Regional family business sticks to trusted models

In the mid-1980s Matthews Quarries bought its first Volvo CE vehicles, and immediately saw a 50 per cent reduction in fuel consumption compared to its previous machines.

Since then, Volvo machines have continued to help Matthews Quarries develop its position as one of the leading aggregates suppliers in Victoria.

With two haulers and an excavator the most recent additions to its earthmoving fleet, the company can boost the efficiency and performance of its operations even further.

{{quote-A:R-W:300-Q:"For more than 30 years the Traralgon-based business has built its reputation on an ability to deliver aggregates on schedule"}}For more than 30 years the Traralgon-based business has built its reputation on an ability to deliver aggregates on schedule.

With rising momentum in new road and rail projects across Australia, and especially in Victoria, the company has added three more machines to its fleet — a Volvo EC750D excavator and two Volvo A45G haulers — to meet growing demand and ensure it maintains its hard-earned reputation.

“Producing aggregates is a hard business — literally rock hard,” said Graeme Matthews, who manages Matthews Quarries alongside his brother Rob and sister Sharyn.

“The materials extracted are typically needed immediately. It’s one thing to have the product, but you also need to be known as a company that’s going to deliver on time. That’s where good, reliable machinery comes into play.”

Tough fleet

{{image2-a:r-w:300}}The EC750D excavator and two A45G haulers join the company’s fleet of a dozen Volvo CE machines that includes five haulers, four wheel loaders and three excavators. Together, the machines help extract and haul aggregates including ballast, crushed rocks, sealing aggregates and bedding sand.

The 75-tonne rated EC750D is designed for more productivity and increased fuel efficiency. With a bucket capacity range of 3.3m3 to 5.16m3, the excavator uses a Volvo D16 engine to deliver 11 per cent increased horsepower, while the excavator’s electro-hydraulic system provides excellent control for faster cycle times. It is now the largest Volvo excavator in the Matthews Quarries fleet and lines up alongside two other heavy-duty Volvos, an EC480DL and an EC380DL.

The acquisition of the two A45Gs means the company now owns three of these haulers. Designed for heavy hauling in severe off-road operations, the durable 41-tonne rated A45G features robust design, easy service access and reliable uptime.

Technology includes the optional on-board weighing system, which boosts fuel efficiency and reduces machine wear by guaranteeing an optimal load every cycle. Other features include the Volvo drivetrain, automatic traction control, all-terrain bogie and hydro-mechanical steering.

{{image3-a:r-w:300}}Matthews Quarries produces 500,000 tonnes of aggregates annually and expects to increase that to 600,000 tonnes next year. The company’s high grade aggregates are used on highways, and at concrete and hot mix plants throughout Victoria. One recent job saw the company supply crushed rocks for a major highway project near the Victorian/New South Wales border.

Chasing fuel efficiency

Established in 1986, Matthews Quarries is a family-owned and operated company. As the quarry has grown over the years, the company has increasingly looked to invest in construction equipment with higher performance, productivity and reliability to support the business.

“A huge advantage with Volvo machinery is the fuel efficiency — with our first Volvo wheel loaders we literally cut our fuel consumption in half compared with previous machines. This really helped boost our operations,” Matthews said.

Over its three-decade history, Matthews said the company had endured the highs and lows that any business experiences, but his commitment to high quality machinery had remained constant.

{{image4-a:r-w:300}}“Without the proper machinery, there’s no way to extract the materials from the quarry and every piece of equipment relies on the others. So, any breakdown for one machine can have major consequences for the others. When buying machines, it was crucial for us to look for reliability and exceptional after-sales service—both of which we found with CJD Equipment.”

Established in 1974, long-time Volvo CE dealer CJD Equipment employs 500 people across its 17 locations in Australia. With a motto of “Big enough to trust, small enough to care”, the Perth-based company is one of the leading suppliers of premium construction equipment and trucks in the country.

In addition to investing in premium equipment, Matthews Quarries also places utmost importance on machine maintenance. The company employs a team of highly skilled mechanics to ensure equipment like the excavators and wheel loaders is kept in tip-top condition. But ease of service is just one of many reasons Matthews says his company is smitten with Volvo equipment.

“In terms of sitting in them, the boys love them, they are comfortable, and they are just capable — really capable,” Matthews said. “We are big fans of Volvo.”

Source: Volvo Construction Equipment/ CJD Equipment

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