A Victorian southwest coast quarry has steadily grown its relationship with a major OEM, hailing clever design, fuel efficiency and cost savings as the backbone of their 25-year partnership – and all while extracting a colloquially famous rock.
Quarries in regional Victoria are vital to progressing the state’s infrastructure demand which drives the economy and requires huge amounts of crushed aggregates.
Coragulac Quarries is no exception, having operated out of Colac, about 150km southwest of Melbourne and 40km inland from Bass Strait, for more than 50 years.
The site produces between 120,000 and 150,000 tonnes of aggregates per year, which are sourced from three work authorities owned and operate by Coragulac.
Current owners Phil Boyd and Steve Lang have operated the site for the past 25 years and have enjoyed significant growth in the business.
“Phil and I have owned the quarry since 1996,” Lang told Quarry. “In that time it’s grown threefold.”
Coragulac’s key products include crushed rock and crushed concrete, basalt, drainage rock, red gravel, scoria and volcanic tuff rock (locally known as “wombat”).
Coragulac’s “wombat” aggregate is renowned in the Colac region, and is sourced by extracting the rock from an extinct volcano for which the area is renowned. It is mainly used as an alternative to driveway gravel, but can also be used for stones in buildings.
The site is also capable of crushing concrete aggregate for re-use which provides a lower cost alternative construction material.
Coragulac’s products are delivered, laid, compacted and rolled for a number of applications, “mainly in construction projects,” according to Lang.
The company offers delivery to surrounding regions, including Geelong, Beech Forest, Apollo Bay, Lavers Hill, Wye River, Cressy, Winchelsea, Lorne, Beeac and Birregurra.
An efficient choice
Supporting Coragulac’s extensive output of products is a fleet of Liebherr machines that offer a wide range of benefits matching the capabilities of Boyd and Lang’s quarry.
Boyd said Coragulac Quarries currently uses seven Liebherr machines that have proven reliable after the company first purchased a second-hand PR 732 dozer in the late 1990s. It is still used on the site today.
“We actually bought our first new Liebherr machine in 2001,” he said. “It was an L 538 wheel loader. We’ve still got it and it’s been quite reliable.
“We’ve also got two L 580 XPower wheel loaders, a PR 732 dozer, a PR 764 dozer, an R 916 excavator and an R 922 excavator.”
A major factor in Boyd and Lang’s investments has been the competitive price and value of Liebherr’s machines along with their fuel economy.
“Value for money and fuel efficiency leading to lower operating costs are two of the biggest benefits that have kept us coming back,” Boyd said. “We definitely find that their price point is competitive, offers a high level of reliability and ease of operation.”
As the cost of fuel continues to rise, a fuel-efficient machine such as the Liebherr L 580 XPower wheel loader has had plenty of benefits for the company.
“The big one is fuel economy,” Boyd said. “You hate to see the profit margins going up the exhaust pipe!”
Loader’s ‘X factor’
The most recent L 580 XPower wheel loader purchased by Coragulac in 2020 has maximised the company’s fuel savings even further.
“The L 580 XPower is fast, efficient, and a large sized machine ,” Lang said. “The last one we bought was 10 months ago. It has been operating on 12.7 litres per hour. You’d probably expect the fuel consumption to be twice or thrice that amount.”
The XPower driveline brings together the benefits of both hydrostatic and mechanical drives. The interaction between the two different drives is automatically adjusted to suit any application. As a result, the XPower offers optimal efficiency during loading and transport, without noticeable gear shifting or interruption in tractive force. The machine can produce 233kW of power with a tipping load of 19.5 tonnes to 22.2 tonnes while providing significant fuel savings.
“The intake between these two drives is continuously adjusted automatically to basically any given application,” Andreas Holzmueller, the Victorian area sales manager for Liebherr’s earthmoving division, told Quarry.
“As a result, the XPower offers an optimal level of efficiency not only during material loading as well as providing maximum acceleration and performance along all loading cycles – including long routes. All components are also ideally adapted to each other. ‘Power’ stands for maximum efficiency.”
According to Holzmueller, the L 580 has a very well thought out design that enables simpler and safer daily maintenance routines.
“The most important points for daily maintenance can be seen at a glance in the access area of Liebherr XPower wheel loaders,” Holzmueller said.
“All points requiring day-to-day maintenance can be reached comfortably, safely and cleanly. Safety features like anti-slip steps and sturdy handrails provide a high degree of safety
“For Coragulac Quarries, the time and cost savings through simple maintenance is a benefit as well.
“The unique positioning of components to the rear of the machine gives optimum weight distribution and excellent maintenance access. As a result of the excellent maintenance access, items requiring servicing are within easy sight and convenient reach.
“The engine hood, which opens up electrically towards the rear, ensures safe, free access to the entire engine compartment with all service points easy to see and reach. All maintenance work can be carried out comfortably and safely from a level base in the engine hood.
“The modern, ergonomic cab design provides exceptional all-round visibility that allows the operator to work with high concentration without being fatigued – this increases safety and productivity.”
A long-lasting partnership
While Liebherr offers quick and reliable service carried out by qualified service specialists, Boyd and Lang have had a hassle-free experience with its fleet.
“We don’t need it,” Lang said. “But Andreas keeps in touch with us all the time.
“He’s been a pleasure to deal with over the years.”
Holzmueller has developed a strong relationship with Boyd and Lang since he first joined Liebherr’s local sales team.
“When I first started at Liebherr, my first customer was Coragulac Quarries,” he said.
“From the moment I arrived, I could sense the strong bond between Liebherr and Coragulac Quarries. As a Liebherr employee, seeing only Liebherr machines on site gives me a sense of pride.
Apart from reliability, high performance and comfort, Liebherr has built its brand on customer relations.
“Liebherr Australia already has a very strong reputation for customer focus in its after sales activities,” Holzmueller said. “We have a Liebherr team which is structured to respond quickly and effectively to any queries from the customer.”
Holzmueller said what separates Liebherr from its competitors in Australia is its ability to be in daily contact with its European manufacturing plants, to provide next day spare parts supply, on-site repairs or major overhauls in their workshops.
“Liebherr is a global company with a national footprint in Australia and New Zealand. We have facilities that are located around Australia and are staffed and equipped to support our customers and provide the most appropriate solutions,” he said. “Our products are designed with Liebherr’s customer needs in mind.”
The presence of a local Liebherr team has also led to Boyd and Lang developing a strong bond with Liebherr.
“To Liebherr, you’re not just another number. They bring personal connect to our relationship”
For Holzmueller, Liebherr’s customer relations continue to pave the way for its success as a trustworthy and reliable company.
“One of the key factors of success for Liebherr is the strong ties between Liebherr and its customers and I think our 25 years of relationship with Coragulac Quarries is a testimony to that.”
To learn more about the L 580 XPower, visit the Liebherr website.
Source: Liebherr Australia