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First Volvo shovel for Stonegrave Aggregates

L150F loader debuts at Stonegrave Aggregates

Stonegrave Aggregates Ltd, a division of the John Wade Group of companies has taken delivery of its first Volvo L150F loading shovel for rehandling duties at its Aycliffe Quarry located near Darlington Co. Durham.

When it came to replace one of the resident competitive loading shovels, it was third party references and a desire to change to an alternative marque of machine that prompted Operations Manager Bruce Whitley to choose the 4.2m shovel from Volvo Construction Equipment. "We already run Volvo A30D haulers and have been impressed with their reliability and performance," he said. "We needed to replace a five year old shovel in the quarry for stock pile work and loading out road wagons and so after looking at the market and listening to other Volvo shovel users, decided to give the L150F a chance.

The L150F is powered by a Tier III 12 litre Volvo engine developing 284 hp at just 1400rpm. The Tier III/Stage 3 low emission engine delivers high torque at just above tick over, giving the new loaders excellent rimpull and low fuel consumption as well as a significant reduction in noise levels of the E series machine. Much effort has been expended to increase mid-range torque; giving better operability in the most economic engine speed range. One practical consequence of this increase in horsepower is better pile penetration and fuller buckets.

Engine power is converted into work via a new smooth shifting electric-hydraulic HTE transmission. All the operator has to do is select Forward or Reverse. The Volvo Full Automatic Power Shift (FAPS) then takes over and selects which of the four forward and four reverse gears is required - and the perfect moment to change ratio. The system is independent of both machine and engine speed. New software in the ECU adapts to the operators' style of driving, optimizing gear changing parameters and saving fuel by always selecting the right gear. For improved operator comfort, oil-filled clutches and a Pulse-Width Modulation Valve in the transmission allow smoother shifting and minimize jolting when changing between gears. The transmission is also significantly quieter than its predecessor, and maximum speed has also been increased. The fact that all major components of the driveline (engine, transmission, axles) are designed and built by Volvo means that they work in harmony, in terms of performance, reliability and also fuel efficiency.

Operator comfort was also a major consideration in the decision to purchase the L150F and Mr Whitley's operator is more than pleased with his new charge. The cab on the F series loader offers a high degree of operator comfort with plenty of leg room and excellent forward and rearward visibility. Automatic heat control is a standard feature and up to 90% of the air is cleaned and re-circulated by Volvo's unique and patented two stage cleaning system. For additional convenience the L150F supplied to Stonegrave is fitted with boom suspension and a calibrated weigh loader.

John Wade (Haulage) Ltd and Stonegrave Aggregates Ltd are part of the John Wade Group of Companies who operate from Aycliffe quarry, Aycliffe, situated strategically close to the A1M near Darlington, Co. Durham. They offer a wide range of services to individuals and companies both large and small based predominantly around their quarrying and tipping facilities at Aycliffe quarry. Besides its quarrying activities the Group is at the forefront of crushing, sorting and recycling all manner of commercial and industrial waste. Starting out as a small family business in the 1970s the business has grown rapidly and now employs over 120 operatives and technical workers complemented by 20 full time office and site staff.

Volvo Construction Equipment Ltd market wheeled loaders, articulated haulers, hydraulic excavators, graders, Volvo Compact Equipment and Volvo road machinery products. Nine strategically placed customer support centres and a network of compact equipment dealers ensure high quality customer support throughout Great Britain.