As Volvo celebrates production of its 75,000th hauler, old and new machines are busy moving tonnes of material in quarries. Patrick Smith reports – in our Sister title Aggregates Business
It was a toast with ice creams and then back to work for factory workers at Braås, Sweden, as Volvo celebrated the milestone production of its 75,000th hauler.The machine, a new generation A45G full suspension model destined for Norwegian customer Leonhard Nilsen & Sønner, rolled off the production line where Volvo’s first hauler, the DDR631 or Gravel Charlie, was made.
The company’s first 15tonne capacity machine built in 1966 can fit into the haul body of the A60H, Volvo’s flagship 55tonne articulated hauler.
The company says that more than half a century of experience is built into every Volvo machine, with a high-hitch offering better stability and ground clearance; hydro-mechanical steering offering high speed stability, and100% dog clutches and automatic switching between 6×4 and 6×6 drive powering through any conditions.
Volvo says that while it took a while for the world to fully appreciate the benefits of articulated haulers, the machines are now in demand as never before, finding work as production machines in quarries, mines and on all types of infrastructure projects.
This is driving the trend for larger machines, such as the newly-introduced 41tonne class size of the A45G.
“The fact that so many of our haulers are still working around the world is a testament to their usefulness and durability,” says Esbjörn Fritzell, vice president of Volvo Construction Equipment’s Trucks business platform.
Indeed, a package of 11 Volvo articulated haulers and a 75tonne EC750E mass excavator has re-established a long-standing relationship between Hall Construction Services of Rushyford, County Durham, north-east England and Volvo CE.
The EC750E and six A40G articulated haulers are working a five-year overburden removal project to expose seams of high purity gypsum in an open cast mine on the outskirts of Newark in county Nottinghamshire, central England, where up to 2.8Mm³ of material is expected to be excavated each year.
A further five, slightly larger capacity Volvo A45Gs are on order to supplement the fleet on site which currently totals some 28 items of mobile plant.
“We have had many years of experience operating Volvo products in applications ranging from bulk muck shifting to coal extraction particularly in the north-east of England and Scotland,” says Stephen Hall, managing director.
“They have a sound pedigree in terms of reliability and performance, with good residuals. Equally, Volvo has a strong support network throughout the country and this is important to us as we look to undertake nationwide projects such as this one in Newark. These factors together with a competitive package on offer were the deciding factors on opting for the latest Volvo products”.
The latest G-series haulers from Volvo meet the requirements of Stage IV final emissions legislation being powered by electronically-controlled, six-cylinder turbo-charged Volvo V-ACT diesel engines, which Volvo says feature high torque at low engine speeds, resulting in good fuel efficiency, high performance, quicker engine response and less wear.
Purpose-built by Volvo, the engine is designed to exactly match the Volvo drive train, ensuring the best use of power and torque, even in tough working conditions.
“Delivering exceptional fuel efficiency, it is matched to a torque converter with built-in lock-up function and fitted with a fully automatic fast adaptive transmission. The rest of the Volvo designed and built powertrain has been reinforced to cope with the higher torque output of the engine,” says Volvo.
“With carrying capacities of 39-41tonnes respectively, the A40G and A45G haulers can attain a maximum speed of 53km/hour for fast and productive cycle times. To maximise the volume capability of the trucks due to the friable nature of the overburden material on the Newark site, Hall Construction has added 300mm side extensions to the truck bodies, increasing the cubic metre capacity to handle five passes from a 5.7m³ bucket.
“The haulers are also fitted with CareTrack as standard which is Volvo’s telematics system that enables remote monitoring of a wide range of machine functions, for example location, fuel consumption and service reminders, thereby optimising customer operations.”
At its facility in Corfe Mullen, county Dorset, south-west England, family-owned MB Wilkes is using two 28tonne capacity Terex Trucks’ articulated haulers to move material around.
With more than half a century in the industry, the business is now a leading supplier of aggregates and building materials throughout Dorset and the surrounding counties from the Corfe Mullen head office.
MB Wilkes manufactures and distributes a wide range of topsoil, sand, gravel, and decorative stone, and operates a facility for recycling waste aggregates such as brick rubble, concrete, and soil.
It owns an extensive fleet of machinery to service the needs of the site and its equipment includes articulated haulers, tippers, grab trucks, loading shovels, dozers, and excavators.
As a longstanding Terex Trucks’ customer, MB Wilkes bought its first articulated dump truck in 1999 after the TA30 impressed. The company then looked to Terex Trucks again in 2008 when it made the decision to add a machine to its fleet to increase productivity and opted for another TA30, which was supplied by TDL Equipment.
“Customer satisfaction is at the top of our list and we’re proud of the material we produce at Henbury Quarry,” says David Wilkes, director at MB Wilkes.
The company is renowned for its premium products, with its highest quality building sand Corfe 1 favoured by customers due to its versatility, being suitable for all applications.
The extraction process for Corfe 1 requires machinery at Henbury Quarry to descend close to 24m below the surface.
The geology of the quarry is made up of various layers of material with grey gravel at the very top, and this fades into ginger hogging, which then transitions to sand, sandstone and then a soft ginger sand. Finally, there is a vast amount of overburden and it is beneath this that bright yellow sand, known as Corfe 1, is found.
“We are using dozers, excavators, and Terex Trucks’ articulated haulers to remove the overburden and dig deeper to be able to get access to Corfe 1 sand, which we then sell on to the brick manufacturers,” says David Wilkes.
Designed to take on a variety of terrains and move the harshest materials, sand has shown itself to be the trucks’ biggest challenge at the Henbury Quarry, particularly when wet. The machines built in Motherwell, Scotland, have been working nine hours a day in all weather conditions, and are also used to dump material in the customer loading areas.
“In the past, we always had one dump truck on standby, but now we are working to capacity and so we use both most of the time. Following the installation of a new wash plant last year, the dump trucks are now moving material to and from the quarry as part of the production process,” says David Wilkes.
Designed with the driver in mind, the articulated haulers feature front suspension and a spacious ergonomic cabin offering maximum operator comfort.
“We’ve found that the tyres wear very well and our operators frequently comment on how smooth the drive is in the dump truck. One even said it was better than his road car,” adds David Wilkes.
Terex Trucks has also been showing off its Generation 10 TA400 articulated hauler at the recent Mining Indonesia trade show in Kemayoran, Jakarta.
Also built in Motherwell, the dump truck that achieves a payload of 38tonnes is powered by a six-cylinder Scania DC13 EU Stage IV-compliant engine that develops gross power of 331kW and a maximum torque of 2,255 Nm.
Terex Trucks says that the TA400 also has great traction and an effective power-to-weight ratio to ensure material is moved as quickly as possible in all conditions, “providing excellent productivity and low cost of operation.”
The machine features a spacious and ergonomic cabin, complete with a commanding view for maximum operator comfort.
Terex Trucks collaborated with its official partner in Indonesia, PT. Uniquip, during the four-day event, which is now in its 18th year and is renowned for attracting industry leaders as well as key players in the global mining industry.
“Mining Indonesia is the perfect occasion for Terex Trucks to exhibit the commitment that we have to creating high-quality products and achieving premium customer satisfaction,” says Clement Cheong, director of sales and marketing APAC at Terex Trucks.
“Alongside our national dealer, PT. Uniquip, we displayed the resources and expertise we have that make us a trusted partner in the industry. Terex Trucks has steadily been building its reputation in Indonesia over the years.”