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From the organisers of

A review of Hillhead 2014

First published in the July 2014 issue of Quarry Management as Bigger and Better

The world’s largest working quarry show just got even bigger. Quarry Management takes a look back at some of the most exciting product/service launches and key announcements at Hillhead 2014

With an impressive total of 17,559 trade visitors in attendance, this year’s Hillhead show held from 24-26 June at Lafarge Tarmac’s Hillhead Quarry, near Buxton, Derbyshire, once again underlined its status as the world’s premier event for the mineral products, construction and recycling industries.

Around 450 of the world’s leading equipment manufacturers, contractors and suppliers took part in the biennial trade extravaganza, to promote their latest plant, equipment, materials and services.

Regular attendees may have noticed the new layout inside the expanded registration pavilion with more indoor stands than before. And with a further extension to the showground area near the entrance, providing more outdoor plots and a brand new working demonstration area, Hillhead 2014 was the biggest show ever mounted at the Derbyshire quarry site.

Many of the visitors who attended this year’s Hillhead expressed the view that this was perhaps the best show yet with more live machine/equipment demonstrations, more new product and service launches, and more technological innovations than ever before.   

Furthermore, exhibitors and visitors alike could not have asked for much better weather at Hillhead 2014. Consistent sunshine and mild temperatures helped to ensure preparations for the show went smoothly and according to plan, and the fine weather continued throughout the three-day event, albeit with a touch of fine drizzle towards the end of the opening day.

Setting the standard

As always, the first full day of the exhibition saw thousands of visitors flocking to the newly expanded showground and pavilions to view the wide range of exhibits, including the latest innovations designed to increase productivity and reduce operational costs, as well as providing health, safety and environmental benefits. 

Hillhead has always been, and continues to be, a highly popular spotlight event for exhibitors to showcase their latest plant, equipment and services to a high-calibre international audience. But, as with previous shows, this year’s event also provided a fitting venue for the launch of key industry initiatives such as the PRIME (Professional Recognition in Mineral Extraction) project. 

Promoting the concept of CPD to ‘all’ levels within the industry, the PRIME project will work towards creating a fully competent workforce and achieving ‘Target Zero’ by recognizing the contributions made by fully trained operatives, foremen and supervisors, and encouraging more active workforce engagement.

The project will focus on the upskilling of and forward development of individuals through Total Professional Development (TPD), with further recognition provided by the recent creation of the Institute of Quarrying’s new Technical Membership grade (TMIQ).

Brought about thanks to a co-ordinated partnership between the MPA, BAA, MPQC, QNJAC and IQ, with grant support from UKCES, the PRIME project is the most significant initiative in the industry for many years and the first time that producers, contractors and suppliers have come together to recognize the importance of the contribution made by operatives, foremen and supervisors in the performance of a business. It represents a key turning point in bringing about a cultural change with more worker engagement, involvement, recognition and the retention of experienced highly trained individuals, linked with the longer-term goal of improving the external image of the sector, making it more attractive to future recruits.

This emphasis on partnership and greater worker engagement continued on the Finning/ Caterpillar ‘Built for it’ stand, which, fittingly, saw the launch of the first ever industry-wide gold standard accreditation for highly efficient quarrying and mining equipment operators.

Launched through a joint partnership between Finning and MPQC’s Awarding Body, MP Awards, the scheme aims to professionalize the industry by recognizing the best operators in the country and encouraging businesses to invest in the training and support of a key part of the industry’s workforce.

To achieve the gold standard, operators will have to take part in additional training and ongoing coaching through an intensive on-site course, run by Caterpillar- accredited Finning operator trainers.

The practical course covers a full range of different manufacturers’ models and focuses on both fuel and production efficiency. Each assessment is carried out against strict criteria, ensuring a gold cardholder is capable of adding real value to the bottom line of any business they work for.

At Hillhead 2014, Finning presented the first four gold cards to operators from Lafarge Tarmac, Hope Construction Materials, CEMEX and Breedon Aggregates. 

MP Awards qualification development manager John Bussey said: ‘The development of this new accreditation standard with Finning represents a key milestone in the delivery of the new PRIME campaign. It helps to recognize and professionalize a key part of the workforce, focusing on the individuals who can have a major impact on reducing the cost of quarrying materials.

