AS Silikaat produces construction blocks, bricks, dry mixtures, and dry sand and is the only Estonian company producing silicate bricks and blocks. In addition to its long history of producing smooth silicate bricks and mixtures for wall-making, the firm also makes hand-made rough and split bricks and construction blocks. Its construction materials production and natural sand extraction take place at the company’s nationally important 356-hectare Saku-Männiku sand quarry.
The AS Silikaat-Volvo CE partnership started in 2005 thanks to the latter’s Swecon dealership, which sold AS Silikaat its first Volvo E-series wheeled loader. The company’s chief mechanic, Hardi Heinmann, reflects that Volvo loaders have always been there over the last ten years he has worked for the company.
Emphasising one simple reason for preferring Volvo construction machines, he says: “They are the only machines that are able to handle our everyday working conditions. We have also tried other machinery, but Volvo has no competitors on our sand.”
While the first machine used by AS Silikaat was from the E-series, the company’s owners have since kept up with the progress made by Volvo wheeled loaders. The firm’s L90E, L110F, and L220G models have been recently joined by two L220H H-Series machines. Volvo’s new H-Series wheeled loader range brings with it many significant improvements, particularly in the technical specifications of the machines. All AS Silikaat’s Volvo wheeled loaders have extra-wide tyres and many additional extras that Volvo product range offers.
Hard-working machines always need good service support and a sustainable maintenance schedule. Today, the Swecon maintenance team has 20 technicians who care for their customers’ machines every day.
“For achieving our business goals, it is important that the partners we choose to work with react fast, have sufficient stock of spare parts at the local warehouse and offer the best service as flexibly as possible. Communication and cooperation go hand in hand here. With Swecon, we feel that we are a priority for them, and this is why we remain loyal to them,” says Heinmann.
AS Silikaat’s vision is to value the living of life and the quality of working. The quality policy of the company is a testament to the professional skills of its workers as well as its insistence on using only the most trustworthy subcontractors they can rely on.
As well as being a reliable solution, Volvo wheeled loaders also support the ergonomic needs of their operators. The spacious cabs with ROPS/FOPS (rollover protection structure; falling object protective structures) certificates offer a convenient working environment, featuring ergonomically placed controls and a comfortable seat with a three-point seat belt and seat belt warning. It is easier to stay comfortable and attentive due to the low internal noise level and additional vibration protection.
Because of the demands of AS Silikaat’s job sites, operator comfort, hard-working machines and a reliable and efficient maintenance schedule will remain top of its machine purchasing priority list. As such, the company’s relationship with Volvo CE is set to continue for many years to come.
While AS Silikaat’s Pihlaka, Tika, and Piirsalu sand quarries are not currently active, they will soon start supplying materials to contractors working on the Estonian section of Rail Baltica - an ongoing 870km-long greenfield railway infrastructure megaproject linking Finland (via ferry or an undersea tunnel), Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania, with Poland, and, through this, with the European standard gauge rail line network. The €5.8bn works are due for completion in 2026.
Given AS Silikaat’s involvement in Rail Baltica and its already healthy order book, the firm’s current fleet of Volvo wheeled loaders are in for an extremely busy time.