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Simple maths determines wheel loader choice

Located 140km from South Korea’s capital Seoul, Wonju is a popular holiday destination for Koreans and foreign tourists, thanks to its picturesque golf courses and extensive woodland.

The region boasts mineral-rich ground, ideal for extracting granite stone for use on the country’s world-renowned rail network and in road construction.

Wonju is the capital city of Gangwon province – the north-easternmost province of South Korea, on the North Korean border.

In 2018, the region will host the Winter Olympics and preparations are already under way to improve infrastructure.

The coastal region is renowned for its agricultural produce, including cuttlefish and pollock, while further inland the landscape features thick woodland rich in mineral resources such as iron, coal fluorite, limestone and tungsten.

Doo Won Development runs a quarry site that blasts, crushes and mixes granite from the steep, mountainous slopes on the outskirts of Wonju to produce crushed aggregate (19mm, 25mm and 40mm) that is turned into ready mix concrete and used in governmental construction projects, including railways and roads.

The site was purchased in 2008 and now employs 55 people, operating a fleet of Volvo Construction Equipment (Volvo CE) machines to extract and process 550 tonnes per hour and load more than 200 trucks per day.

The site’s president, Kang Peom Hee, bought a Volvo CE L180 G-series fitted with a 5.8m3 rehandling bucket that is optimised in shape and larger than the standard, general purpose 4.6m3 bucket.

This, coupled with the boom suspension and rehandling counterweight, provides faster filling times, a higher fill factor
and up to 10 per cent improved fuel efficiency.

In addition to the rehandler, the site operates two other Volvo wheel loaders – an L150G and an L220F – to transport the crushed aggregate onto trucks, as well as eight Volvo excavators ranging from 29 to 48 tonnes to handle the large blasted rock inside the quarry. The large boulders are loaded onto trucks and transported to the crushing plant.

ROBUST PERFORMANCE {{image2-A:R-w:250}}The steep slopes surrounding the Doo Won Development quarry can be difficult to navigate, especially in the snowy winter months but Kang is pleased with his fleet’s performance throughout the year.

“During the winter, we sometimes face problems with our conveyor belt seizing up but our construction equipment keeps on running,” he said.

“We experience impressive uptime with our Volvo machines. They’re very reliable and we receive great support from our local dealer.”

The Volvo CE dealer is based just 10km from the site and offers Doo Won Development on-site service and maintenance support, as well as spare parts.

“For me, the most important factor when buying machinery is the relationship I have with the local branch,” Kang said. “I’m very satisfied with the support we receive and even Volvo’s international call centre regularly contacts me to ensure we’re happy with everything, while the local technicians come to our site to check the equipment.”

The Wonju-based Volvo branch has access to the fleet’s machine data to remotely monitor service intervals and fault alarms, so a technician can be available to attend to a problem or service issue immediately. “The service checks are always carried out on time but we experience very few problems with our Volvo machines,” Kang said. “In comparison to other equipment we’ve used, Volvo machines have virtually no downtime.”

Seo Jong San has operated wheel loaders for more than 21 years, and currently runs an L220F at the Doo Won site.

“Volvo equipment has far fewer technical faults than other brands in my experience,” he said. “The axle and other driving components last very well. But most impressive is the machine’s fuel consumption, which is up to six litres per hour lower than other brands, depending on the application.”

For Doo Won Development, the maths is simple when comparing Volvo with other brands.

Seo operates the wheel loader for 10 hours per day all year round, and appreciates the finishing touches Volvo added inside the cab to keep operators comfortable.

“I find the Volvo machines very comfortable and stable to operate, which makes it a more enjoyable ride for me,” he said.
Doo Won Development has a target of producing 1.1 million cubic metres of crushed aggregate in 2014 – a 10 per cent increase on 2013.

With production continuing to ramp up, Kang plans to buy more Volvo equipment for his site.

“I’m very happy with the support I receive from Volvo CE, and I see our relationship with our local branch continuing long into the future, thanks to the equipment’s high resale value and uptime,” he said.

In Australia, Volvo Construction Equipment products are available through CJD Equipment. 

Source: Volvo Construction Equipment

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