ZX350LC-5, ZX380LC-5 and a ZX470LC-5 join Hitachi fleet at Murray Company
Three brand new excavators are joining an existing fleet of Hitachi shovels at the Murray Company – a 101-year-old mechanical contractor based in California.
The ZX350LC-5, ZX380LC-5 and ZX470LC-5 –all delivered to Murray Company in the summer of 2014 – are primarily being used in the development of the New Tom Bradley International Terminal at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX). As part of the multi-billion dollar, capital improvement modernization program underway throughout the airport, Murray Company is re-routing the utilities – a job that involves a large amount of excavating.
Once the project is complete, the three excavators will join Murray’s existing fleet, said Curtis Mellon, operations manager for Murray Company.
“We purchased our first Hitachi machines eight to nine years ago based on our evaluation of reliability, cost effectiveness and operator comfort,” said Mellon. “We purchased these three new machines as a result of our history with our existing fleet of Hitachi excavators. We’ve had real good luck from a maintenance and service standpoint. Repairs have been minimal at best, and we’ve had a great relationship with our dealer, Coastline Equipment. They are rugged and durable machines.”
Based on these experiences, Mellon and his team have become steadfast Hitachi fans.
“Here in this area, CAT is a big brand, but we think Hitachi is just as good if not better. In fact, there are probably some features that we think are superior,” Mellon said.
Murray Company is serviced by Coastline Equipment in Long Beach, Calif.
EH1100-3 used by Demix Agrégats in Quebec quarry
Demix Agrégats, a division of Holcim (Canada) Inc., has purchased a Hitachi EH1100-3 to carry blasted rock to a crusher at its quarry in Laval, Quebec.
The new rigid-frame haul truck was commissioned the first week of June 2014 and has been part of a fleet of five trucks that moves up to 35 loads per day in 10-hour shifts. The EH1100-3 is Demix Agrégats’ first Hitachi machine.
“The proposal from Hitachi was very attractive,” said Yves Bouchard with Demix Agrégats. “Then, after a visit with Michel Cornellier (Wajax Equipment) to the Hitachi Truck Manufacturing plant in Guelph, Ontario – which was very well appreciated and very instructive – we decided to move on with the Hitachi hauler.”
The Demix Agrégats division operates 10 quarries and 15 sand and gravel pits that supply products used to form the bases of highways, roads and sidewalks and to manufacture concrete and asphalt products. In total, the company’s two aggregates divisions produce more than 18 million tons per year of crushed stone, gravel and sand for the commercial, industrial, residential and civil engineering sector.
“In the two and a half months it’s been in operation, the new Hitachi EH1100-3 has met all our expectations,” said Bouchard. “Product support is very important for us since that truck is a key piece of equipment for our quarry in Laval. So far the Wajax team has provided excellent support to Demix Agrégats, and we are happy about our purchase.”
Demix Agrégats is serviced by Wajax Equipment in Laval, Quebec.
Sabine Mine puts EX1900-6 to work removing overburden
The North American Coal Corporation’s Sabine Mine recently started using a Hitachi EX1900-6 to assist in pre-stripping for its draglines and land reclamation.
The new EX1900-6 was commissioned in April 2014 and has been working with a fleet of 150-ton trucks to remove overburden in a pre-strip operation for two of the mine’s draglines, a Marion 8200 & Bucyrus-Erie 1570. This is the first time the mine has used a Hitachi excavator for this application.
“We decided to give the Hitachi an opportunity to see what it could do,” said Andy Hawbaker, operations manager at Sabine Mine. “So far, things have been going well. It’s a different feel than the equipment we’ve run before so it took our operators some time to get used to it. Now we’re starting to see some of the potential pay off, and we’re feeling good about it.”
In addition, Sabine will utilize the excavator for hauling re-spread material during reclamation efforts.
Sabine Mine began production near Hallsville, Texas, in 1984. It delivers approximately 4 million tons of coal per year for American Electric Power’s Pirkey Power Plant. The mine has approximately 60,000 acres of land under permit and reclaims about 400 acres of land annually.
The EX1900-6 is not the mine’s first Hitachi excavator. It also operates two ZX470KLC-5 excavators for miscellaneous work.
Sabine Mine is serviced by ROMCO Equipment Co. in Longview, Texas.
Hitachi ZX670LC-5 mines clay for Acme Brick Company
Acme Brick Company, the nation’s largest American-owned brick maker, purchased a new Hitachi ZX670LC-5 in December 2013 for its Denton, Texas, plant.