‘By delivering the scheme in partnership with Finning, who have been operating their Institute of Quarrying CPD accredited Eco-Drive training programme for a number of years, we will be able to deliver a much higher level of practical training and advice to operators.

‘We know this will make a huge difference to all involved and see it as a first step to moving away from simply training individuals to be safe and competent to perform key tasks. This is about developing excellence, delivering efficiency and upping productivity to get more from the equipment and the quarry/mine itself.’

Lean and green

Energy efficiency, minimizing waste and reducing carbon emissions have become central to the way many companies in the aggregates industries and related sectors now operate.

At Hillhead 2014, it came as no surprise to see many exhibitors on their stands demonstrating their ‘green credentials’ and showcasing sustainable solutions designed to help customers to reap the full environmental and cost-saving benefits of operating more sustainably. 

Enjoying a hive of activity on their shared stand, co-exhibitors Total Bitumen, Total Lubricants and Total Special Fluids once again used Hillhead as a major platform to promote a comprehensive range of products (eg Rubia for engines, Dynatrans and Fluide for manual/automatic transmissions) and services (eg Total ANAC diagnosis system for engines, gearboxes and other driveline components) to new and existing customers.

‘It’s very important for us to be at Hillhead; not only to promote our latest range of products and services but also to discuss our sustainability strategy with our customers’ explained John Tuite, national sales and marketing manager for Total Bitumen UK.

‘The response to our one-stop shop offerings has been very positive especially the Total Styrelf, Azalt Eco2 and Styrelf Eco2 range of products, which were showcased to provide asphalt customers with a ready-to-use lower- temperature solution. We’re also very happy with the location of our stand, which has attracted many visitors and, importantly, allowed us to build working relationships with new and prospective customers.’

Chris Cave, marketing executive for Total Lubricants, told QM the show had been an ideal opportunity to promote the key benefits of its Rubia Works Fuel Economy range

‘We’ve been inundated with enquiries,’ he said. ‘The lubricants were recently trailed by a leading aggregates producer who saved around £130,000 on fuel costs over a nine-month period on a fleet of dumptrucks, simply by switching from a standard 15W40 grade to a fuel-efficient 10W40 product – Rubia Works 2000 FE.’

Elsewhere on the showground, the latest fuel-saving machines spearheaded the line-up on two JCB stands, with the new 457 wheel loader, updated JS360 excavator and 85Z compact excavator taking centre stage. Rob Mills, general manager of UK sales, said interest in the stands had been ‘absolutely fantastic’. ‘This feels a lot better than two years ago,’ he commented. ‘There’s been a lot of footfall on the stand. I would say the UK market is not just ‘recovering’ but appears to have ‘recovered’.’

Another exhibitor underlining its environmental credentials was milling, paving and compaction equipment specialists Bomag (GB), who presented their latest 19-tonne BF 600 P-2 wheeled paver model. Powered by a fuel-efficient Mercedes MTU 116kW engine, the machine features Ecomode – an integrated engine-management system that matches power to demand, reducing fuel consumption and exhaust emissions.

Also on the Bomag stand was the new BW 161 ADO-4 tandem roller which features the company’s innovative TanGo tangential oscillation system. Bomag managing director Alan Batty expressed his delight with the level of interest in the firm’s exhibits and described the UK debuts of the BF 600 P-2, BW 161 ADO-4 and other Tier 4 Final models as ‘highly successful with a large number of significant enquiries at the show.’

Among the other exhibitors showcasing their latest environmentally friendly products were mobile crushing and screening specialists Powerscreen, who launched four new machines ¬– the Premiertrak 300HA jaw crusher, Warrior 2100 screen, Maxtrak 1150 cone crusher and Premiertrak 600 diesel-electric jaw crusher. 

The new Premiertrak 600 jaw crusher is available in two configurations – diesel-hydraulic and diesel-electric – both of which are designed to deliver optimum production and performance with minimum downtime, greater fuel economy and reduced noise levels.

Andrew Yeo, Powerscreen territory manager – Asia, said the company had one of its most successful and rewarding Hillhead appearances to date. ‘Hillhead 2014 has been one of our busiest ever shows – the visitor response to our mobile range has been tremendous with a lot of enquiries about the new products,’ he explained. ‘A number of orders for new machines were also taken at the show and we expect to close a few more deals in the coming months, so all in all this has been a very good show for Powerscreen.’

