Two SDLG wheel loaders in action at clay quarry
Southern Services (under contract to Imerys South Africa) mines some 40,000 cubic meters of material and screens up to 16,000 tonnes at South Africa’s premium clay deposit in ModiMolle, 130km north of Pretoria.
The Imerys Refractory Minerals (Pty) Ltd Cyferfontein clay quarry, covers a pit area of approximately 11-hectares and a mining area of approximately 32 hectares. It boasts rich reserves of CY16 (red), CY19 (yellow) and CY21 (white) clay, which is used predominantly by the ceramics industry for the manufacture of floor and wall tiles. The highest quality CY21 clay is also used in the production of sanitary ware.
Southern Services operate two 6-hour shifts per day with a single shift on Saturdays and Sundays off. At the stockpiling and processing end of the business they rely on an SDLG LG968L and LG958L to manage the mined material, feed the Pilot modular plant which crushes and screens product >40mm and load trucks for transportation to designated factories.
Reliability in action
The SDLG LG958L, which is still in perfect running order, was the second ever SDLG wheel loader to be sold by Babcock in South Africa and has now been on site for four years amassing over 8,800 hours. Meanwhile the larger 18-tonne class LG968, although newer, already boasts 4,000 hours.
Southern Services owner, Frans Maré says: “Overall, we are extremely happy with our decision to purchase SDLG wheel loaders,” says Frans. “We work both machines hard, but we also regularly service and maintain them. I am a firm believer in preventative maintenance as well as the fact that if you look after your equipment it will look after you, and this has certainly proven to be the case with these SDLG wheel loaders. Reliability has shone through and I would categorically state that SDLG is by far the best Chinese machine available.”
Frans adds that in terms of productivity there is little to choose between the SDLG loaders and the more expensive brand alternatives. “With these two machines, we’re loading the hopper of the screen with some 16,000 tonnes/month. We’re continually layering the stockpiles and we’re loading trucks with what I estimate to be 176,000 tonnes/annum. In anyone’s book that is impressive productivity from just two machines.”
Safety and aftermarket support
“Safety is always the number one priority for us,” says Frans. “To this end, the SDLG wheel loaders suit our operation perfectly. Both operator access and all-round visibility are excellent and we’ve fitted LED spotlights to enhance safety in low light conditions. All told, I’m extremely happy with these machines and the aftermarket support we receive from Babcock. The service provided to us is excellent and the knowledge of the team at Babcock really is second-to-none. It is this combination that has motivated us to invest in SDLG wheel loaders from Babcock. With this level of backup between manufacturer and distributor you cannot go wrong.”