The ZX670LC-5 runs about 40-50 hours per week mining clay for brick production and loading 40-ton articulated trucks. Donnie Hannick, Acme Brick’s ZX670LC-5 operator, experiences the machine’s benefits daily.
“I like the speed. Being a bigger machine, I thought it might be slow, but the speed is great,” Hannick said. “The cab is built for the operator, and the machine has a lot of power.”
Acme Brick uses Hitachi excavators throughout its North Texas operations, which include the Denton plant and a plant in Bennett. A ZX450LC-3 with more than 16,000 hours is the Bennett plant’s reliable workhorse. Hitachi excavators at both plants dig a total of 360,000 cubic yards of clay per year, producing about 170 million bricks each year.
“There’s longevity with Hitachi excavators. They can outlast anything,” said Jim Ogg, Acme’s Denton plant manager. “We first used scrapers then switched to excavators. They’re more efficient and can layer. We run one excavator per mining operation, so it's important that our machines are durable and reliable.”
Acme Brick is a member of the Berkshire Hathaway family of companies headed by famed investor Warren Buffett, and has been mining clay from many of its sites for over half a century.
Acme Brick Company is serviced by ROMCO Equipment Co., Fort Worth, Texas
Bizzack Construction puts new EX1200BE-6 to work in rugged West Virginia
In December 2013, Bizzack Construction LLC took delivery on an EX1200BE-6 to help tackle 5.8 million cubic yards of excavation on a road construction project in Logan County, W.Va.
The nearly $40 million project for the West Virginia Department of Transportation covers 3.5 miles. The project, “Rum Creek Connector to Stollings Road,” is the final section of the West Virginia Route 10 relocation project, which will widen the highway to four lanes from Man to Logan, W.Va.
In the beginning stages of the project, Bizzack is using the EX1200BE-6 to load 40-ton articulated trucks due to the steep grades and the size of the work area. As the job progresses down the slope, larger trucks can be loaded.
“The speed and the strength of the 1200 have been great on this project,” said Steve Arthur, superintendent. “We’re getting the production that we initially hoped we would get. Once we can load bigger trucks, we’ll be able to increase our production.”
Eric Lusk, an operator for Bizzack, said the EX1200BE-6 is exceeding his expectations.
“I didn’t expect the quickness,” Lusk said. “I thought it might be slow because of the size, but it’s really fast and has good production. It’s an impressive machine, and the power is unbelievable.”
Gary Taylor, Bizzack president; Lester Wimpy, vice president; Doug Plummer, vice president and operations manager; Tom Edison, equipment manager; and Larry Herron, fleet manager; all worked with Rudd Equipment to purchase the EX1200BE-6.
“We’ve always had a good experience with Hitachi,” Herron said. “We have a reliable fleet of Hitachi machines and knew we needed a larger excavator. Rudd had aggressive pricing and a good warranty for us.”
Bizzack Construction is serviced by Rudd Equipment in Prestonsburg, Ky.
Hitachi ZX670LC-5 speeds up loading process for Coburg Road Quarry
Coburg Road Quarry, a full-service rock mining company based in Eugene, Ore., is using a ZX670LC-5 to assist in the removal of shot rock blasted off the quarry walls.
The 49-year-old basalt quarry accepted delivery of the ZX670LC-5 in July 2013 and has seen its loading process speed up ever since.
“The critical thing was that I needed a machine that was big enough to move large, four- to six-foot boulders, but I also needed it to be nimble enough to load highway trucks,” said Vern Egge, owner of the quarry. “The 670 does that, and the fact is that it really sped up our loading process. It’s done everything we hoped it would with ease.”
This isn’t the first Hitachi excavator Egge has used at the quarry. He’s owned many other previous models, including the ZX450LC-3, ZX800, ZX650LC-3, ZX350LC-3 and ZX200LC-3, among others.
“We like the engines and the booms,” Egge said. “We’re hard on our booms and they have a tendency to want to crack, but the Hitachi booms are pretty sturdy and they hold together very well. Plus we get really good production off the machines.”
Egge is also very pleased with the service he receives from his Hitachi dealer, the Papé Machinery dealership in Eugene, Ore.
“They’re the ones that keep the equipment going and make sure everything is set up properly,” said Egge. “They’ve been great to work with.”
Hitachi EX1200-6 shovel delivered to Wake Stone Corporation
The shovel started operating in April 2014 and is loading a fleet of 60-ton haulers at Wake Stone’s Triangle Quarry, which was opened in 1982. The quarry, located between Raleigh-Durham International Airport, Umstead State Park and Interstate 40 in Cary, N.C., features stone made of hard, meta-volcanic rock.
