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Stuart Partners choose sustainable Sandvik solution

Stuart Partners’ Sandvik QE342e hybrid scalper
Stuart Partners’ Sandvik QE342e hybrid scalper

Sandvik QE342e hybrid scalper chosen for family-run inert waste recycling operation in Exeter

Playing their part in the drive towards a more sustainable future, Stuart Partners Ltd have recently invested in a Sandvik QE342e hybrid scalper for their recycling operation and will soon see the benefits both in terms of lower operating costs and a reduced carbon footprint, in addition to the operational benefits of the latest model.

Established in the 1940s, Stuarts Partners Ltd is a family-run company located in Devon. It has evolved over the years from a cattle haulage business into various industry sectors, such as farming, truck sales and servicing, landfill, recycling, skip waste, as well as renewable energy.


Based at the original Hill Barton Business Park in Exeter, the inert waste recycling sector of the business grew in the 1990s, when it started to clean aggregate to make crushed concrete. This is when Stuart Partners first purchased a screener. The process has developed over the years to today where the wash plant is required to operate all year round. Most of the material brought on to their site is now recycled, including the processing and sorting of more than 80,000 tonnes per year of inert waste. Upwards of 70,000 tonnes per year is reusable and sold as quality recycled aggregates.

Needing to upgrade their existing plant, Stuart Partners contacted Retec Equipment Ltd, UK & Ireland distributors for Sandvik mobile crushers and screens, to discuss their requirements. A QE342e hybrid model was proposed and seemed the ideal fit for their recycling operation.

According to Sandvik, the QE342e is one of the most versatile and reliable heavy-duty mid-size scalpers available on the market today. The ‘e’ hybrid variant offers a plug-in option to operate either in electric or diesel mode to suit the customer’s preferred energy choice. Purpose designed for durability, its crusher-style chassis incorporates a wear-resistant rigid hopper and is compatible with two- or three-way-split configurations, as well as having the ability to interchange side conveyors.

The QE342e’s heavy-duty 16ft x 5ft (4.7m x 1.45m) screen with its high speed and aggressive throw is built for tough applications and can handle high volumes of infeed material. It offers user-friendly features for ease of operation, including an electrical control system which improves both operational effectiveness and machine safety, as well as two-speed tracking for faster mobility on site. The unit also comes fitted with My Fleet telematics as standard, to optimize the machine performance and maximize productivity.

Tom Stuart, site manager at Stuart Partners’ recycling site, said: ‘We have a long history with Sandvik extending back beyond the ‘Extec days’. We know the brand produces quality, reliable machines which are exceptionally functional and hold an excellent resale value. This time we opted for a dual-power machine to suit our future requirements.’

Stuart Partners have been granted planning permission to build a new gasification plant which will produce renewable energy on site. This will incinerate waste for electricity rather than sending it to landfill, reducing greenhouse gas emissions and recovering valuable energy.

To be able to produce their first energy-from-waste plant, running on a neighbouring site, will mean that they will be able to power the wash plant and the Sandvik QE342e using renewable energy.

Commenting on why they chose Sandvik, Mr Stuart said: ‘The reliability, flexibility, range of options and resale made the QE342e the obvious choice.’

He added that they are currently operating the QE342e through an external generator and using it to separate larger fractions of material, which would be too large to go through the wash plant (+60mm), from the smaller fraction (0–60mm). It is used as the main feed and regulates the speed of throughput of the wash plant.

The smaller fraction is fed into the wash plant, whilst the larger material is processed through a crusher and sold as a crushed concrete, or 6F5. Once the screened material is processed through the wash plant, the aggregates are used by a wide range of customers, such as utilities, commercial builders, and even farmers for the sand. The larger material that is crushed is mostly used by commercial builders.

In addition to the sustainability of the hybrid drive, the QE342e offers many additional benefits in terms of lower cost of ownership and greater uptime. With fewer moving parts and filters, less time is required for maintenance, meaning the machine can be operational for longer.

The unit is fitted with the latest-generation efficient Stage V engine for maximum performance, reduced fuel consumption, and lower environmental impact. The hydraulic system is optimized and reduced engine rev/min lowers fuel consumption, whilst a well-proportioned fuel tank maximizes intervals between refuelling. There is also a 50% hydraulic fluid saving with extended service intervals from 2,000h to 4,000h.

All mobile units also leave the factory in Northern Ireland with HVO renewable fuel in the tank, contributing to cleaner operation and a lower CO2 footprint.

‘We have been really pleased with the machine so far. We have noticed a big step forward from our previous model (2008) in terms of electronics managing the rev/min of the engine. The plug-in electric will be a big step forward when we have the infrastructure in place,’ commented Mr Stuart.

‘The ease of removing the mid-size conveyor and the ability to reconfigure to our requirements has also been a real positive.’

Mr Stuart would not hesitate to recommend Sandvik, the QE342e, and their supplier, Retec Equipment Ltd. ‘We’ve had a great experience so far from Sandvik and Retec, and the expertise from Sandvik technicians has been second to none, helping us to fine-tune the machine over the first few months’ of operation,’ he said.


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