One of Australia’s largest and most innovative quarry operators has substantially increased its productivity by buying a bigger bulldozer.
Benedict Industries replaced its Komatsu D375A-6 bulldozer at 15,000 hours with a new D475A-5EO expecting an increase in operational costs to match its increased work load.
Instead, the 40 percent increase in productivity more than offsets operational costs, which are less than expected.
“When we initially discussed the purchasing of the D475, we budgeted on a fuel burn of about 110 litres per hour,” Benedict’s Operations Manager Brett Jarvis said. “To date, the machine has been averaging 80 litres per hour.”
According to Mr. Jarvis, the new machine has achieved an unexpected additional benefit. “The D475 weighs about 40 tones more than the previous Komatsu bulldozer, so the amount of sandstone oversize we are producing is a lot less,” he said.
Benedict is one of Sydney’s largest quarry and recycling companies. It Operates the new Komatsu D475 at its 75-hectare Mittagong site where processed sandstone is washed into concrete sand for the fast-growing Sydney and Illawarra Construction markets.
The D475 is one of twenty-five Komatsu heavy machines operated by Benedict in a total fleet of more than 60.
“It’s all about relationships, Mr. Jarvis said. In a company in which a significant number of its 200 employees are long termers, certainly with more than 20 years’ service, relationships matter.
“We rely on the strength of our commercial partnerships to make our business more efficient.” According to Mr. Jarvis, the new Komatsu D475 was configured and commissioned by Komatsu’s team, led by Paul Chenery, NSW Major Account Manager.
“Our needs are very specific and because of Paul’s close relationship with us, Paul was able to provide exactly the combination of machine and attachments we required, especially as we are now quarrying harder sandstone,” he said.
Purpose built solutions, combined with specific Komatsu on-site operator training, have been instrumental in providing gains in efficiency.
KOMTRAX, Komatsu’s complimentary remote monitoring service, used almost universally by Benedict across its Komatsu fleet, has been extremely useful in gauging machine utilisation and achieving productivity gains.
“I’ve been able to mentor our equipment operators on the importance of selecting the right work mode to reduce idle times & fuel burn by simply monitoring KOMTRAX, Mr. Jarvis said. “It comes as surprise to some of our operators that I can monitor the performance of the machines without being on site.”
In the tough business of quarry and recycling, Benedict is gaining a strong reputation for innovation at all levels – and for its focus on community and environmental issues.
It has partnered with developer Mirvac, to redevelop its Moorebank quarry into a Marina, Residential & Commercial centre to the benefit of local communities.
Recognising the increasing community need for recycling, it has put on a fleet of free-to-hire covered box trailers, so that people can more easily transport their waste to recycling facilities.
And in conjunction with a Symbio Wildlife Park, Benedict has planted in excess of 1,000 Eucalypt trees at the Menangle & Sandy Point quarry sites, which will be used as feedstock for the Koalas at the Wildlife Park. Another 1,000 trees are yet to be planted.
“Urban expansion will place increasing demand on our services and one of our major goals is to identify and secure new sites in strategic areas,” Mr. Jarvis said.
In 2019, Benedict is to open two new recycling sites at Smeaton Grange, and Girraween, each strategically placed to meet growing community requirements.
“Where required, some of our plants are now working double shifts, up to 18 hours a day,” he said. “The demand on machine reliability has never been greater.”