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‘Embrace the future’: IQ President urges sector to welcome technology

Institute of Quarrying president Viv Russell has urged the members to ‘embrace the future’ as technology advances continue in the sector.  

Russell said 2024 had been a year of change within the industry which had displayed the “pioneering spirit” to adapt to it.  

“We have seen that pioneering spirit is still very much a part of our sector, especially members of the Institute,” he said. 

“The recent launch of the first fully autonomous articulated dump truck (ADT) operating in a UK quarry is the perfect example of the ambition, vision and courage needed to push our sector forward.”  

“The project also shows the way for us all to develop a collaborative approach to driving our industry forward. With these advances in technology, we will also see a shift in the skills needed and how we all work, whilst always retaining those core competencies.”  

Institute of Quarrying president Viv Russell. Image: Institute of Quarrying

Russell’s comments came after Chepstow Plant International, Bell Equipment UK, Xtonomy, and Sibelco Equipment revealed to industry experts the first-ever fully autonomous articulated dumptruck.   

The four companies partnered to create the new autonomous Bell B40E and its hardware and software components. It debuted at a Devon quarry earlier this year. 

According to the companies involved, the key objectives of this pilot scheme will be to demonstrate the potential to reduce vehicular incidents and subsequent accidents and upskill the existing workforce to further support the future of quarry operations.  

“The project also shows the way for us all to develop a collaborative approach to driving our industry forward. With these advances in technology, we will also see a shift in the skills needed and how we all work, whilst always retaining those core competencies,” Russell said. 

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