Calder Masonry Ltd has opted for a seventy-five tonne Volvo EC750E as production increases at its sandstone quarry in Morley, West Yorkshire.
Established in 1994, Calder Masonry Ltd acquired the Britannia Quarry and production facility in Morley, Leeds eighteen months ago from its previous owners. Since then, and having uncovered fresh reserves of the local ‘Woodkirk Yorkshire buff sandstone, it has invested heavily as part of a strategy to significantly increase production and sales.
“When we moved here, the quarry, offices and workshops were somewhat run down. We’ve spent the last 18 months turning the situation around,” explains Managing Director, Ian Howgate. “We inherited some pretty tired plant and equipment when we took over the business. With at least 25 years of available reserves in the quarry and increasing demand for the product, we knew that we needed a serious machine for the critical block extraction process. Following a competitive tender process which included third-party references and site visits, we decided that the Volvo EC750E was the right machine for us.”
At the heart of the EC750E is a 16-litre Stage-III V-ACT engine developing 533 nett hp which operates in conjunction with an advanced mode control system ensuring the maximum possible hydraulic horsepower available is delivered at a constant engine speed under varying load conditions. A maximum torque of 2570Nm is achieved at just 1350r/min and this, in conjunction with the machine’s advanced hydraulic system, ensures maximum fuel efficiency is achieved through every work cycle. Calder’s EC750E has been equipped in Mass Excavation configuration complete with hydraulic coupler, heavy-duty 4.4m³ extreme rock bucket and a heavy-duty ripper tooth. Thus equipped, the EC750E provides a maximum breakout force of 383 kN and a tearout force of 337kN. The combination of the 6.6m boom and 2.9m dipper arm (mass excavation) gives a maximum reach of 11.46 metres and a generous dig depth of 7.2 metres.
The machine’s primary function is to prise out sandstone blocks in situ, weighing anything up to thirty tonnes, using both the ripper tooth and bucket. These are then carried to the cutting sheds and sawn into slabs which are then either sold on to the trade nationwide or used by Calder for the production of other building products including walling, paving, window/door surrounds and bespoke commissions such as fireplaces and memorial stones.
“Our Woodkirk Yorkshire buff sandstone is a high quality and extremely versatile material that is used in all types of applications ranging from large-scale public projects over a number of years, to building material for commercial and residential properties down to bespoke fireplaces and other stone features,” says Ian.
And he should know what he is talking about, being a skilled sculptor and stone mason himself. “I’ve had a particular association with the quarry here in Morley since I was a four-year old lad when my father worked here for many years and I did my apprenticeship here. So now, for me to return as Managing Director is a dream come true,” he continues. “Investing in our new EC750E is the way forward and part of our overall strategy to take the business to the next level. We are looking forward to the machine performing well for us in the future!”
Calder Masonry Ltd has the sole rights to Woodkirk Stone and is honoured to follow in a proud tradition, extracting stone more than 175 years after the first block was pulled from the same location. The company is one of the largest producers of dimensional Yorkstone in the UK, supplying Woodkirk stone nationwide as well as to the Republic of Ireland. A dedicated management team and a total of 33 employees involved in the day-to-day business of extracting the stone from the quarry and processing it through its on-site factory ensures customers receive a premium product and service.
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