RELIABILITY OF 14-YEAR-OLD WA800-3 PROMPTS HANSON TO GO FOR ANOTHER ONE
The loaders are working at Hanson's Wollert Quarry, located about 30 km north of Melbourne.
Wollert is a basalt quarry with an annual throughput of 1.5-2 million tonnes a year, supplying concrete aggregate and crushed rock to Melbourne's northern metropolitan markets.
According to Grant Farquhar, Hanson's Operations Manager, Metro Quarries, the face loading operation at the quarry is carried on 16 hours a day, 6 days a week.
Equipment at the quarry, in addition to the new WA800-3, as well as its predecessor which is still being used when required as a relief loader includes two Komatsu WA500-6 sales loaders, a Komatsu HD785-7 dump truck, and two other trucks.
Grant said the performance of the older WA800 over the past 14 years was a key factor in the purchase of its replacement.
"Performance of the previous machine was a major factor, along with that of our other Komatsu equipment, which we've had success with," he said.
The new loader is a standard machine, kitted out with Hanson's standard quarry package requirements, including ROPS, fire suppression system, reverse camera, proximity alarms, emergency isolation and auto-greasing.
Since taking delivery of the new loader in July 2010, the Wollert Quarry team has noticed significant improvements in fuel consumption and operator comfort compared with the older one.
"Overall performance of the new loader is very good," said Grant.
"Obviously it's a lot more fuel-efficient than the previous WA800 and it's certainly handling the application it's been put into, that's for sure.
"In terms of fuel consumption, we certainly expected some improvements and it was pretty much in line with the modelling from Komatsu.
"And in terms of operator comfort and ease of operation, it's light years ahead of where they were with the previous machine," he said.