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First R 980 SME shovel in France proves its worth

Liebherr R 980 SME excavator
Featuring a bottom dump shovel attachment, this Liebherr R 980 SME excavator is the first of its type to be delivered in France

Versatile 104-tonne Liebherr machine with bottom-dump shovel gives granite quarry a boost

LAST year Liebherr delivered their first R 980 SME excavator with bottom-dump shovel in France. The largest model in the range developed and manufactured by Liebherr-France SAS in Colmar, the versatile machine has already won over longstanding Liebherr customer Traineau, offering high-level performance, comfort, and efficiency at their granite-quarrying operation at Aizenay, in Vendée.

Well suited to hard rock quarrying, the excavator provides an optimal view for the operator thanks to its 1.20m fixed cab elevation. In addition, improved access to the excavator is via a retractable ladder, widened access walkways, and a handrail along the entire upper structure, to assure safe and easy access for the operator and maintenance personnel. Access points are also equipped with timed LED lighting for safer entry/egress at the start of a shift/end of the day.


With electric joysticks, shovel flap opening via the joystick and semi-automatic flap closing, seat suspension, and soundproofing inside and out, the excavator is said to offer a very high level of operator comfort.

Equipped with a bottom-dump shovel, the R 980 SME also offers very rapid operational cycles, thereby increasing efficiency and productivity. Developed and manufactured by Liebherr-France SAS, in Colmar, the 5.1 cubic metre capacity shovel was supplied with a level 3 wear package kit (the highest level) to withstand the abrasiveness of the materials it is handling. In this configuration, the bucket weighs 11,000kg.

Traineau say they opted for the Liebherr R 980 SME excavator because this model is particularly well suited to their granite quarrying operation. The 104-tonne machine is used for various operations, including rock sorting, rock crushing with a drop-ball, and loading at the quarry face.

With total production of around 800,000 tonnes of aggregate per year, Traineau are said to be more than satisfied with the R 980 SME and its low fuel consumption of 55 litres/h. Having reached 1,000h with the machine, they confirm that the shovel attachment has allowed them to reduce cycle times and thus speed up dumptruck loading.


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