Features, Supplier News

Liebherr’s innovation drives Victorian’s environmental goals


Combining fuel efficiency with durability, Liebherr’s machines have proven a perfect match for an environmentally-conscious sand producer. 

A Victorian company has turned to German engineering to achieve its goal of being an environmentally friendly high-volume sand producer.

Sand Supplies Pty Ltd operates three sites within Victoria and produces more than 600,000 tonnes per year of washed and graded sand for concrete, as well as sand for other industrial uses. The numbers alone qualify the company as one of Victoria’s top five sand producers.

Any machinery that works at The Gurdies, Grantville and the newly developed Glen Forbes site must handle high-level work with heavy-duty production under challenging conditions. This is especially true given the construction activity across Melbourne and locally in Bass Coast.

As Sand Supplies’ managing director, Robbie Viglietti, said the machinery had to contribute to the company’s overall vision of reducing its environmental impact by delivering low fuel consumption. It is a lot to ask, but the company is committed to being carbon neutral.

After a test demonstration of Liebherr’s L 586 wheel loader back in 2015, Viglietti and Sand Supplies realised they had found a company that could meet their requirements. Since the initial demonstration, Sand Supplies has acquired three Liebherr  L 580 XPower wheel loaders.

“I was ultimately impressed by the build quality and some of the notable features including the hydrostatic transmission, I think it’s fantastic and I really like it,” Viglietti said.

“The fuel consumption is better than any loader of that size that I am familiar with that we’ve used.

Reduced fuel consumption has been a key factor in Liebherr’s wheel loaders. The company’s data shows that the L 580 XPower require an average of 30 per cent less fuel than comparable wheel loaders.

The L 580 XPower also features a power-split travel drive that combines the hydrostatic drive, which is optimal for short loading cycles, with the mechanical drive, which is advantageous when driving long distances and uphill.

The combination of both drive types in one wheel loader ensures maximum efficiency and outstanding fuel savings for all requirements.

Other design features include excellent design and build quality.

“The (wheel loader) has good stability, it has really good accessibility for maintenance and the cab design is great.”

“Other excellent design features include the bucket geometry that positions the lower bucket pins and bushes out of the sand resulting in reduced wear; the spill guard is also great at deflecting any spill material from the pins and bushes further reducing wear.  On top of that, the actual bucket’s pins and bushes are really good quality, they’re exceptional,” Viglietti said.

“Our first Liebherr loader has passed 15,000 hours without the need to replace lower bucket pins and bushes; another brand of loader we have onsite has needed three sets of pins and bushes replaced in the same timeframe.”

As well as the L 580 XPower wheel loaders, Sand Supplies has acquired a PR 756 dozer, and more recently, an R 945 G8 crawler excavator.

Both the dozer and crawler excavator have proven low fuel consumption.

The new R 945 G8 (crawler) excavator has been monitored over several demonstrations and consistently uses less than 15 litres per hour of fuel. The significant reduction across all Liebherr machinery allows companies like Sand Supplies to save money on fuel.

Viglietti said the consumption has had tangible effects.

“The R 945 G8 (crawler) excavator is incredibly fuel efficient when we’re running it in economy mode, it is unbeatable and it is really impressive,” he said.

“It has given us a low operating cost and increased efficiency and productivity.”

These factors in combination have meant Liebherr’s machines outlasted competitors in the tough conditions of the Sand Supplies’ sites.

The R 945 G8 (crawler) excavator has higher digging forces and greater traction of the undercarriage. The swing torque of the upper carriage was also optimised. These improvements to the excavator result in higher performance and increased fuel efficiency.

With a production rate of over 600,000 tonnes per annum Sand Supplies cannot afford to have unexpected downtime. Viglietti said this is where Liebherr came in with service support to get the machines operating with minimal downtime.

“Liebherr after-sales support is excellent. On the occasion that we have needed assistance, we have found them to be very responsive, generally on the same day,” he said.

Sand Supplies is carbon-neutral across its extractive operations which is offset through its tree planting program and Liebherr’s lower fuel consumption.

Viglietti said the company was impressed with the performance of Liebherr’s machines and their positive environmental impacts.

“It is part of our broader commitment to reduce environmental impact and we’ve been able to achieve that together with Liebherr,” Viglietti said.

For more information, visit liebherr.com.au.

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