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2020 / 2021 Edition

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Scottish Coal Choose Liebherr

Scottish Coal Co. Ltd acquire four Liebherr R 9350 Litronic excavators for use at their Broken Cross OCCS, in Lanarkshire

After detailed and extensive machine comparisons over a considerable period of time, Scottish Coal recently placed an order for four R 9350 excavators – two in front shovel and two in backhoe configuration - with Liebherr-Great Britain Ltd.

The purchase by Scottish Coal represents one of the largest single orders for hydraulic excavators ever received by Liebherr.

The R 9350 Litronics weigh between 302 and 310 tonnes (depending on configuration) and backhoe and face-shovel bucket capacities range from 15.3m3 to 20m3.   

Liebherr say the excavators are powerful machines designed and built specifically for delivering optimum outputs in quarrying, mining and opencast applications. Each machine is powered by a V12, turbocharged, after-cooled Cummins QSK45 engine, developing around 1,120kW at 1,800 rev/min.

For Scottish Coal’s Broken Cross site, the R 9350 backhoe model has been specifically fitted with a 9.3m gooseneck boom, a 4.2m stick and 17m3 capacity bucket.

The front shovel version, meanwhile, is equipped with a 6.75m boom, a 4.2m shovel stick and 17m3 bottom dump bucket. Bucket capacities on both machine configurations have been reduced to suit the opencast application and the dumptruck fleet on site. According to Liebherr, the excavators are consistently filling the Cat 777 and Terex TR100 haulers in three passes within a minute.

The undercarriage is of three-piece design, featuring box-type structures and side frames with stress-relieved steelwork componentry as standard. Swing drive hydraulics are provided by two Liebherr axial piston motors fitted to each side frame, while the swing gear is via Liebherr planetary reduction gears with a sealed triple roller and internal toothed slewing ring.  

The R 9350 track components include: D12-type, 850mm wide maintenance-free, forged double-grouser pads; and pressurized hydraulic cylinders with accumulators that provide automatic track tensioning. The excavators travel up to 3.1km/h, with slewing speed up to 3.7 rev/min.  

The upper-carriage is of torque-resistant design with the upper frame being of box-type construction for greater strength and durability. There are catwalks situated in front of the pumps and in the counterweights, and for driver safety there is an additional emergency ladder in front of the cab (the left hand side catwalk is equipped with a hydraulically powered access ladder).

For regular checks, maintenance, servicing and refuelling, the R 9350 is equipped with a hydraulically actuated service door with lighting, which provides full access at ground level for oil changes, replenishment of the automatic central lubrication system and fast, convenient refilling of the 6,275-litre capacity fuel tank.

Operator comfort 

The R 9350 Litronic’s spacious ROPS/FOPS operator cab is fully air-conditioned, with the driver protected against sunlight/noise by blinds, tinted windows and high-quality sound insulation.  

The air-suspended and heated driver seat can be adjusted to cater for the individual size and weight of the operator. There is also generously dimensioned glazing, providing a high level of all-round visibility and, thanks to the cab’s comfortable and ergonomic layout, operator fatigue is minimized to ensure optimum working efficiency during a shift.

In addition, drivers benefit from responsive and precise electro-hydraulic twin multi-directional joystick controls and can obtain up-to-the-minute engine and hydraulics system operational data via the Litronic system’s monitoring display.


The backhoe version has a maximum reach, at ground level, of 16.3m, with a maximum teeth height of 15.4m and a dump height of 10.2m. The machine’s optimum digging depth is 9.5m, while digging and breakout forces are 880kN and 1,020kN respectively.  

The front shovel, at ground level, has a maximum reach of 13.75m, a maximum dump height of 11.2m and a maximum crowd length of 5.2m. Optimum crowd force is 1,300kN, 1,040kN at ground level, while breakout force is 1,060kN.

Major safety features specified by Scottish Coal for their new Liebherr excavators include: supplementary xenon lighting; fully automatic fire-suppression equipment, additional mirrors; travel alarms; and three CCTV cameras for all-round visibility and operational safely.

To meet the productivity demands of the opencast site, Liebherr will be providing dedicated after-sales support services for Scottish Coal. An on-site maintenance team, supported by a crane-equipped flat-bed, a 4x4 service vehicle, an access platform and a Liebherr telehandler, will be on hand to help fulfil any servicing needs.  

Liebherr-Great Britain Ltd, Normandy Lane, Stratton Business Park, Biggleswade, Beds SG18 8QB; tel: (01767) 602100; fax: (01767) 602110; email: [email protected]

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