Queensland's Dalby Regional Council located about 200km west of Brisbane has recently taken delivery of a Komatsu WA480-6 loader and HM300-2 articulated dump truck for its Jimbour Quarry.
The council selected these latest machines following a tender process taking into account price, service and support, fitness for purpose and operator acceptance.
These latest additions join two existing Komatsu machines at the quarry, a PC300-7 excavator delivered in mid-2003 and a WA470-5 loader delivered in December 2000.
Dalby Regional Council was formed as a result of the recent Queensland council amalgamations, and combines six former councils: Dalby town and the shires of Chinchilla, Murilla, Tara, Wambo and division two of Taroom Shire (Wandoan area).
It is among the top 20 largest councils in Queensland, covering an area of 38,039 square kilometres, servicing a population of 30,018, operating a $120 million budget and employing a 600-strong workforce.
The council's Jimbour Quarry, which was previously run by Wambo Shire Council, has been operational for well over 50 years, according to Graham Cook, Dalby RC's acting director of engineering.
"It's a basalt hard rock quarry, producing material for road sealing and aggregate for concrete and road base material for use by ourselves and others within the region."
Before the amalgamation, much of the material from the quarry was sold to the surrounding local councils which are now part of Dalby, "so in essence, a lot of our clientele who were previously external are now in-house," he said.
"We still sell to local contractors and the Department of Main Roads, but the majority of our sales now will be internal due to the amalgamations."
At the quarry, raw rock is blasted out of the face, which the PC300-7 then loads into a rock dumper, said Graham.
In addition, the excavator will mix the rock with an imported loam material to make up roadbase to the required specifications.
Since being delivered, the quarry's WA470-5 has been its main sales loader, but when the need for a larger loader became apparent, it opted for the just-delivered WA480-6 loader.
"In addition to sales loading duties, the WA480 is also used for feeding the pugmill in the pre-coating plant, and for stockpile work with the 470 basically a backup loader now, doing the lesser duties," he said.
The quarry's HM300-2 ADT has been purchased as a sales dump truck, taking material from the hopper bins to stockpiles.
"We are currently modifying these hoppers to be able to feed the dump truck, so we haven't actually used it as yet," said Graham.
"We went for an articulated truck in this application because of the way our plant is set up and the configuration of the bins. This kind of truck just suits our operation."
Graham said the quarry opted for the Komatsu machines after going through a detailed tender process, covering issues such as price, reliability, spare parts backup and operator preference.
"The price and fitness for purpose set the Komatsu machines apart from anyone else," he said.
"Overall, we've been happy with Komatsu, the machines it's supplied and the support we've received.
"We have had problems from time to time, but they have been sorted out, so longer term, we are happy with them.
"We keep going along and dealing with Komatsu on the basis that, when you have issues, you sort them out as we have with other manufacturers," said Graham.