Lone Operator

24 April 2008

Most quarry operators looking to improve efficiency would opt for a larger machine but at Potgate Quarry near Ripon, UK, downsizing proved to be a better option.

Quarry operator Lightwater Group aims to extract around 2000 tonnes of magnesium limestone from the site each day. But the extensive fracturing and clay in existing reserves, meant that the company needed new equipment to make continued operation of the quarry financially viable.

The company opted for a customised Kleeman mobile crusher and screening plant to process the rock but also wanted to improve the efficiency of the loading process. The site’s existing 45 tonne excavator spent too much time idle, so Lightwater chose to downsize to a 35 tonne Case CX350 to improve efficiency.

The machine is fitted with a 1,22 m wide rock bucket with a 1,5 m3 capacity and Kevernaland master lip plate and penetration teeth to maximise wear life. “The CX350 makes more cycles per day but is never idle,” said Lightwater general manager Kevin Parker. “Choosing the right primary loader was critical to the success of this change as we have no other back up but the excavator has lived up to expectations and we have had no downtime since the machine was delivered.”

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