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Titan tooth and Tefra coupler make their mark on Hall

Titan and Tefra

Hill Engineering’s Titan ripper tooth and Tefra coupler combination makes light work of gypsum contract

A RIPPER tooth from Hill Engineering, fitted to one of just a few 75-tonne crawler excavators in use in the UK, is allowing Hall Construction Services to operate twice as fast in the only active gypsum quarry in the country.

The heavy-duty Hill Titan ripper tooth, combined with the manufacturer’s fully automatic Tefra coupler, is tearing through 4,000 sq metres a day, twice the amount that would have been possible with a 4 cubic metre rock bucket.

The Tefra coupler is also allowing faster attachment swaps between a loading bucket and the Titan ripper tooth, which is used to dig seams of gypsum from 100–300mm thick, leaving anything from 300–600mm to be blasted.

Robert Hall, project manager with Hall Construction Services, explained how they had decided they needed a ripper and quick-hitch for a Volvo EC480 crawler excavator they were using at Saint Gobain’s opencast gypsum mine, near Newark, in Nottinghamshire, which produces nearly 500,000 tonnes of the material every year.

But the machine was not big enough, so they ordered a Tefra coupler and Titan ripper tooth for their Volvo EC750.

‘It was a bit of a gamble because there aren’t many applications for an EC750 ripper and it might not have worked, but it has certainly paid off. It is a fantastically designed ripper tooth. It cuts through rock like a knife through butter,’ he said.

Hall Construction Services first specified Hill Engineering attachments almost two years ago when Volvo recommended the manufacturer’s next-generation, ultra-safe Tefra coupler for two EC480s and the EC750.

‘We had heard of Hill before and Volvo suggested they were a good-quality product. We thought we would see what Hill’s product range was like and they have been outstanding. They are very well built and just get on and do the job.’

And the job for Saint Gobain, extracting gypsum from thin seams between 30m and 40m below ground, is a long one. Hall Construction Services commenced on site late in 2016 and are contracted for five years.

The family-run company is currently working seven seams, with the Hill Titan ripper tooth in use on three of them, and is also using EC750s with 5.7 cubic metre buckets to move some 3 million cubic metres of overburden annually to reach the seams.

Hall Construction Services are also currently involved with the Scottish Mines Restoration Trust in the restoration of Scottish opencast coal sites. Their plant portfolio totals more than 150 pieces of equipment, ranging from mini-diggers to 180-tonne excavators and includes articulated and rigid dumptrucks, dozers and road wagons.

Ross Fairweather, Hill Engineering’s northern UK sales manager, said: ‘We are very proud to be supplying Hall Construction Services with our Tefra and Titan products, as we are confident that they will stand up to the most extreme of applications. We pride ourselves on the quality and reliability of our products and are always on hand, if needed, to assist any of our clients.’

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