WA LIMESTONE: HEAVY DUTY MACHINES FOR HEAVY DUTY QUARRIES
WA Limestone wanted a rock breaker with some “meat on the bones” to handle its hard rock quarry in Onslow.
Western Australia’s northwest is a rugged environment, characterised by gruelling conditions and tough rock. It is here where WA Limestone, one of the state’s biggest aggregate suppliers, can be found.
“The wear factors and the damage that it does on your machines is pretty horrendous,” he said.
“You need the right machinery and the right wear parts on your machinery.”
The family-owned company found Kobelco’s SK500XD to be the answer for a heavy-duty machine that can handle abrasive aggregate.
Kobelco’s SK500XD weighs in at 52,200 kg, making it one of the heaviest machines in its class.
It features a heavy-duty boom and arm set as well as factory-fitted, triple-plated, hardened steel applied to all key structural sections.
This includes the boom-to-arm connection, the boom centre, and the end of the arm, providing a high level of durability and longevity to the attachment structures.
A specially designed full-length rock guard is installed on the inside of the dipper arm, on top of additional steel plating.
A quadruple track guide frame and reinforced heavy-duty 600mm triple grouser shoe provide reliability in rocky underfoot conditions, making easy work of rough terrain.
The durability of the track links has also increased, while the idler frame has received substantial double reinforcement plating inside and out, resulting in improved undercarriage reliability which prevents premature wear.
The heavy-duty steel bolted underbody guard protects vital machine components and provides additional weight for greater stability.
The additional metal, which helps the SK500XD handle the Onslow quarry site, is a key feature for WA Limestone.
“I was pretty impressed by the extra steel on the track frames and the extra steel and reinforcement around the arm, the excavator frame and the dipper arm,” Della Bona said.
“Being in the conditions that we operate in and especially with the hard rock you need a machine that can handle the bumps, hard rocks and all the stresses and pressures.
The machine has worked really well and hasn’t let us down at all, it’s been reliable and done everything that we asked it to do.Steven Della Bona, director at WA Limestone
It is powered by a Hino Toyota engine, alongside Kawasaki pumps and hydraulics, which delivers 257 kW of power and an average fuel consumption of under 30L per hour. This helps the SK500XD generate a breakout force of 293 kN, and slew torque of 183 kN.
The hydraulic system notifies the operator if filter performance is compromised which helps manage maintenance and reduce downtime.
“They’re a proven hydraulic pump and hydraulic system so there is no reason why we wouldn’t get a good run out of them.
The company has road-tested several machines over its five decades in the industry. Della Bona, who has been with the company for 38 years, understands what makes a quality machine.
“I was trying to find a dedicated rock-breaking machine and I rang a couple of clients who run them, and they had nothing but good words to say,” Della Bona said.
“I was able to buy that machine pretty quickly and get it up and running and that was a big part of the decision-making.
“I am keen to see how it continues to perform but we’re really happy with it.”
Kobelco has confidence in the machine’s ability to handle the demanding conditions of the Australian worksite providing an extended major component warranty of four years or 6000 hours.
Mark Johnson, Kobelco Australia’s general manager of product and distribution, said the machine has all the tools to be a hit.
“It’s engineered for the most extreme environments around the world,” he said.
“It also builds on Kobelco’s excellent reputation for machine reliability, taking it to a new level by providing a factory-installed, comprehensive set of structural reinforcements—not to mention class-leading digging performance and fuel efficiency.
“The result is a machine that is the perfect choice for quarry work.”