Construction

Contractor sticks with Volvo

Machines deliver performance at Potash mine

The fleet of Volvos consists of various tracked and wheeled excavators, wheel loaders, articulated trucks, motor graders and skid steers.

The fleet of Volvos consists of various tracked and wheeled excavators, wheel loaders, articulated trucks, motor graders and skid steers.

‘Volvo Construction Equipment machines are being used in the harsh environment of a potash mine in Canada. K+S Group is one of the world’s largest suppliers of fertilizer and salt producers, and its new K+S Potash Canada mine is scheduled to go into production in 2016 – with a capacity of 2.86 million tonnes a year, a figure expected to be reached by 2023.

Potash is mainly used in fertilizers – over 40 million tonnes was mined worldwide last year, a large proportion of which came from Saskatchewan, in central Canada.

Infrastructure contractors Double K Excavating have been engaged in significant preparatory works of a large coffer dam, a water intake structure and the trenching and installation of a high capacity 810 mm-wide pipeline to the mine, running across 20km. When completed, the water supply facility will be capable of pumping over 168 million liters of water a day, used for underground extraction of potash.

Its fleet of  Volvos consists of various tracked and wheeled excavators, wheel loaders, articulated trucks, motor graders and skid steers.

Before trenching could begin, thousands of cubic meters of rock overburden had to be removed, which was then used to build a kilometre-long cofferdam. This work was quickly achieved using a Volvo L220E-Series wheel loader and A30F-Series articulated hauler. Meanwhile, a Volvo EC210B-Series excavator and a small fleet of articulated haulers were soon digging earth from inside the cofferdam in preparation for the installation of the water intake. The haul road building and maintenance was left to the Volvo G960 motor grader.

Although varying with the landscape, trenching for the pipeline reached a maximum depth of 4.5 meters – aptly handled by a Volvo EC460C-Series and an EC360C-Series crawler excavator.

Volvo’s crawler excavators are ideally suited for work in the toughest quarrying, mining, road building and general construction jobs. High breakout and crowding force is supported by an advanced hydraulic system that enables smooth, responsive digging and lifting, making it the ideal excavator for the trenching and pipeline installation. The EC460C-Series boasts a 235 kW Volvo Tier III compliant engine with V-ACT, offering high torque at low revs.

The Volvo L220 E-Series features an electronically controlled, high performance low emission Volvo engine, fully automatic countershaft transmission, a load-sensing hydraulic system, Volvo’s unique Torque Parallel linkage (TP linkage) and the comfortable Volvo Care Cab.

“We have used many other big brands but they just can’t compete with Volvo,” says Emerson Koch, CEO of Double K Excavating. “We have tough conditions here in this part of the world and there is no comparison in relation to fuel economy, performance, reliability, engine, transmission, drive train performance and reliability.”

“What won us over to Volvo was our first EC290 B-Series crawler excavator,” says Cole Koch, company vice-president and excavator operator. “It was one of the first machines I operated and it’s special to me, so much so that I have a permanent reminder of that machine tattooed on my arm. That machine is still an active member of our fleet today.”

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