heavy LIFT­ING

Com­fort and a com­pet­i­tive price were de­cid­ing fac­tors when Vic­tor Har­bor Quar­ries switched to a Hyundai HL760-9 wheel loader from Porter Group.

Earthmovers & Excavators - - Press Extra -

When pur­chas­ing the prime piece of equip­ment for your busi­ness, you want to make sure you get it right.

This is why Jarred Thorpe, the man­ager of Vic­tor Har­bor Quar­ries in South Aus­tralia, was so im­pressed with the ser­vice pro­vided by Porter Group when up­dat­ing the com­pany’s wheel loader.

“We were lean­ing to­wards buy­ing an­other brand, which we’d had be­fore,” Jarred ex­plains, “un­til Tim [Shar­rad, ter­ri­tory man­ager at Porter Group in SA] came down and ran us through the Hyundai HL760-9 and was will­ing to let us trial a used one for two weeks to see what it was like.”

This shows the lengths that the New Zealand-founded Porter Group is will­ing to go to ac­com­mo­date each of its clients’ di­verse needs.

Porter is a sup­plier of world-lead­ing brands, like Hyundai and Fu­rukawa, through sales and rentals, as well as of­fer­ing ser­vic­ing, parts and ma­chine fi­nanc­ing. Es­tab­lished in 1945, the com­pany now owns 50 re­tail lo­ca­tions across Oz, New Zealand and the US.

In the end, Jarred Thorpe was so happy with the loader that the busi­ness crunched the num­bers and ended up pur­chas­ing a new one.

Other fac­tors also came into play when the quarry was toss­ing up be­tween the Hyundai and a com­peti­tor’s brand.

“The other op­er­a­tors and I found that loader was quite com­fort­able to sit in. Be­cause you’re in it for eight-and-a-half hours a day com­fort is key,” he says, adding: “The inside of the cab is very mod­ern and very er­gonomic.”

The loader’s other cushy fea­tures – in­clud­ing an ad­vanced colour LCDdis­play and au­dio sys­tem, full au­to­matic tem­per­a­ture con­trol and a spa­cious cabin with in­creased vis­i­bil­ity – make for a good day at ‘the of­fice’, also tak­ing into ac­count the quarry’s pic­turesque set­ting.

Earth­movers & Ex­ca­va­tors’ one-hour drive up from Ade­laide to the coastal lo­cale – co­in­ci­den­tally set on Porters Hill – meant pass­ing rolling hills and cat­tle-dot­ted farm­land. From the quarry it­self you can see a glimpse of azure sea, the pop­u­lar Gran­ite Is­land (known for its fairy pen­guins) and the lush In­man Val­ley.

You’d never know the site was tucked away here, de­spite ex­plo­sives be­ing used to

Be­cause you’re in it for eigh­tand-a-half hours a day com­fort is key

blast ma­te­rial from the quarry faces and big trucks con­stantly com­ing and go­ing.

(Check out the video at www. vic­torhar­borquar­ries.com.au to see an awe-in­spir­ing ex­plo­sion in ac­tion.)

The site cov­ers about 40ha, of which about 10ha is de­voted to ex­trac­tion.

The quarry’s been in op­er­a­tion since the early 1900s – first worked by the lo­cal coun­cil be­fore other cor­po­rate com­pa­nies leased the site, with the Thorpe fam­ily pur­chas­ing its rights in De­cem­ber 2015.

Jarred’s fa­ther, Jeff, is the quarry’s di­rec­tor, as well as be­ing at the helm of an­other fam­ily busi­ness, Kan­gar­illa Earth­movers, op­er­ated with his other son, Mar­cus.

As of­ten tends to hap­pens with fam­ily busi­nesses, the two com­pa­nies “leak into each other”, with the earth­mov­ing busi­ness reg­u­larly con­tracted by the quarry.

The quarry it­self has a staff of seven, a fleet of five mo­bile plant ma­chines, and op­er­ates from 7am to 4pm week­days.

When we visit the site, the wheel loader is be­ing used to help in the job of mix­ing rub­ble and wet­ting the prod­uct so it holds to­gether – a client re­quest.

“The loader’s main job is to move stuff around and load out trucks,” Jarred

ex­plains. This in­cludes be­ing driven down into the deep pit, where some of the rock is stored when they’ve run out of room up top.

Of the post-ex­trac­tion process, Jarred says: “The rock goes through the [1970s-built] crush­ing plant, which breaks it down into sizes, then it gets stock­piled into cat­e­gories – for road bases and screen­ings, in dif­fer­ent sizes – then it’s loaded onto the truck to go off site.”

Along with the Hyundai HL760-9 wheel loader’s other cost-sav­ing fea­tures, such as a hy­draulic-driven cool­ing fan to re­duce fuel con­sump­tion and a re­mote man­age­ment sys­tem to track ma­chine per­for­mance, there’s one that got it over the line, ac­cord­ing to Jarred.

“One of the big fea­tures with it is it’s got an in­te­grated scale sys­tem to weigh your loads, whereas a lot of other ma­chines have an after-mar­ket prod­uct which they’ve got to put on af­ter­wards,” he says. “So this also saves you about $10,000.”

The rock at Vic­tor Har­bor Quar­ries is gen­er­ally com­prised of dark grey, fine- to medium-grained schists to greywackes with quartz vein­ing quite com­mon through­out. This va­ri­ety of prod­uct led to the busi­ness also seek­ing an add-on for the loader.

“We got a larger coun­ter­weight than the stan­dard one – about two tonnes – on the back,” Jarred says.

“There’s dif­fer­ent rock in dif­fer­ent places. We have a large den­sity rock, and the denser the rock is, the more it weighs per bucket, so the ex­tra coun­ter­weight adds sta­bil­ity to the ma­chine.”

Much of the quarry’s prod­uct is used lo­cally, with re­cent clients in­clud­ing the new Aldi su­per­mar­ket at Vic­tor Har­bor, and the Alexan­d­rina Coun­cil for ero­sion con­trol at the pop­u­lar tourist des­ti­na­tion of Hind­marsh Is­land — help­ing to “re­tain all the sand be­hind the rock” which sea­wa­ter would or­di­nar­ily wash away.

No doubt the quarry’s new Hyundai HL760-9 will keep up its near-non­stop ac­tiv­ity, aid­ing more projects in pretty set­tings, well into the fu­ture.

And Vic­tor Har­bor Quar­ries’ bud­ding re­la­tion­ship with Porter Group will only con­tinue to flour­ish.

One of the big fea­tures is it’s got an in­te­grated scale sys­tem to weigh your loads

Far left: The Vic­tor Har­bor Quar­ries site cov­ers about 40ha, of which about 10ha is de­voted to ex­trac­tion

Left: The loader’s main job is to “move stuff around and load out trucks”

Far Left: Quarry man­ager Jarred Thorpe Left: Vic­tor Har­bor Quar­ries’ new Hyundai HL760-9 wheel loader

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