Lewis Quarry is a family-owned, independent quarry business operating from the Wilcocks pit near Ashby, in the northern New South Wales Clarence region.
The owner, Brian Lewis, has been in the industry since 1981, when he fell into the extractive business to keep busy for half of the year when not contracted to the Harwood sugar mill.
Brian started in a small gravel pit with an old Austral Kue Ken double toggle crusher, providing gravels and materials to local farmers and the like.
It was during this time that Brian’s business also diversified into sub-division construction, and he was able to utilise his quarry materials as part of his construction work. In 1991 Brian acquired the Ashby site and commenced operation in the large sandstone resource he has today.
Since then the business has evolved considerably, and the quarry now boasts a range of high production mobile equipment, which enables it to exceed 200,000 tonnes per annum of sold products.
In 2014 Brian and his son Daniel could see they needed to invest in a robust primary jaw crusher to replace a unit that was unreliable and regularly broken down. They decided a proven jaw would be necessary to maintain their current customers’ demand and also obtain their share of project work associated with the Pacific Highway upgrade nearby.
To understand what primary crushing equipment was available in the market, the Lewis family contacted several owner/operators of renowned manufacturers for their frank “warts and all” assessments of the equipment’s performance. They did this prior to engaging any equipment suppliers, to narrow their focus and spend time looking more closely at the quality providers.
Having maintained contact with Lewis Quarry over previous years, Tutt Bryant Equipment’s (TBE) NSW account manager Brad Scott was given the opportunity to offer Metso products.
Scott provided the Lewises with detailed technical information on appropriate equipment options and processing simulations through Metso’s proprietary Bruno model. Bruno has been developed over several decades and provides an accurate estimate of applicable operational costs such as energy consumption and wear parts usage.
Once it was satisfied with the information Scott had provided about the equipment’s suitability for its application, and after receiving positive feedback from other Metso owners, Lewis Quarry placed an order for the Metso LT120 jaw crusher, which it took delivery of in September 2015.
TBE recently visited the Lewis family, to ask how business was going after the inclusion of the LT120.
“Bloody amazing, it’s bullet proof!” came Brian’s triumphant response. “It really is all about the reliability. We recently had two 40-tonne excavators feeding it flat out. It didn’t miss a beat and ate everything we gave it!”
Brian was particularly pleased with the fuel burn, which was 10 per cent less than on the jaw it replaced, and the added bonus of 25 per cent more productivity, which provided obvious cost savings. The jaw die nip angle also provided better shape than expected.
“It’s probably the best thing I’ve ever bought,” Brian said. “You never regret a quality purchase like that.”
Daniel has the Metso ICr unit installed in the excavator cab, which enables him to monitor and change the LT120 feeder and crusher settings without leaving the comfort of the excavator.
He demonstrated how he could change the jaw’s closed side setting from the cab – which was much quicker than stopping the machine and having to climb down to the crusher controls, let alone making the changes and climbing back into the excavator.
“It’s so much safer and quicker from here. I hardly stop production,” Daniel said.
In the six months since the LT120’s introduction, Brian estimated the machine’s throughput to be about 150,000 tonnes of crushed rock. The extra crushing capacity has proven very valuable, with supply to various soft soil contractors on the Pacific Highway coming on line.
Brian joked that because of the machine’s robust design, the extra year of warranty TBE provided wouldn’t be called upon. “It really is bullet-proof!”
TBE continues to support Lewis Quarry through its pursuit of quarrying excellence and delivery of high quality sandstone products throughout the Clarence region and beyond.
Source: Tutt Bryant Equipment