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Liebherr excavator plays major environmental role

Liebherr-Great Britain has recently supplied another specialist hydraulic excavator to The Welland and Deepings Internal Drainage Board in Lincolnshire. A new generation R 317 LC Litronic is being used for general dredging duties, as well as drain clearance and weedcutting. This versatile excavator has been supplied with two sets of equipment – a long-reach Multi User boom and stick for weedcutting and de-silting duties and, for general drainage work, an hydraulically adjustable boom with a standard stick.

Welland and Deepings’ new excavator replaces an old Liebherr R 900 B originally purchased in 2001, joining three others in the fleet of this long-standing customer. When discussing their requirements with Liebherr, the Board looked at the new generation R 900 C Litronic but decided to opt for the smaller R 317 as the lighter weight and compact dimensions makes for easier transportation to the more remote sites. Additionally, its performance, long and wide tracks and lower centre of gravity makes it very stable with long-reach equipment.



Deeping Fen itself has been transformed from meres and marshland into fertile and well-drained land since Anglo-Saxon times, when medieval man built sea and fen walls to keep out the water. As early as the mid thirteenth century, drainage systems were introduced and, in the early 1800's the area was dependent on 50 windmills to provided the pumping power for drainage, which were converted to steam-driven pumping systems in 1827.

Now, modern methods and machinery continue the maintenance and development of watercourses and their associated banks, whilst placing the environment and ecology of the area to the forefront in all aspects of fen management. Welland and Deepings Internal Drainage Board is the vanguard in the efficient maintenance of the region, paying particular attention to the sensitive preservation and encouragement of the environmental habitat for many species of flora, fauna and birdlife. The Board maintains over 662kms of water courses within the 35,000ha catchment area from The Wash to Peterborough.

The R 317 LC Litronic hydraulic excavator bought by Welland and Deepings is a 20 tonnes class machine, depending on equipment and configuration, with bucket capacities ranging from 0.28 to 0.85 cubic metres. Powered by a Deutz TCD2013 LOV4 turbo-charged and after-cooled engine to level IIIA/Tier 3 with reduced emissions, the R 317 LC Litronic has power to spare and is rated to 90kW at 1,800RPM.

This versatile excavator has been supplied with two sets of equipment – the long-reach Multi User with a 7m gooseneck boom and 5.2m stick for weedcutting and de-silting duties providing an extended reach and digging depth of 12.4m and 8.5m respec-tively. For general excavating and drainage work, the alternative additional equipment taken by Welland and Deepings consists of a 3.4m hydraulically adjustable boom with a 3.05m stick. Extra hydraulics services have been supplied and fitted for the wide variety of attachments used in this specialist application.

The resiliently mounted cab is a large dimensioned ergonomic and comfortable work station for the operator, with full instrumentation including Litronic monitor, air-sprung shock-absorbing fully adjustable seat, radio and sound-proofing. Twin joysticks integrated into the seat armrests provide precise travel, slewing and attachment movements for easy and accurate operation.

Welland and Deepings Internal Drainage Board says that they are delighted their longstanding relationship with Liebherr is continuing and are pleased to report that the new R 317 LC Litronic is performing well in their winter cleansing operations.