First publishedin Aggregates Business Europe
The sand and gravel pit and concrete batching and distribution business of C&G Concrete as acquired by new owners Breedon Aggregates in July 2011
Having acquired the business, the need to improve the output from Norton Bottoms quarry, near Newark, County Nottinghamshire, central England, with a new long-reach prime mover was identified.
“The Norton Bottoms operation is a critical piece of the jigsaw in supplying the other newly-acquired batching plants and it became immediately clear that a larger capacity machine was required,” said operations manager Carl Ashurst. Breedon
Aggregates, the largest independent aggregates company in the UK, employs over 800 people in central England, East Anglia, eastern England and Scotland. It supplies a wide range of products and services to the construction and building sectors.
Breedon Aggregates opted for Volvo
’s flagship excavator, the EC700C as the prime mover.
Replacing a 1996 Akerman EC650, the new EC700C has been supplied with a bespoke 20m digging rig designed and manufactured by Messrs Kokurek of Ipswich, eastern England, complete with additional counterweight and a 1.6m³ digging bucket.
While the majority of sand and gravel extraction is above the water table, the bucket pins and bushes have been sealed with protective caps to prevent the ingress of dirt, water and sand.
Working on bench heights averaging between 7-9m, the EC700C still has plenty of reach and added capacity to keep the field hopper at maximum capacity, the quarry is aiming to increase annual production from around 300,000-400,000tonnes each year.
Health and Safety is of paramount importance to Breedon Aggregates and the EC700C has been supplied with robust safety rails around its superstructure and a bespoke hydraulically-retractable ladder has been installed for safe and easy access to the cab by the operator.
The ladder is retracted as soon as the hydraulic control lock out in the cab is activated yet the machine’s hydraulic system remains inactive until it is raised completely to the stowed position.
Both the internal and external noise levels are a distinct improvement compared to the outgoing machine and there is the expectation of much improved fuel consumption over the old 65tonne machine.
At the heart of the EC700C is a 16litre Tier III V-ACT engine, operating in conjunction with an advanced mode control system ensuring the maximum hydraulic horsepower available is delivered at a constant engine speed under varying load conditions.
A maximum torque of 2,250Nm is achieved at 1,350rpm and this, in conjunction with the machine’s advanced hydraulic system, ensures maximum fuel efficiency is achieved through every work cycle.
The EC700C supplied to Breedon Aggregates has also benefitted from the fitting of an automatic greasing system and the all up operating weight, including the digging rig and additional counterweight, is 77.5tonnes.