"Compared to the loaders we had before, I get an additional twelve-hour shift on fuel every three days, and that is significant."
Extraordinary. A very interesting, compound word, with its origins in fifteenth-century English and decades earlier Latin. Webster's dictionary defines its meaning as; beyond what is ordi-nary, exceptional or remarkable, an extraordinary capacity for work.
So what would one expect to find 'exceptional' in a dusty, central Alberta, Canada, gravel pit, with the mind numbing clatter of a rock and gravel crusher raging in the background? Please read on!
A High Speed Ballet.
Out of the cloud of dust that surrounds the crusher appeared the bright yellow and black of a Volvo L220F Wheel Loader. Its bucket full to overflowing with freshly crushed gravel. Sec-onds passed, and the same loader was now feeding the crusher hopper with rocks and gravel dug out of the solidly compacted, fifty-foot high wall of the gravel pit. The wheel loader's movements were fast, smooth and effortless. Moves reminiscent of a ballet... a high-speed wheel loader ballet.
"I knew about Volvo, my brother has a Volvo that he uses at the ready mix division, so I knew what I was getting", Darcy Wildeman, co-owner of Czar Block Inc. said with a smile. "But I didn't think it was as good as the machine that I found I have here. It's so ground fast, it's un-believable, how fast it is."
The Volvo L220F Wheel Loader is an uncompromising production machine designed and built for the heaviest jobs and the very toughest of conditions. Power comes from its' turbo charged Volvo V-ACT D12E diesel engine renowned for high reliability and durability. The ex-ceptional fuel economy the Volvo L220F achieves is further enhanced by the fuel-saving elec-tro-hydraulic HTE-transmission with Automatic Power Shift (APS) that constantly selects the right gear for the job and current operating conditions.
"Compared to the loaders we were running before, I get an additional twelve hour shift on fuel every three days and that is significant", Wildeman noted. "Especially with the fuel prices the way they are today."
Czar Block operates their crusher business 24/7 for about eight months a year. When asked why only eight months of the year, Darcy was quick to respond, "It's too hard to make money when you are fighting the cold, and it gets cold here in the winter time. Often down to minus thirty degrees Celsius. "The summers are bad enough, hot and often windy. It's nice working at night." This year Czar Block hopes to crush approximately 300,000 tons of gravel.
One For Two.
Czar Block Inc. had been a Cat operation from the time the Wildeman's opened the business in 1958. "Recently we had 988B's and it took two of them to keep the crusher going," Darcy stated. "We knew we needed something newer and a little faster, and now the one Volvo is easily handling the work on both ends of the crusher. With the purchase of the L220 we've eliminated the fuel costs of one machine as well as the wages of an additional operator, to say nothing of the purchase costs. That's big for a small operation like this."
Darcy's brother Drew Wildeman operates the Volvo L220F. As the machine stopped close by, Darcy immediately went to assist Drew in climbing down from the cab. Drew Wildeman was born with Cerebral Palsy, a neurological disorder that permanently affects body movement and muscle coordination.