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First publishedin Aggregates Business Europe & International
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An EC210D excavator from Volvo Construction Equipment is playing a vital role in the normalisation of the Gendol River in Java, Indonesia

New infrastructure-hungry Indonesia is a key Asian market for wheeled loaders and excavators, while new excavator grade control and machine control systems for excavators are set to be in big demand. Guy Woodford reports.

An EC210D excavator from Volvo Construction Equipment is playing a vital role in the normalisation of the Gendol River in Java, Indonesia. The unit was chosen for its strength and resilience in working in the unforgiving and fast-changing site conditions.

The threat of flooding and landslides is an unfortunate reality for those living in and around the ancient, cultural Javanese city of Yogyakarta. In fact, until 30 January this year a state of emergency remained in place following the devastating flooding, winds and landslides that hit the area in November last year.

As part of the efforts to prevent future disasters, local Indonesian government agencies are working on a series of initiatives. One of them, the Gendol River Normalisation in Sleman, Yogyakarta, has a Volvo EC210D leading excavation works on the riverbed. This work, to remove sand and rocks from the waterway, is designed to help prevent it bursting its banks in future.

The EC210D belongs to CV WiroSobo Sejahtera, which is handling the earthmoving part of the project. Working up to 14 hours a day, the unit is shifting some 150m³ - 300m³ in hugely challenging conditions, as the company’s owner, Suroto, explains.

“Working in and around the river we needed a machine that can handle the difficult terrain,” he said. “To make things harder, conditions can change quickly so our equipment has to be tough enough to cope with variations in the speed of the river or tropical storms which appear at a moment’s notice. With the Volvo EC210D we have a machine that we know is safe and fuel efficient - we don’t have to worry about how it will cope with the local environment.”

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An SDLG L956F wheeled loader working at PT Varia Usaha Beton's worksite in Pasuruan, a city in East Java, Indonesia

The 20tonne-rated Volvo EC210D comes with a powerful Tier 3 Volvo engine that works together with the machine’s proven hydraulics to provide high torque at low rpm. This design gives the machine a perfect balance of performance and fuel efficiency.

Built with durable components, the EC210D is designed to secure lasting machine value and an excellent return on investment. It can be fitted with a selection of buckets and breakers that are said to work in harmony with the machine to ensure optimal performance and profitability in any application.

The EC210D belonging to CV WiroSobo Sejahtera was purchased through local Volvo CE dealer PT Indotruck Utama. The Gendol River Normalisation project is expected to complete within the next three years.

At the several batching plants and crushing plants concrete producer PT Varia Usaha Beton owns across East Java and Central Java in Indonesia, stockpiled rocks, stones, and aggregates must be transported to hoppers onsite for crushing daily.

The transportation of these materials is a relatively simple task, with no need for the features of premium machines. So, when the concrete producer was in the market recently for wheeled loaders to fulfil this role, it looked towards SDLG’s cost-effective and simple-to-operate machines.

“In concrete production, wheeled loaders carry out simple load-and-carry operations. We don’t need premium features which would cost us money we don’t need to spend,” said Didit, a production manager at one of PT Varia Usaha Beton’s crushing plants. “As such, SDLG wheeled loaders are perfect for us as they are not only fit for purpose but, with the cost savings they deliver, we were able to buy up to 10 units, which will help our batching plants and crushing plants keep pace with concrete production demands.”

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X-53x is said to be a new 3D machine control system from Topcon Positioning Group designed to offer a faster, modular and easily upgradeable aftermarket solution for excavation

The crushing plant where Didit is based is in Pasuruan, a city in East Java. An L956F, one of the 10 new SDLG wheeled loaders (comprising five L956F units and five LG936L units) bought by PT Varia Usaha Beton, is deployed onsite. Despite the lack of premium features, the machine, supplied by local dealer PT Indotruck Utama, has impressed — notably with its ability to navigate challenging terrain.

Making hundreds of trips daily between the stockpiled material and the hopper, the plant’s sprawling 10- to 20-hectare grounds with inclines of up to 15° have proven no obstacle to it.

“Without a powerful engine, going uphill with the loads that the L956F is expected to carry would be a challenge. But the L956F’s powerful Weichai Tier II engine has so far demonstrated that it is more than capable of handling the demands,” said Didit, who highlighted the machine’s comfortable cabin and responsive transmission as two of the operator’s favourite qualities.

The L956F features three-level damping, therefore minimising vibratory motion including mechanical oscillations and noise. Indoor noise is reduced to 80dB, and the cab offers a curved window with a wide field of vision. The L956F has an operating weight of 17.2tonnes, and a rated load of 5tonnes. Its maximum dumping height is 3,040 mm, and its dumping distance is 1,095 mm. It has a rated power of 162kW.

PT Varia Usaha Beton was established in 1988. It is a supplier of concrete and building materials in Java. In addition to ready-made concrete, the company also provides precast concrete, concrete masonry units, and crushed stone and sand.

In the UK, Hanson Aggregates has recently taken delivery of an L 586 XPower wheeled loader for its St George Quarry near Abergele, North Wales. The 33tonne Liebherr machine is equipped with Z-bar linkage on a high-lift arm arrangement, said to give an effective load over height of 4.5m. The wheeled loader also comes with a 6m³ straight-edged bucket with bolt-on replaceable cutting edge and an on-board weighing system.

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Hanson St George Quarry manager Lee Williams (left) and operator Edwin Roberts are highly satisfied with Hanson's new Liebherr L 586 XPower wheeled loader

Hanson St George Quarry manager, Lee Williams, and regular operator Edwin Roberts have been amazed at the new wheeled loader’s low fuel consumption. They suspected that the LiDAT monitoring system was faulty when it showed that the machine was only using 11.7litres of fuel/hour. “This is far better than we thought it would be and is far less than any of the previous machines we have used on site,” said Williams. “We have been very impressed with the reliability of the machine too.”

The L 586 XPower wheeled loader boasts cutting-edge engine and transmission technology in the form of a six-cylinder D936 engine and an XPower CVT transmission. This combination allowed Liebherr designers to keep the engine low and to the rear of the machine, replacing the large counterweight. This reduction in physical mass, and therefore weight, equates to a significant fuel saving. The Liebherr diesel engine delivers 263kW at a maximum of 1,800RPM. This low revving ability matched to the XPower driveline, which has impressed Roberts with its power and ease of control, gives the range its characteristic driving style. He said: “It took me a couple of weeks to settle into the Liebherr loader’s driving style. But now I’ve got used to it, I wouldn’t want to go back to anything else.”

Topcon Positioning Group says its new X-53x 3D machine control system is designed to offer a faster, modular and easily upgradeable aftermarket solution for excavation.

“It features fully integrated GR-i3 receivers for precise positioning of the boom, stick and bucket at all times, as well as the MC-X1 controller, which offers compatibility with all brands and models of excavators and provides a customisable machine control platform to address future project demands,” said Murray Lodge, senior vice president and general manager for the Topcon Construction Business Unit. “The X-53x maximises the output of your excavator up to 30% more than machines without a 3D system.”

The GR-i3 is designed as an integrated GNSS receiver and antenna all in one, providing powerful performance in harsh environmental conditions. The system is engineered to be easily upgradeable for future excavation demands as technology becomes available.

“As we continually focus on making our solutions even faster and more efficient, this system is built for easy transition to any developments down the road, while drastically improving productivity today. Customers operating the Topcon 2D X-52i system can easily upgrade to the X-53x by adding the GR-i3 receivers for a 3D solution. As future technologies become available, the X-53x system will offer the modular capabilities to facilitate quick and efficient adaptation,” said Lodge.

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