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Excavator scales keep barge on its tight cycle

Supplier: Trimble (including LOADRITE products)
18 March, 2013

Barge load-out at the Port of Auckland, New Zealand before road transport to the McCallum Bros Ltd depot.

The project
In Auckland, New Zealand's largest city, McCallum Bros Ltd dredge sand from Pakiri and excavate sedimentary chert from a nearby island. These materials are transported via barge back to the Port of Auckland. Here they are loaded onto the trucks by a Caterpillar 320D for transportation through the large city to their depot.

The problem
The barge operates on a very tight cycle. Exceeding this cycle time causes serious problems and losses in productivity. Staying on track requires efficient unloading of the barge into the trucks at the port. When loading the material into trucks, operators were counting buckets to determine the correct load size.

Adding errors and the rough estimation often meant that trucks were over or under-loaded. Overloaded trucks run the risk of expensive fines, or worse, immobilisation and manual unloading. Under-loading is inefficient, requiring an extra trip, or two, to the depot and putting the barge 20-40 minutes behind schedule.

The solution
LOADRITE installed the X-2350 on board scales to the excavator that was loading the material from the barge to the trucks, ensuring that trucks are loaded up to the optimal weight.

This system eliminated the operator's guesswork and gave them "confidence that they were getting every load right," said John McCallum, the Managing Director.

With LOADRITE, John had assurance that all trucks were correctly loaded, maximising productivity and minimising costs.

"We want to get 29 tonnes on each truck, getting 27 or 28 means it takes another trip, or two, to unload the barge and that adds on another 20-40 minutes to the discharge of the vessel," says John.

LOADRITE ensures the barge maintains its tight cycle, eliminating the bottleneck and effectively saving 5-10% of the barge discharge time by loading trucks correctly. The savings quickly start to stack up as you take into account the removal the unnecessary trips (fuel, labour, and wear on trucks), no fines for overloading, and an efficient barge cycle.

McCallum Bros Ltd experimented with a similar weighing system in previous years, which was abandoned because of its lengthy instruction manual and difficulty to use. Upon hearing about the X-2350, John was quick to adopt it on the company’s excavator due to prior experience with LOADRITE on their Caterpillar frontend loaders.

"We gave the X-2350 a go because we knew that LOADRITE products worked and that they were easy to use," said John.

The backup service provided by LOADRITE was a key consideration for their decision to install the X-2350.

John is very confident with the level of after sale support provided by LOADRITE and says, "We wouldn’t look at any other system."

The extra LOADRITE features have also been extremely helpful with operations at McCallum Bros Ltd. The programming of different materials, grades, and sizes into the system allows the operator to easily select the type of material being loaded on each truck, resulting in an accurate record of all the various materials stockpiled at the yard. The printer is an extremely helpful addition, allowing the excavator operator to issue dockets to truck drivers detailing the material, destination, and weight of load for deliveries.

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