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Masonry firm boosts production with Volvo EC750E

Volvo EC750E excavator

Calder Masonry opt for 75-tonne excavator as production increases at sandstone quarry in West Yorkshire

ESTABLISHED in 1994, Calder Masonry Ltd acquired the Britannia Quarry and production facility in Morley, Leeds, 18 months ago from its previous owners. Since then, having uncovered fresh reserves of the local Woodkirk Yorkshire buff sandstone, the company has invested heavily as part of a strategy to significantly increase production and sales.

‘When we moved here, the quarry, offices and workshops were somewhat run down. We’ve spent the last 18 months turning the situation around,’ explained managing director Ian Howgate.

‘We inherited some pretty tired plant and equipment when we took over the business. With at least 25 years of available reserves in the quarry and increasing demand for the product, we knew that we needed a serious machine for the critical block-extraction process. Following a competitive tender process, which included third-party references and site visits, we decided that the Volvo EC750E was the right machine for us.’

Powered by a 16-litre Stage-III V-ACT engine developing 533hp, the Volvo EC750E achieves a maximum torque of 2,570Nm at just 1,350 rev/min. This, in conjunction with the machine’s advanced hydraulic system, ensures maximum fuel efficiency is achieved through every work cycle.

Calder’s EC750E (pictured) has been equipped in mass-excavation configuration complete with a hydraulic coupler, a heavy-duty 4.4 cubic metre ‘extreme’ rock bucket and a heavy-duty ripper tooth. Thus equipped, the machine provides a maximum breakout force of 383kN and a tearout force of 337kN, whilst the combination of 6.6m boom and 2.9m dipper arm provides a maximum reach of 11.46m and dig depth of 7.2m.

The machine’s primary function is to prise out sandstone blocks weighing up to 30 tonnes, using both the ripper tooth and bucket. These are carried to the cutting sheds and sawn into slabs that are either sold to the trade nationwide or used by Calder for the production of other building products, including walling, paving, window/door surrounds and bespoke commissions such as fireplaces and memorial stones.

‘Our Woodkirk Yorkshire buff sandstone is a high-quality and extremely versatile material that is used in all types of applications ranging from large-scale public projects over a number of years, to building material for commercial and residential properties, down to bespoke fireplaces and other stone features,’ said Mr Howgate.

And being a skilled sculptor and stonemason himself, he knows what he is talking about. ‘I’ve had a particular association with the quarry here in Morley since I was a four-year-old lad,’ he said. ‘My father worked here for many years and I did my apprenticeship here. For me to return as managing director is a dream come true. Investing in our new EC750E is the way forward and part of our overall strategy to take the business to the next level.’

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