Machinery

Desert Group employs SDLG wheel loaders in Yas Island golf course project

Supported by local dealer FAMCO, UAE contractor uses two L968F wheel loaders for landscaping and on-site material transport

SDLG wheel loaders are working on a golf course on Yas Island in Abu Dhabi after the Volvo-owned Chinese equipment maker supplied them to landscaping and construction company, Desert Group LLC, the contractor executing the project.

According to SDLG, two units of its L968F wheel loader have been braving the heat, sand and dust of the site since August last year in a job where uptime is crucial to completing the development on time. The loaders are engaged in a year-long project to build a nine-hole golf course where they are being used to transport off-site materials onto the golf course, including boulders and sand, which will be used for landscaping.

“The loaders (are) covering roughly 1.2km in distance with each trip they make, so having a smooth loading and delivery process is really important to keep us on schedule,” said Lawrence Walsh, manager at Desert Group LLC. “If there’s any downtime on these machines, we can’t get things done but so far there’s been minimal service and repairs, which makes our job very easy.”

Walsh added that the machines, which were supplied by FAMCO, the UAE dealer of SDLG and Volvo CE, have required little more than regular cleaning of filters and the loaders seem “built for the job”

John Richards, workshop manager at Desert Group LLC, said: “The technology isn’t as advanced but that was never (the) main priority. We wanted something simple and reliable, easy to fix, easy to use and with good fuel efficiency.”

He added  that the operators are also in favour of the machines and “like their ergonomics, the added sun visors and the way the controls feel in their hands”, as well as “the positioning of the seat and adjustable steering wheel”.

The SDLG wheel loaders are being supported by FAMCO, which has a very good relationship with the Desert Group, said Joseph Gomez, project manager at the contractor. “FAMCO have been absolutely fantastic with their service; any time we have an issue, which is very rare, they are here within hours.”

Richards added: “SDLG is a great partner for us. Our challenge as a contractor is that time equals money and if we don’t have reliable machines, we can’t make money. Our partnership with FAMCO and SDLG has been brilliant so far and we will definitely choose them again for future projects.”

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