Industry News

Bigger dozer’s workload offsets operational costs

One of Australia’s largest and most innovative quarry operators has substantially increased its productivity with the purchase of a larger bulldozer.

Benedict Industries replaced its Komatsu D375A-6 bulldozer at 15,000 hours with a new D475A-5EO model, expecting an increase in operational costs to match its increased workload.

However, the 40 per cent increase in productivity has more than offset the operational costs, which are less than expected.

“When we initially discussed the purchasing of the D475, we budgeted on a fuel burn of about 110 litres per hour,” Benedict’s operations manager Brett Jarvis said. “To date, the machine has been averaging 80 litres per hour.”

According to Jarvis, the new machine has achieved an unexpected additional benefit.

“The D475 weighs about 40 tonnes more than the previous Komatsu bulldozer, so the amount of sandstone oversize we are producing is a lot less,” he said.

Benedict is one of Sydney’s largest quarrying and recycling companies. It operates the new D475 at its 75-hectare Mittagong site where processed sandstone is washed into concrete sand for the fast-growing Sydney and Illawarra construction markets.

The D475 is one of 25 Komatsu heavy machines operated by Benedict in a total fleet of more than 60.

Jarvis said relationships matter in a company in which a significant number of its 200 employees have more than two decades of service. “It’s all about relationships,” he said. “We rely on the strength of our commercial partnerships to make our business more efficient.”

Jarvis says the D475 was configured and commissioned by Komatsu’s team, led by the New South Wales major account manager Paul Chenery.

“Our needs are very specific and because of his close relationship with us, Paul was able to provide exactly the combination of machine and attachments we required, especially as we are now quarrying harder sandstone,” he said.

Purpose-built solutions, combined with specific Komatsu on-site operator training, have been instrumental in providing efficiency gains.


Komtrax, Komatsu’s complimentary remote monitoring service, used almost universally by Benedict across its Komatsu fleet, has been extremely useful in gauging machine utilisation and achieving productivity gains.“I’ve been able to mentor our equipment operators on the importance of selecting the right work mode to reduce idle times and fuel burn by simply monitoring Komtrax,” Jarvis said.

“It comes as a surprise to some of our operators that I can monitor the performance of the machines without being on-site.”

In the tough business of quarrying and recycling, Benedict is gaining a strong reputation for innovation at all levels – and for its focus on community and environmental issues. It has partnered with developer Mirvac to redevelop its Moorebank sand quarry into a marina, residential and commercial centre, to the benefit of local communities.

Recognising the increasing community need for recycling, it has put on a fleet of free-to-hire covered box trailers, so people can more easily transport their waste to recycling facilities.

In conjunction with Symbio Wildlife Park in Helensburgh, NSW, Benedict has also planted more than 1000 eucalypt trees at its Menangle and Sandy Point quarry sites, which will be used as feedstock for koalas at the wildlife park. Another 1000 trees are yet to be planted.

“Urban expansion will place increasing demand on our services and one of our major goals is to identify and secure new sites in strategic areas,” Jarvis said.

In 2019 Benedict is to open two new recycling sites, at Smeaton Grange and Girraween, each strategically placed to meet growing community requirements.

“Where required, some of our plants are now working double shifts, up to 18 hours a day,” Jarvis said.

“The demand on machine reliability has never been greater.”

Source: Komatsu Australia

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