Two quarry managers have shared their experiences of using loader scales and how it has proved a simple but vital technology to increase load accuracy, save time and track material.
Brenton Simpson manages Hanson quarries in Tarrawingee in northeast Victoria and in Moama, on the New South Wales border. Although neither quarry has a weighbridge on-site, Simpson says he has minimised risk and increased accuracy thanks to the introduction of on-board weighing technology. About 18 months ago Simpson installed Loadmaster loader scales on two Komatsu loaders to track movement of raw material through the plant and ensure road trucks were loaded within legal tolerances.
Simpson chose the trade-approved Loadmasterα100 system, which enables users to transact off the weight figures.
“In addition to increasing the accuracy of every load moved through the site, the loader scales have given us better reporting of material movement and minimised risk by accurately loading road trucks,” he said.
Once a week, trucks are sent to a private weighbridge to cross-check the weight accuracy.
“It is very rare for a truck to be out of tolerance,” he said.
Simpson explained that tracking materials through the plant helps to minimise paperwork and increase productivity on-site.
“Every time an operator picks up a bucket under a conveyor belt and moves it to a stockpile, it is recorded and provided to me on a monthly report,” he said. “I can easily keep tabs on stock levels and how much material is in each stockpile.”
When asked why he opted for Loadmaster scales over other brands, Simpson said local support from Australian distributor Position Partners was a deciding factor.
“We looked at the ease of the use of the system first and foremost, and the Loadmaster seemed a very user-friendly system.
“Having the support of Position Partners in Victoria is also very important. After visiting us for on-site training to get us up and running, the team is very responsive if we ever come into technical issues, and they can also log in remotely, which saves a lot of time, as you don’t have to wait for a technician to arrive on-site.”
On the other side of Victoria in Winchelsea, Ryan Davis is the third-generation manager of Armytage Quarry, operated by family-owned RAK Davis & Sons.
Six months ago the company invested in two Loadmaster 100 systems for its Volvo and Komatsu loaders, and Davis said it had been a great improvement, minimising paperwork and enabling the company to accurately transact by the tonne rather than the metre.
“The loader scales mean we can keep up with the times and accurately transact by the tonne,” Davis said. “It also gives us an accurate record of what material has gone and where, so we no longer have to sift through paper dockets when a client calls because we have their order history on the screen straight away.”
Davis said all his staff had embraced the technology, largely because it is easy to use.
“We have a 50-50 split between the younger generation, where the use of technology is second nature, and the older generation that need a little more proof before they trust it,” he said.
“We’ve found everyone has really got on board with the loader scale system because it’s easy to use and also very reliable.
“We also bought the printer option, which means the operator can print out a record inside the cab.”
RAK Davis was first introduced to loader scales when it took delivery of the company’s new WA480 Komatsu wheel loader.
“Komatsu recommended the Loadmaster on-board weighing technology as a good addition to the loader to increase productivity and reduce wear on the machine by loading accurately each time,” Davis said.
“When I learnt that the RDS Loadmaster is sold by Position Partners, which has two branches in Melbourne, I was happy to go ahead with fitting systems to the new Komatsu and our Volvo, as I knew we’d get local support.
“Sure enough, they’ve been great getting us up to speed and can normally solve any technical glitches over the phone.”
Source: Position Partners