Chepstow Plant International has signed a deal with SMT GB for the supply of 103 machines for its mineral, aggregates and earthmoving fleet. The deal sees Chepstow Plant International continuing to grow its fleet as it moves forward with sustainable, practical and safe machinery solutions for its customers throughout the UK.
The assortment of machines includes twenty excavators, ranging from the EC250E to the EC750E (25 – 75 tonnes), twenty four wheeled loaders from the L70H up to the 24 tonne, 5.6m³ capacity L260H and fifty eight articulated haulers, of which nearly half are comprised of the ever-popular A30G.
In addition, Chepstow Plant International is the first to take delivery of Volvo’s flagship wheeled loader, the 51 tonne L350H for a major contract in the north east of England.
“Opting for premium brand equipment helps us and our customers in many ways,” explains John Corcoran, Managing Director of Chepstow Plant International. “Primarily it benefits with safety, uptime, fuel efficiency, residual value and image, and I’m pleased to say that Volvo equipment now accounts for the majority of our fleet.”
“With significant continued growth and new business opportunities presenting themselves, it is vital that we can rely on performance and service back-up, along with advances in machine telemetry and operating data,” continues John. “To this end, we are at the vanguard, working proactively with SMT GB and Volvo Construction Equipment in helping to shape and influence enhanced safety in our equipment.”
For example, with the Volvo articulated haulers purchased last year and the fifty-eight being delivered in 2019, Chepstow Plant International has collaborated with SMT GB and Volvo CE in developing ‘Haul Assist’. Phase 1 of this development has concentrated on providing an efficient ‘on board’ weighing system whilst Phase 2, which is in the final stages of development, is the ‘Haul Assist Maps’ option allowing the machine operators and site manager to monitor on-site hauler traffic in real-time.
Following a comprehensive development partnership between SMT, Volvo and Chepstow Plant, Haul Assist now becomes an integral component within the quarrying contractor’s updated standard ADT specification. The new functionality from Haul Assist will be integrated into Chepstow Plant’s unique custom-built analytical platform, Titan. This complex AI system takes information from Volvo’s Caretrack system and delivers extensive data analysis, whilst simultaneously providing rationale to each situation to enhance operational performance. Ross Hayward explains, “Titan allows us, as a specialist contracting company, to fully realise and utilise the data that our fleet provides. With constant asset data uploads across our fleet, we can quickly identify health and safety or maintenance concerns, whilst also tracking operational performance close to real-time. Haul Assist, in particular, will provide data to a granular level unseen so far in the quarrying industry, allowing Chepstow Plant to explore in depth each load, the material type moved and where on the site it’s been deposited with the map and geofencing possibilities. In this sense, Haul Assist goes way beyond the traditional industry weigh-loader options from just providing us with the tonnes carried per truck. This in turn allows us to support and manage customer expectations, to further provide added value to our services.”
Chepstow Plant International is in the final stages of trialing the Haul Assist Maps option in a sand and gravel quarry just off the M25 in collaboration with Tarmac. “We are really excited about the amount of meaningful information this is going to provide both us and Tarmac as we trial the system in real time,” adds CPI’s Asset Manager Ross Hayward.
Andy Bate, area director – materials, London & South East at Tarmac added: “From the activity so far we are impressed with benefits that Haul Assist can deliver as part of our ongoing commitment to the highest standards of safety and productivity. New technological innovations such as the telemetry feedback available through this system provide a great opportunity for sites to improve traffic management and risk prevention in loading and deposition, as well as providing visible performance data to help optimise production.”
Keeping the focus on safety and safe operations on site, all of the new articulated haulers are equipped with a Volvo designed inclinometer along with the on board weighing system. If the operator attempts to tip the load when the hauler is sitting at a 9º + lateral angle, the body will not raise and the attempted tip will register as a “fail tip” or near miss occurrence. This is then recorded by CareTrack which will lead to subsequent investigation and corrective action being taken. “The good news is that since we have been equipping our articulated haulers with this system we have witnessed a significant decrease in unsafe tipping,” continues John. “However, it’s dangerous to assume that by fitting this safety device the problem goes away. Part of the equation is supporting the use of said systems with rigorous and continued training to eliminate complacency and again, we are at the forefront of providing training programmes for both our own, as well as our clients’ operators.”
Apart from safety, fuel burn and tonnes per litre moved are equally important subjects for CPI’s customers and when it comes to rehandling materials and John Corcoran considers Volvo wheeled loaders with OptiShift, are among the leanest in the industry when it comes to fuel efficiency. “In fact, all of our new Volvos whether they are articulated haulers, wheeled loaders or excavators are now installed with Stage V engines which is a huge positive in the drive to reduce our overall carbon footprint,” he says.
The recently launched L350H has been added to CPI’s portfolio of equipment, equipped for heavy-duty rock extraction. This includes a 6.8m³ spade nosed rock bucket with teeth and segments plus additional wear parts, 875/65 wide profile Goodyear L5 wheel and tyre assemblies, and the long boom option along with a host of safety features required for quarrying operations. Thus rigged, the 51 tonne loader offers an impressive full turn tip load of 32.8 tonnes, a breakout force of 376kN and a dump clearance height of 3.63 metres. The L350H is powered by a Volvo 16 litre Stage V engine developing 540hp at just 1700 rpm and maximum torque of 2532Nm at only 1400 rpm. This coupled to other fuel saving devices such as the Volvo Eco pedal encouraging the operator to run the machine at its optimum rpm in the engine’s torque curve and optishift with torque converter lock up makes the L350H a highly efficient and productive loading shovel in its size class.
For material transport, John Corcoran believes that Volvo’s articulated haulers are very much the preferred option. “Volvo ADTs are hard to beat for operator comfort, durability and residual value,” he says. “And the latest G-series haulers with Stage V engines have been an increasingly important role to play for our mineral and aggregates clients. When it comes to litres per tonne moved, there is little that comes close to the efficiency of a Volvo ADT.”