On the Terex Finlay stand and in the company’s adjacent demo area, every machine on show represented a new product launch, a machine launched within the last six months, or a prototype of a machine to be launched later this year. According to marketing manager Brian Pauley, it was the new dual-power diesel/electric variants of the J-1175 jaw crusher, C-1540 cone crusher and 694+ inclined screen that generated the most interest. ‘Capable of running off mains electricity, these machines should deliver 36% energy savings during a typical 40h week,’ he said.

Done deals

With economic recovery gathering momentum, particularly in the UK, and confidence returning to the mineral products industry, a growing sense of optimism was noticeable among the 450-plus exhibitors and thousands of visitors during the three-day show.

The general consensus at Hillhead 2014 was that the UK economy is showing real signs of picking up and it was also clearly evident businesses were willing to spend on new equipment/services, having been reluctant to invest during the financial crisis.

As usual, the middle day of the event (Wednesday) turned out to be the busiest of the three, with most exhibitors reporting very busy stands with deals being struck, leads to follow up, new contracts being made and old contacts being renewed.

One exhibitor enjoying brisk business at the show was Atlas Copco, who showcased a wide range of products which attracted a strong interest from visitors. These included: hydraulic breakers; a full range of silent demolition attachments such as grapples and combi-cutters; compressors and generators; and compaction equipment.

Kevin Prince, general manager for Atlas Copco Construction and Mining, commented: ‘Hillhead has been a great show for us as it suits Atlas Copco’s product offering for the construction and mining industries. We've done some key deals at the show including: two flagship SD2500WS pavers; several asphalt rollers and a large order for compressors of various sizes. We also displayed the new QLT H50 lighting tower and PAS 6 diesel-driven pump, which were both well received.’

Another exhibitor enjoying a highly successful and rewarding Hillhead 2014 was Leica Geosystems, who were promoting their latest solutions-based iCON portfolio and existing offerings such as the Aibotix range of mobile mapping systems and MS50 multi-station.

Neil Williams, country manager, machine control for Leica Geosystems, said: ‘Hillhead has been an excellent show for the business, allowing us to target potential customers from a number of sectors. We’ve been overwhelmed by the interest in our products and services, having seen a lot of good-quality people from the UK and overseas. We’ve also received several orders for our surveying/mapping equipment at the show.’

Many visitors to the exhibition also visited the Kubota stand, where Richard North, area sales manager for Avon Equipment Sales, one of the UK distributors for the Japanese firm, described this year’s Hillhead as one of the best European trade shows of its kind.

‘Exhibiting at a trade exhibition such as Hillhead helps us to promote the Kubota brand across the markets sectors in which we operate by maintaining contact with our existing customers, as well as opening doors to new clients,’ explained Mr North.  

‘We also see Hillhead as a perfect venue for launching new products to customers from around the world – a key focus on the stand, for example, was the latest U27-4 zero tail-swing mini-excavator. We had a busy Tuesday but Wednesday, as expected, was by far the busiest day. Overall, we’re very happy with the response during the show as we have received more sales leads than expected, plus a number of deals for the latest mini models were concluded on the stand.’

Likewise, Bell Equipment UK’s next-generation E-series articulated dumptruck range proved a real crowd puller at this year’s show. ‘We were absolutely mobbed on Wednesday,’ said managing director Nick Learoyd, who confirmed that 22 machines had been sold off the stand. ‘The market is definitely taking off in the UK far quicker than anywhere else. It’s been a great show with good-quality visitors. We’ve absolutely no complaints.’

In a similar vein, Edward Prosser, marketing manager with Marubeni-Komatsu, described this year’s event as a step or two up from the 2012 show. ‘The quarrying market is definitely picking up and there is a positive outlook for the UK,’ he commented, adding that the company had sold a PC360 and two PC210 excavators off the stand.

Across on the Hitachi stand, mines and quarries manager Mark Turnham echoed these sentiments. ‘It’s been a fantastic show and well worth attending,’ he said. ‘We’ve had huge interest in the new ZW330-5 wheel loader and we also sold our largest and smallest exhibits, the Zaxis 879LRC-5B excavator and ZX17U mini-excavator respectively, straight off the stand to South Wales-based Walters UK.’

