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Liebherr batching plant keeps up with demand

Grange Quarry Ltd’s new Liebherr Mobilmix 2.5F batching plant and L 566 XPower wheel loader in operation at Earlston
Grange Quarry Ltd’s new Liebherr Mobilmix 2.5F batching plant and L 566 XPower wheel loader in operation at Earlston

New Mobilmix 2.5F plant slashes batching time and boosts production for Grange Quarry

A QUARRY company with an expanding ready-mixed concrete business invested in a Liebherr batching plant to keep pace with demand, and according to its owners, the new plant has revolutionized their operation.

Founded in Lockerbie in 2000 by Stuart and Lynn Dodd, Grange Quarry Ltd has grown from a single-site business into one of the biggest suppliers of aggregates and ready-mixed concrete covering Dumfries and Galloway, the Scottish Borders and Cumbria.

 

Grange gained a foothold in ready-mix in 2012 with the opening of a plant at Kirkburn and followed up with others at Dalbeattie and Lockerbie before opening a further depot at Earlston in 2020. It is at that site where the new Mobilmix 2.5F has boosted production and slashed batching time.

The original plant had a capacity of around 1m3 but, as managing director Stuart Dodd explained, it was not capable of coping with the higher volume of business generated by local authorities and private sector alike on projects such as flood defences, wind farms and housing developments.

Mr Dodd and his team undertook detailed research in the market and were quickly drawn to the Liebherr Mobilmix 2.5F with its twin benefits of higher production and lower batching time per mix.

Fast delivery from Liebherr’s Bad Schussenried factory in Germany and a rapid set-up were other factors contributing to the buying decision. The entire package is shipped in only seven loads and can be assembled on pre-installed pads in just two days. The customer can begin producing in less than a month and, if required, the compact design allows the plant to quickly be moved to other sites.

The 2.5m3 twin-shaft mixer is contained in a pre-constructed and pre-wired module with a potential output of 115m3 per hour and Grange’s module is fitted with 50mm insulated panels to reduce airborne noise and to ensure that water continues to flow freely during freezing weather.

Plant foreman David Hodgens spends much of his time in the control room and, as an industry veteran, has the experience to rate the new equipment. 'I’ve spent more years than I care to remember working with concrete and this Liebherr batching plant has to be the best I’ve worked with,’ he said.

‘The speed of batching has almost halved with the Liebherr unit and we are able to batch almost double the amount at any single time. This plant has revolutionized the way we work and has allowed us to service far more clients.’

Small quantities of material can be fed directly into customers’ trailers and pick-ups via a secondary, heavy-duty trunk that is swung into use by hydraulics. To keep the plant and vehicles clean, a pressure-washing system is mounted to the frame of the plant.

The increased capacity of the plant also meant that Grange had to consider their loading operation and, already familiar with the manufacturer’s wheel loader range, again turned to Liebherr to meet their needs, opting for a new L 566 XPower to ensure bins are kept fully stocked throughout the working day.

With a bucket capacity of 4.7m3, the machine makes light work of managing the material stockpiles, according to regular operator James Mains. It is, he says, a huge improvement over the smaller machine he used when servicing the older plant. ‘The Liebherr makes the job easier and less demanding on me and ultimately uses less fuel.’

He has been ‘pleasantly surprised’ with the loader’s ease of use. ‘It is so smooth and effortless to operate and its ability to climb the steep ramp to the hopper with no fuss has amazed me.’

 

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