Skene Group is using Volvo construction equipment to mine sand, gravel and hard rock at its British quarries.
Fife is an historic county in Scotland, situated between the estuaries of the Firth of Tay and the Firth of Forth, with inland boundaries to Perth, Kinross and Clackmannanshire. Fife is Scotland’s third most populated area and was once a major tribal kingdom known as Fib, and is still rather grandly known as the Kingdom of Fife.
Fife is also the home to the Skene Group’s Lomond quarry on the outskirts of Leslie. The Skene Group is an independent company, operating hard rock, sand and gravel quarries in central Scotland and the Borders region. The company was founded in June 1968, working initially in equipment contracting, but has now developed into one of the UK’s leading independent operators in the aggregates supply industry. Skene also owns readymix plants that are capable of producing over 1,000m3 of concrete a day. Skene has supplied concrete to a number of prestigious projects, including the upgrade and refurbishment of the Rosyth Dockyard in Fife.
From its quarries, the Skene Group produces a variety of sand and gravel products, including washed and building sand, decorative gravels for landscaping, paths and driveways, as well as high polished stone value (PSV) aggregate that is suitable for use in department of transport specification asphalt. The produce is transported by road and sea.
The company has recently acquired a Volvo Construction Equipment (Volvo CE) 48t EC480D-Series excavator and a new generation L220H-Series wheel loader. The loader is equipped with a 5.6m3 rehandling bucket and is the first H-Series loader to be sold in the UK.
The loader has been equipped with several options, including XMineD2 tires, auto lube and boom suspension system. The machine is powered by Volvo CE’s latest engine technology, developing maximum power and torque at low engine speeds rpm range of between 1,300 and 1,400 rpm – thereby preserving fuel use.
The L220H-Series loader is rehandling and stocking at Skene’s Soutra Mains Quarry – just south of Pathhead, Midlothian. Pathhead is located four miles (6.4 km) south east of Dalkeith and 11 miles (18 km) south of Scotland’s capital city, Edinburgh.
To gain access to the raw material, the overburden is removed, a task carried out by the company’s fleet of excavators, wheel loaders and haulers. This material is then used to landscape the quarry or stored for later site restoration purposes.
The EC480D excavator is now working at Skene’s Lomond quarry. The machine has been specified with a 7m boom and 3.25m dipper arm – both heavy duty variants and also benefits from the addition of belly plates and a cab-protecting Falling Object Guard (FOG). An existing rock bucket owned by Skene has been refurbished and fitted to the new excavator.
The excavator is feeding blasted dolerite rock into a mobile primary crusher. It is then processed through a secondary crusher and screened to produce different stone sizes, which is then distributed to builders’ merchants, house building companies and civil engineering contractors.
“We replaced our L180F-Series with the larger L220H wheel loader in order to increase production. We also considered the machine specifications closely in order to achieve a two bucket fill for tipper trucks,” says Darren Forrester, joint managing director of Skene Group. “In the long run we expect to see considerable savings on fuel consumption too.”
“The complete package was on offer from Volvo,” adds Forrester. “From the initial quote, trade-in valuation, order to final delivery. The ongoing service support is also professional. We worked closely with the team at Volvo to get the specification on both machines absolutely correct for the different applications for which they were purchased – they set a high standard for others to beat.”
Picture 1: Digging in deep at the jobsite
Picture 2: The L220H-Series increases production
Picture 3: Rocking the aggregates