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ONTRAC: XMOR exceeds expectations

ONTRAC and the XMOR®️ bucket had a significant year in 2023. Quarry looks at the reasons behind the product’s rise and what will come for the year ahead.

When ONTRAC launched the XMOR bucket into the Australian market a few years ago, some quarry operators were hesitant. It looked different from traditional excavator buckets.

SSAB’s Hardox®️ 500 Tuf and Strenx®️ Performance steel meant it was lighter and featured an inverted tub and unique mechanical heel segments. Yet, the XMOR bucket grew in popularity again in 2023, and ONTRAC plans to expand its presence across Australia in 2024.

According to the company, word of mouth between the closely connected quarrying industry is talking about the benefits of the bucket.

ONTRAC product specialist Nick Espie said it was a sign that the XMOR bucket, with its unique design, is winning over the industry as it proves time and again, that there are ways to boost excavator productivity.

“When you enter the market with something different, it is always going to be met with a little bit of resistance,” he told Quarry.

“It does look different, so a lot of guys are put off by the look because it doesn’t look the same as what they’re currently using, and they thought it wasn’t going to do the same work.

“We’re trying to encourage people have a new way of thinking. When the customers see the numbers and what they can achieve, especially now that we’ve got real time data, that answers a lot of questions. We are getting a lot of positive feedback from customers who may have been sceptical but now wouldn’t go any other way but XMOR.”

Three factors support the XMOR bucket’s emergence on the quarry scene: Increased productivity, durability, and support.

The XMOR bucket is made from SSAB’s Hardox️ 500 Tuf and Strenx Performance steel. Image: ONTRAC

VERSATILE AND DURABLE

One of the factors behind the XMOR bucket’s growing popularity is its BHC variant, which provides a harder-wearing option.

When most consider the XMOR bucket, they are likely considering the BHB version.

It features a lightweight, rounded design with SSAB’s Hardox 500 Tuf wear plate. ONTRAC Group takes a site-by-site approach when recommending an XMOR bucket for a particular site, however, the BHB is generally for moving overburden or bulk earthmoving to achieve higher productivity than traditional buckets.

The BHC type has the same components as its BHB counterpart but is beefed up to deliver a more robust bucket for more abrasive environments. It still maintains a lightweight design, with the inverted tub and mechanical wear parts, to reduce weight and downtime, like the BHB model.

It has a flat cutting edge with a straight top beam, compared to the BHB’s curved appearance, with increased steel thickness to enhance the BHC’s wear and longevity.

“The extra wear and longevity are useful for applications like granite, higher material densities and abrasive environments,” Espie said.

“It manages to work in these environments while offering the increased durability and productivity of the XMOR bucket.

“The limited downtime and ease of maintenance are still due to the easily interchangeable parts like the BHB, but in a beefed-up model.”

One quarry operator in Sydney’s south, considered a larger quarry by Australian standards, took on XMOR’s BHC bucket from ONTRAC.

The quarry runs two to three shifts daily, focusing on high-volume material being shifted in a hard rock, abrasive environment.

ONTRAC worked closely with the site to match the XMOR BHC bucket to their needs, and Espie said the operator had nothing but positive feedback since taking delivery.

“We’re receiving really positive feedback, the bucket is wearing very well, and holding up to the material.”

Overall, he said the feedback throughout 2023 on the XMOR buckets has been “they are wearing very well and much better than the traditional quarrying buckets they have used in the past.”

“The XMOR buckets are doing what we’ve described; customers are shaving one to two, sometimes, three passes off their truck loading, and that’s the efficiency that the XMOR is all about and fuel savings as well.”

ONTRAC houses a full range of wear parts for the XMOR bucket. Image: ONTRAC

SUPER SUPPORT

Espie spends a lot of his time visiting quarry clients on the coalface. He has heard a common refrain in his travels: downtime costs money.

Quarries can ill-afford having their buckets out of action for lengthy periods when deadlines must be met amid strong demand for construction materials.

This is why ONTRAC houses a full range of wear parts for the XMOR bucket at its warehouse.

The XMOR’s design, compared to traditional buckets, means some of its wear parts are bolt on as opposed to being welded on.

This design feature enables faster maintenance, which ONTRAC says can be two to four hours instead of two days for welded parts.

“Downtime, particularly in a quarry, is money. So, we need to ensure that we’re quick and prompt with what we need to do,” he said.

“We can get wear packs and teeth out to our customers quickly, which is the advantage of being Australian-made and manufactured.

“We are in a good place  to be able to respond quickly to any small issues that might have hampered customers’ operations.”

FUTURE VIEWS

ONTRAC does not plan to rest on its laurels. Instead, the company is working behind the scenes to ensure more quarries across the country reap the benefits of the XMOR bucket.

“It was a great year for ONTRAC, particularly for the XMOR product. We saw a big uptake in it, and the industry’s knowledge of it expanded quite a bit,” he said.

“We saw a greater uptake on it from the big OEM brands, and allowing customers to see how the XMOR could work with their machines was great.

“We believe the XMOR bucket can help quarries, and we want to work with the quarries and the OEMs to help them see how the XMOR could make them stand out.”

ONTRAC can work with quarries to deliver a complete productivity study that considers the quarry’s production, machinery, environment and what similar sites have achieved. This information enables ONTRAC to suggest the best configuration of XMOR to help accomplish the quarry’s goals.

“Creating a win-win situation for us and the quarry is our ultimate goal; it’s the driving force behind what we do,” Espie said.

“We can go into a quarry and straight away see how an XMOR bucket would help them and provide a return on investment, sometimes within two months.”

Espie said the company would happily show any quarry operator what could be achieved by switching to the XMOR bucket.

“We’re always happy to sit down with an operator and show them in real-time what they could achieve with ONTRAC and the XMOR bucket,” he said.

“Any time is a good time to start talking to us about an XMOR bucket.”•

For more information, visit ontracgroup.com.au.

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