Family-owned quarrying business purchases the UK’s first Hitachi ZX490-6 excavator
THE Lovell Stone Group, a family-owned quarrying business based in Dorset, specialize in the provision high-quality stone for high-specification, bespoke construction projects. In recent years, the company has enjoyed strong growth, expanding its portfolio of stone types and adding Hartham Park Underground Quarry to a quarry portfolio that already includes Lovell Purbeck, Somerset Lias, Chicksgrove and Chilmark, and Hurdcott Greenstone.
This business expansion necessitated the recent purchase of the new Hitachi ZX490-6 as a replacement for Lovell’s current, smaller Hitachi excavator.
And according to the company, the larger machine has already improved quarry productivity significantly. Although the nature of Lovell Stone’s work does not allow a direct tonnes per hour comparison, the ZX490-6 is allowing the quarry to move more material. Of even more importance, however, is the new machine’s ability to extract larger stones without impacting the often delicate nature of the work.
Simon Hart, managing director of Lovell Purbeck, also highlighted the machine’s fuel efficiency and reliability. ‘As we only use one excavator at the moment, reliability is of paramount importance. We’ve used Hitachi excavators for several years now and they are always well built and reliable. The ZX490-6 also makes financial sense; we use no more fuel now than we did with the smaller machine we replaced. Hitachi machines always enjoy strong residual values too.’
Mark Turnham, UK mines and quarries manager with Hitachi Construction Machines UK (HCM UK), added: ‘Simon contacted us as he was looking to increase production and handle larger block stone in the various quarries. We set about carrying out site visits to each location and discussing the operator’s needs with regards to the machine’s capabilities and bucket design. We are delighted that Lovell Stone Group have decided to continue there much valued relationship with HCM UK.’
Mr Hart added: ‘Hitachi Construction Machinery are always easy to deal with. In fact, our order actually arrived ahead of schedule. We have also signed up to a service contract giving peace of mind that the machine is being looked after by HCM UK’s factory-trained technicians.’
The state-of-the-art 50-tonne ZX490-6 excavator is equipped with the latest Tier 4 Final engine and benefits from an increased hydraulic pump capacity compared with its predecessor, the ZX470-5. This allows for the use of hydraulic tools and demolition attachments when required, making the machine suitable for heavy mining and quarrying applications. In addition, the new Hitachi HIOS IIIB hydraulic system helps reduce fuel consumption.
Visitors to Hillhead 2016 will be able to see the new Hitachi ZX490-6 on Stand Z3, along with Hitachi’s ZX870-5 excavator, ZW370-5 wheel loader and the recently launched ZW310-6 wheel loader.