The new EX1200-6 replaced a Hitachi EX1100-3, which was purchased in 1998, is still in use at the quarry and is approaching 22,000 operating hours.
Wake Stone has a long history of purchasing Hitachi shovels.
“We’ve had Hitachi shovels for about 20 years,” said Bill Crook, vice president of operations at Wake Stone Corporation. “We’ve had terrific support from our dealer RW Moore Equipment Company and Hitachi itself. That goes a long way toward making us feel good about a future purchase.”
Wake Stone is one of the few quarries in the North Carolina region that uses shovels rather than front end loaders in its operation.
“We like the amount of breakout force that we are able to generate with a shovel as compared with a wheel loader,” said Crook. “Due to the geology of the rock that we’re blasting, we tend to have a very hard-to-dig area at the front of the muck pile. The shovel has the ability to go in there and get the rock dug out efficiently. That really helps us keep our production levels high.”
Wake Stone Corporation is serviced by R W Moore Equipment Company Inc. in Raleigh, N.C.
Dresser Trap Rock Inc. using EX1200-6 shovel to mine one of the world’s hardest rock
A Hitachi EX1200-6 LD is helping Dresser Trap Rock Inc. mine one of the world’s hardest and most indestructible rocks.
The 99-year-old quarry, based in Dresser, Wisconsin, accepted delivery of the EX1200-6 in Sept. 2012 and has been since using it to clear trap rock blasted off the quarry walls.
The quality of trap rock – or altered basalt – varies in the same manner as other mineral deposits, and the Dresser Trap Rock deposit remains the hardest concentration of this basalt-type rock in America. The rock is so hard, that Dresser Trap Rock boulders were utilized by NASA for testing drills employed on the moon probe.
Today, Dresser Trap Rock is consumed extensively in bituminous and concrete applications, erosion control, ice control, road construction, landscaping and ballast for many railroads throughout the Midwest.
Coteau Properties Company Freedom Mine utilizing EX1900-6 for sub-soil removal
To assist in the removal of a four-foot layer of subsoil, the Coteau Properties Company recently purchased a Hitachi EX1900-6 BE for its Beulah, North Dakota-based Freedom mine.
The mine, which is part of North American Coal Corporation, is the largest lignite mine in the United States and recently reached the 400-million ton milestone for coal deliveries.
The EX1900-6 was delivered in June, 2013 and is used to clear the topsoil and subsoil in order for the mine’s electric loading shovel and dragline to remove the more than 100 feet of overburden.
“For our application, this size class machine works best,” said Mark Haugen, engineering manager for The Coteau Properties Company. “The machine we were running before was bigger but not as cost effective due to fuel and maintenance costs.”
Maneuverability of the EX1900-6 was another key selling feature. With its two pits, Haugen and his team wanted a machine that would be relatively easy to move from one location to another.
“This Hitachi is very quick and responsive to move,” said Will Lloyd, operator at Coteau. “The cab is very nice, and the controls are nice because they are shorter and you don’t have to move them as much. Also – the arm rests are adjustable and for a 12-hour shift that little stuff means a lot.”
Coteau Properties Company is serviced by RDO Equipment Co. in Bismarck, ND.
BNI Coal purchases EX2600-6 for overburden removal
BNI Coal, a lignite mine near Center, North Dakota, recently purchased its second Hitachi mining excavator.
The mine accepted delivery of an EX2600-6 in March, and began operating on April 15, 2013. The EX2600 joins the mine’s one-year old EX2500-6 to clear overburden for BNI’s three draglines.
Prior to the Hitachi excavators, BNI was utilizing scrapers to remove the overburden. The implementation of the excavator approach has allowed the mine to realize significant savings compared to moving dirt with scrapers. Luke Retterath, BNI Coal maintenance planner, expects to move roughly 8-10 million yards of dirt per year with the fleet of Hitachi excavators.
“The 2500 was working really well for us and we really liked the cost savings,” said Retterath. “When we had the opportunity to buy a fleet of used trucks, we decided to add another excavator to our fleet.”
Randy Rudnick is the operator of the new EX2600-6.
“It’s faster and smoother to operate, and it’s got more hoisting power,” said Rudnick. “It’s a good machine. I can’t say anything bad about it.”
BNI Coal, a subsidiary of ALLETE (NYSE-ALE) delivers roughly 4 ½ million tons of coal per year to the nearby Minnkota Power Cooperative.
BNI Coal Company is serviced by RDO Equipment Co. in Bismarck, ND.