced’ telemetric monitoring system which is standard on all Volvo GPE products. It provides operational data remotely via the internet, including fuel consumption and idle time, all helping to reduce cost of ownership and maximise utilisation.
Both contracts the two new EC700Cs are working on are scheduled for conclusion later in 2012.
“With the planned work ahead of us, purchasing these two prime movers was absolutely the right decision for us,” said Steve Clarke. “The EC700C is an ideal tool in both muck-shifting and quarrying scenarios and is well matched, in our opinion, to both 40tonne articulated haulers and 65tonne rigid haulers. In addition having this size of machine for prime excavation work helps our affiliate company Masterton Demolition based in Grangemouth, Scotland, whereby we can supplement each other with plant should it be needed.”