Hoddam Contracting, a family-run business headquartered in south Scotland, has served the concrete industry for over seven decades. Also known as Hoddam Quarry and Concrete Products, this longstanding supplier has cemented its position as a leading supplier of building materials in the region. Hoddam supplies a wide range of quarry materials, concrete products and services to the building, industrial, agricultural and domestic markets, including ready-mixed concrete.
With two sand and gravel quarries already in operation, they have just opened a hard rock quarry and are well-positioned for growth in the area. In addition, their concrete production and head office facilities are situated in Ecclefechan, further strengthening their presence in the south of Scotland.
As a longstanding customer, Hoddam had previously invested in three batching plants from County Armagh, Northern Ireland-based Rapid. However, the existing batching plant at its Dumfries site, responsible for producing ready-mixed concrete, had surpassed its two-decade service life and required a significant upgrade.
Rapid worked closely with Hoddam to develop a solution to optimise its concrete production process. Drawing inspiration from one of the company's existing batching plants located in Ecclefechan, Rapid proposed a similar design tailored to Hoddam's specific requirements.
The new plant has four 50-tonne aggregate hoppers, with an integral 800mm weighed belt conveyor, which discharges onto a batch conveyor. This conveyor feeds the 3 m3 output Rapid R300 pan mixer housed in a fully sheeted platform. The platform allows full maintenance and cleaning access to the mixer level and a small upper access area at the cement weigh hopper. A dust extraction system is fitted to the mixer to recycle dust for reuse in subsequent batches.
Readymix chutes are under the mixer doors to direct the material into the truck mixers. The chutes are lined with 6mm Hardox plate to offer long wear. Moreover, a movable chute extension has been incorporated, allowing for greater flexibility in directing the concrete to different levels, such as trailers, catering to the requirements of collect customers.
Cement is stored in a 100-tonne storage silo with screw conveyor, which conveys material from the silo to the weigh hopper. A 2-tonne cement/powder weigh hopper is included, mounted on loadcells with aeration pads and a vibrator to aid discharging. The plant also features a twin-compartment additive weigh system, which offers flexibility in additive batching.
The plant includes a Rapid Jetwash mixer washout system fitted with three spray heads to streamline mixer cleanout. The system operates at 2000 psi, offering high-pressure cleaning and maintenance of the mixer.
The plant is fitted with a Pneutrol Dynamix batching control system, which enables the operator to oversee the entire batching process and offers unlimited recipe storage, manual control via the PC and remote operation.
Commenting on the new plant's outputs, Laura Gilfillan, director of Hoddam Contracting, said: "The new batching plant works a lot faster and batches more than twice as much per hour." She continued, "We find the whole Rapid team a pleasure to deal with, at all stages of the process, from Victor in sales through to Keith in installation. The build quality and overall service and aftercare are very good. We can just pick up the phone and speak to someone, which is invaluable."