Judging by the positive comments from several other exhibitors, this year’s event proved even more successful than previous Hillhead shows.

Celebrating 55 years in business, Northern Ireland-based Bruce Engineering said they had had their most successful Hillhead ever. The company used the show to launch its new WashPod, which is capable of washing, scrubbing and screening 60–80 tonnes/h and takes up less space than a parked articulated truck. Marketing and dealer support manager Caroline Slane said: ‘We had a lot of interest in the WashPod and received a number of good leads and enquiries from high-quality visitors.’

Liebherr GB were equally positive about the benefits of exhibiting at this year’s event as Lee Palmer, divisional manager earthmoving, said: ‘We couldn’t have asked for a better show. It’s been absolutely fantastic with lots of enquiries. Several machines were sold off the stand during the event and there there’ll be more sales to come after the show as we have good leads to follow up. We had three new models on display, including the R922 excavator and PR736 dozer, but our new R914 Compact excavator was the star of the show for us this year.’

Anders Kjellberg, Sandvik’s president of crushing and screening, said there was no better place than Hillhead to show off machines to customers old and new. The company used the show to highlight its ‘total solutions’ product range. Among the key new exhibits on display and demonstration were the CH540 stationary cone crusher, the QA451 Doublescreen, the Rammer 5011 hammer and the QH441 and QS331 mobile cone crushers with hanging screens. ‘We scanned 1,200 visitors on the stand on the first day alone,’ said Mr Kjellberg. ‘And there were many others who we didn’t actually manage to scan as our stand staff were simply too busy!’

Action stations!

At Hillhead shows, the key attraction for many visitors is chance to see new plant and equipment at work in the live demonstration areas, and at this year’s event there was even more to see than usual, thanks to the creation of a brand new demo area near the Registration pavilion, not to mention a record number of machines (more than 80) taking part in the action.

Among the machines at work in the new Registration demo area was the new M515 Track Trommel from MDS, a Metso Lokotrack LT106 and a Terex Finlay 694+ triple-deck screen, with stockpile management and feed duties taken care of by a Bell 2606 loading shovel and Volvo EC380 excavator respectively. A second Terex Finlay machine, this time a heavy-duty Spaleck 883 Combi Flip-Flow screen, could be seen processing C&D waste alongside another recycling demonstration by Indeco and Global Construction Plant and Equipment, the UK distributors for Guidetti compact crushers.

Meanwhile, down the ramp in the main Recycling demo area Maximus Crushing & Screening demonstrated their 516 scalping screen with the help of mobile plant from JCB who, as usual, had a variety of machines operating in the working areas, including 417, 427 and 457 wheel loaders and JS220 and JS360 excavators, as well as a VM146 compactor, 300CTL skid-steer loader and 4CX backhoe loader. Also in this area, recycling equipment specialists EMS put their new SRS5000 shredder through its paces processing C&D waste, while a Finnish-build Tana Shark 440DT from Warwick Ward shredded its way through a pile of waste wood.

Elsewhere in the Recycling demo area Herbst Machinery demonstrated their new Agri Crusher, a towable unit driven by a power take-off from an agricultural tractor, alongside their Compac C100 crusher and Compac S52 screen, while Baughan’s showed off their compact 10–30 tonnes/h Jobber crusher. Completing the recycling line up, engcon demonstrated their Tiltrotator attachments while ECY Haulmark showed off a Rubblemaster RM70Go impact crusher and VTN crusher bucket mounted on a Hitachi excavator.

Around the corner in the Rock Processing demo area, aka ‘Crusher Alley’, first-time demonstrators Quarry Manufacturing & Supplies (QMS) operated a static 1,200mm head diameter B4 cone crusher, while next door Sandvik put five mobile machines from their extensive product range through their paces. These comprised a QA331 screen working solo, a QJ341 jaw crusher feeding into a QS331 cone crusher and another QJ341 feeding into a QH331 cone crusher. Next-door neighbours Powerscreen had four mobile machines in operation: a Premiertrak 600 diesel/electric jaw crusher feeding into a Maxtrak1150 cone crusher, and a Warrior 2100 screen and Premiertrak 300 jaw crusher both working on their own.

