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New venture and new Volvo for Hutton Stone

Volvo EC380E

Volvo EC380E excavator becomes prime mover at recently acquired sandstone quarry operation

HUTTON Stone Co. Ltd, who are based close to Berwick-upon-Tweed in the Scottish Borders, have purchased a new Volvo EC380E crawler excavator for a new venture at a recently acquired sandstone quarry in Northumberland. The 38-tonne machine will be the prime mover at Darney Quarry, located just off the A68 near the village of East Woodburn, and was chosen following an extensive review of the marketplace.

‘We looked at all the likely candidates and, having taken on board third-party references coupled with our own opinions about the build quality and robustness of the Volvo excavator, settled on the EC380E,’ commented managing director Marcus Paine. ‘Besides being offered a competitive package, the prospect of strong residual values up to five years from now really helped us make up our minds.’

Equipped with a hydraulic attachment bracket, a bespoke 1,200mm wide, long-floored bucket and a ripper tooth designed and manufactured by Leybourne Engineering, the new machine will be in charge of the delicate job of extracting and rehandling sandstone blocks weighing up to 14 tonnes following selective drilling and splitting in the quarry. It will also assist in the disposal of waste material to the tip area, which will ultimately be used in land restoration.

‘We need to be flexible in what we are extracting according to customer demands,’ explained quarry manager Martin Brachtvogel. ‘This type of quarrying is all about finding tangible products from as many elements of the geology as possible, and to that end, we’ll be producing material from dry-stone walling through stock-sized coursed walling for new housing, paving and rockery stone, together, of course, with all elements of dimension stone masonry that is required in the new build and restoration sector, including block-and-slab for other manufacturers around the country.

‘This can either be sold to customers directly or processed here in our cutting shop and then sent to our main workshops in the Borders for further processing by the company’s in-house team of sawyers, stonemasons and carvers.

‘A good majority of what we produce is in the supply of high-quality sandstone for prestigious building restoration and renovation projects in major conurbations such as Edinburgh and Glasgow, but this stone has relevance throughout the north of England and all of Scotland, and has supplied projects as far away as London and across Ireland –  and of course we will be keen to continue and progress that going forward.’

Dealing initially in reclaimed stone, Hutton Stone Co. Ltd grew steadily throughout the 1990s by reopening historically important quarries in the Borders area and Northumberland, such as Swinton, Hazeldean and, most recently, Darney, with substantial investments in modern quarrying and processing machinery. The company currently employs 35 staff and has an annual turnover of around £2 million.

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