A new giant excavator, weighing in at 70 tonnes (the equivalent of 10 African elephants), has joined the ‘team’ at Brassington Moor Quarry, operated by Longcliffe Quarries Ltd.  The family-owned company extracts very high purity limestone (calcium carbonate) for use in over 100 essential products from animal feeds to glass manufacture and from adhesives to plasterboards.
The four-metres tall R 972 excavator, manufactured by German-Swiss company Liebherr, plays an integral role in the production process, picking up pieces of rock as large as a car and placing them into dumper trucks ready for crushing down to the required size for the variety of products.
Quarry Manager Jon Murgatroyd explained: “As well as our team of 190 employees, the range of giant mobile plant we use on site also plays a vital role in our production process. To obtain the highest quality products we need to blend the material in specific quantities, and this means extracting from three separate areas of the quarry. Bringing this second large excavator in has proved beneficial in terms of our production capabilities.

“This R 972 model delivers benefits all round for Longcliffe including its work capabilities, fuel economy and decreased noise. The decrease in fuel contributes towards our company goal to reduce our carbon footprint.”
As well as the weight, other impressive statistics for this giant excavator include a 7m ‘arm’ at the front and a rock ‘bucket’ with a capacity of five cubic metres.  The bucket’s ‘teeth’ are made of low alloy carbon steel to make them strong enough to withstand the process of picking up the limestone rocks.  Each ‘bucketload’ can carry up to eight tonnes of material.

The new excavator gets the thumbs up from experienced Longcliffe operator Kevin Beacham. “All in all, the machine is a big step up from the older machine. It’s smoother, quieter and a lot better balanced too. In addition, it’s a nice, comfortable cab. It’s very quiet and the seat and seating position are excellent,” he said.

Longcliffe Group MD Paul Boustead added: “As well as proving to be operationally excellent, the Liebherr R 972 is delivering in a number of other company priority areas including safety and sustainability.”