New Zealand’s log export industry has doubled over the last decade. For round-the-clock port operations Quality Marshalling took delivery of the region’s first Volvo L350F wheel loaders.
Northland, New Zealand’s northernmost province, boasts the country’s only subtropical climate. The 2,000 hours of annual sunshine and warm weather make the region popular with locals and tourists alike – while ample rainfall during the winter months make it a haven for growing trees. In fact, the province is home to New Zealand’s tallest tree, Tāne Mahuta, which stands 51m tall and is estimated to be between 1,250 and 2,500 years old. The region’s indigenous species, kauri and rimu, are renowned for producing high-quality timber - and with timber supplies diminishing and demand increasing, New Zealand’s exports to global markets have sky-rocketed over the last decade.
According to the Forest Owners Association, the country is now the biggest exporter of lumber to China – overtaking former leader Russia – with total volumes exceeding 16 million cubic meters during 2013, tripling those of 2006. As the closest gateway to international markets, the Northland’s multipurpose deep-water commercial facility – Northport – has seen shipments of timber products ramp up. One forestry handling logistics contractor at the port, Quality Marshalling, requires productive, efficient and reliable equipment to ensure it keeps up with demand.
Quality Marshalling has been operating since 1991 specializing in marshalling (receiving cargo and loading it onto the wharf ready for export), and scaling (determining the total volume of logs that’s being exported). The company’s operations run 24 hours a day, seven days a week – using two Volvo Construction Equipment (Volvo CE) L350F wheel loaders. Loading and unloading of cargo at Northport’s wharf continues day and night, so fast and efficient cycle times are required to waiting ships.
The Volvo L350 F-Series wheel loader features a Volvo D16 V-ACT engine that offers full power at little more than idle speed. Combined with the load sensing hydraulics system, which delivers the exact hydraulic oil flow only to those functions that require it, the L350F can deliver unrivalled low fuel consumption.
Shayne Jenkins, general manager of Quality Marshalling, who has 20 years’ experience in the forestry export sector, says: “The critical factor for us when choosing a wheel loader for this application is operational costs. From what we’ve seen, fuel consumption in the Volvo L350F is significantly less compared to other similarly-sized machines.”
“In a large-scale port that operates around the clock, a machine’s productivity is very important,” Jenkins adds. “This machine’s ability to move large quantities of wood in a short space of time has exceeded our expectations.”
Volvo CE’s commitment to operator safety is demonstrated in its range of wheel loaders that offer class-leading all-round visibility and ergonomic in-cab controls for a safe and comfortable ride. “The feedback from our operators has been extremely positive,” says Jenkins. “They all comment on how quietly the L350F runs, the way the machine handles with excellent visibility when handling logs. Operators have also commented about how comfortable the cab is, even when operating a 12 hour shift.”
For Quality Marshalling, operating 24/7 is only possible when supported by excellent service and commitment like that shown by Volvo CE’s national dealer TransDiesel, whose skilled technicians and fast and effective parts delivery help ensure that machine downtime is kept to a minimum. TransDiesel guarantees nationwide coverage with its strategically located branches and a supporting network of appointed dealers and service agents.