Terex Finlay’s rock processing demonstration involved three of the company’s new dual-power diesel/electric variants, with a J-1175 mobile jaw crusher feeding into a C1540 mobile cone crusher, which, in turn, fed into a 694+ Supertrak three-deck screener. On the adjacent plot Tesab demonstrated their 1200TC tracked cone crusher in tandem with a 24m Trackstack 8042T mobile stockpile conveyor, while next to them and completing the rock processing demonstrations McCloskey International had a J45 mobile jaw crusher feeding an R155 high-energy screener with a side conveyor feeding on to a TS4065 tracked stacking conveyor.

As usual, the Quarry Face demo area was a constant hive of activity with a wide range of  mobile plant and attachments in action. Visitors to Finning’s two-storey viewing gallery saw  several Caterpillar machines put through their paces, including a 90-tonne 385C excavator, a 988K wheel loader working with a 775G rigid dumptruck, and the new 982M wheel loader paired with a 730C articulated dumptruck. Another heavyweight excavator was demonstrated by Liebherr GB in the form of an 80-tonne R964, along with an L576 wheel loader. Other machines hard at work in this area included JCB 427 and 457 wheel loaders and JS220 and JS360 excavators, a Terex TA400 articulated dumptruck and a TR70 rigid truck, Hyundai R520LC and R480LC excavators and an HL780 wheel loader, and a Doosan DX380LC-3 excavator, DL550-3 wheel loader and DA40 articulated dumptruck.

Volvo CE were represented by an EC380 excavator and A40G articulated dumptruck, and Case by CX370C, CX350C and CX210C excavators and an 1021F wheel loader. Marubeni-Komatsu had PC490 and PC360 excavators on face duties, along with a WA470-7 wheel loader and HM400 articulated dumptruck. In addition, a Komatsu D61PXi-23 bulldozer equipped with Topcon’s Sitelink site-management system helped maintain the haul road between the quarry face and Crusher Alley. Also in the quarry face area Worsley Plant demonstrated two excavator-mounted MB crusher buckets and a Remu 4160 screening bucket, while two other excavators acted as carriers for a selection of Miller couplers and attachments.    

Show success

Hillhead is seen as an important platform for companies to get their products and services into worldwide markets, thanks to the scale and variety of visitors to the show.

For first-time exhibitors ARJA Group, Spanish manufacturers of impact crushing plants for hard and abrasive stone, Hillhead offered them an ideal opportunity to break into the UK and worldwide markets, as Pan Marco, international business development manager, explained: ‘We recently changed our business model to be more internationally driven and this strategy means we are creating further opportunities and reaching new markets abroad.

‘As a first-time exhibitor, we are very pleased to be at Hillhead because we want to make inroads into the British and overseas markets. The show itself has been a great success for us with lots of footfall on the stand and the feedback on all our products was extremely positive.’

Also echoing these sentiments was Nillo Biason, export sales manager for Varisco, who was impressed by the strong global audience at the event. ‘I visited the last Hillhead show in 2012 when it quickly dawned on me this exhibition would provide the perfect opportunity for us to promote our brand and products to the wider UK and international markets. So, as first-time exhibitors, it’s been a very good experience and the visitor type coming to the show was exactly what we were looking for.’

Peter McGeary, sales manager with Belgium-based Keestrack, said he too had been taken aback by the volume of genuine enquiries at the show. ‘We’ve come to Hillhead to promote our mobile crusher range and to launch the new S175 mobile screener in the UK. We’ve seen a good through flow of visitors to the stand and will definitely be looking to take a bigger plot next time.’

He added that the car parking arrangements and other facilities were getting better with every show – which is something the organizers will be looking to improve on even more at Hillhead 2016 – taking what is already the world’s biggest and best working quarry show to even greater heights.


QMJ Publishing Ltd, the organizers of Hillhead 2014, would like to express their gratitude to Lafarge Tarmac Ltd for permission to use the Hillhead site. Also, a host of services and facilities at the show are made possible by the generous support of sponsors and the organizers would like to thank the following companies: Nynas, Brammer UK, Babcock International Group, Total Bitumen, Total Lubricants, Powerscreen and DISAB UK.   

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