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New Doosan excavator helps save castle

Doosan DX300SLR-5 excavator

New DX300SLR-5 deployed to help shore up storm-ravaged Abergeldie Castle in Aberdeenshire

A NEW Doosan DX300SLR-5 crawler excavator that was part of a fleet of machines hired from Fraserburgh-based David Smith Contractors Ltd has played a vital role in helping to save historic Abergeldie Castle following huge storms in Scotland earlier this year. 

Set beside the river Dee, Abergeldie Castle, an A-listed 16th-century tower house, teetered on the brink of collapse when unprecedented heavy rainfall caused the river to burst its banks, sweeping away around 20m of the banking and leaving the ancient building in a precarious position.


Supplied by Inverurie-based Balgownie Ltd, the local authorized Doosan and Bobcat dealer, the long-reach capability of the DX300SLR-5 excavator was pivotal in shoring up the banks of the river and saving the castle.

In the face of the storms, the 76-year-old Baron of Abergeldie, John Gordon, and his wife had to flee their castle and seek refuge with neighbours until the building could be secured to prevent it from toppling into the raging river. This historic castle is located at Crathie, close to the Queen’s Balmoral Estate.

Having secured £100,000 funding and with support from Aberdeenshire Council, teams worked tirelessly through the night for five days to build up the banks by the castle using tonnes of rock to effectively prop up the building and prevent further erosion of the banks.

The new Stage IV-compliant Doosan DX300SLR-5 was deployed to place hundreds of tonnes of stone along the river bank adjacent to the castle to reclaim the river bank. The placing of the stone was followed by larger rock armour which should help secure the future of the building.

The castle is now no longer deemed to be at risk, and with a large enough working platform in front of the building, underpinning works are to be carried out to further strengthen the foundations.

The new DX300SLR-5 is powered by the Scania DC9 5-cylinder diesel engine, with an output of 202kW at 1,800 rev/min, providing a 27% increase in engine power and 30% boost in torque over the LC-3 model. The engine meets Stage IV emission regulations without the need for a diesel particulate filter (DPF), through the use of cooled exhaust gas recirculation (EGR) and selective catalyst reduction (SCR) after-treatment technologies.

To help meet the Stage IV regulations, Doosan have added a mass-airflow sensor and exhaust brake to the engine. The sensor allows the electronic control unit to improve the management of airflow provided by the variable geometry turbocharger and optimizes fuel delivery to the combustion chamber based on air intake volume and rev/min.

As well as the Scania engine, other new, innovative and exclusive features have been introduced, leading to reductions in fuel consumption of around 10% compared with the previous Stage IIIB machine.


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