Hanson's Mackay based Farleigh Quarry rely on their new Komatsu WA500-6s loader to help maintain their operation
The quarry, which supplies a wide range of products for this booming region, including road base and aggregate for Main Roads and council works, aggregate for local concrete plants, as well as armour rock for the local port authorities, has had to gear up for a doubling in production, said quarry manager Dennis Marchant.
"There is so much happening in Mackay and the surrounding region we supply out as far as about 350 km west of the city, and 150 km to the north and the south that we have had to double our throughput at the moment, including putting on double shifts," he said.
And the performance and productivity of the two new Komatsu loaders, which replaced two loaders of another make, has helped contribute to Farleigh Quarry's being able to keep pace with the increased demand.
"They are quicker and smoother, so we are definitely getting higher productivity out of them," said Dennis.
"That's important to us, as in our sales area, we don't have conveyors to stockpile, so a lot of their time is spent on tramming work so everything we've sold this year since we got the new loaders has been trammed to stockpile.
"They are tramming up to 200 m, and they are flat out all the time, they don't stop. And in between that, they have to load trucks and mix road base so our despatch area is a pretty full-on place."
Both loaders are operating two shifts, working around 20 hours a day, five days one week and six days every second week.
"They've both got around 2400 hours on them already, and we only got them just after Christmas," said Dennis.
"They pretty much came straight off the truck and went to work.
"As far as availability and reliability is concerned, they've been really good.
"They are also very comfortable and the cab setup is great; our operators are rapt in them.
"Overall, they are working well, and they've been a big factor in us increasing our output performance this year.
"Achieving what we have would have been a struggle with the two older machines, and I don't think we could have done it without these new Komatsu loaders," he said.
In addition to the two new loaders, Farleigh Quarry runs an older WA500-3, an HD465-6 dump truck and a PC600-6 excavator which is used for face loading of the dump trucks.