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Case study: Mixing concrete on remote Cook Islands with Fiori

Construction on remote South Pacific islands presents many challenges, such as the recent need to produce and deliver 1,000 cubic metres of concrete for the building of a new barge wharf on Manihiki, 640 nautical miles from Rarotonga in the Cook Islands.

Located northeast of New Zealand, between French Polynesia and American Samoa, the Cook Islands comprise15 major islands spread over 2.2 million square kilometres of ocean, divided into two island groups. Forty islets encircle a lagoon on the island of Manihiki, which has a population of 240 and is renowned for its black pearls.

Moving goods between the limited-infrastructure islands often involves ships mooring offshore while barges are used to transfer consignments to the shore.

Bill Doherty of construction company Landholdings says that when the company was assigned the task of building Manihiki’s new barge wharf they realised they needed a highly manoeuvrable, self-loading mixer that was capable of producing concrete to a tight specification using local screened aggregate sourced from beach areas in the vicinity of the construction site.

“Our search for the right equipment led us to the Fiori DB180 self-loading concrete mixer,” Doherty says. “The people from Semco in Australia who supplied the mixer thoroughly understood our needs, so we felt very confident in their ability to handle the job and proceeded with having the mixer shipped to us.

“We were not disappointed; the DB 180 mixer proved to be extremely productive and robust, and saved a huge amount of time — the only manual work involved being the addition of cement to the mix and pouring the concrete on-site.

“The mixer is ruggedly constructed and had no problem negotiating the rough and rocky terrain, performing with great efficiency and without any problems throughout the entire 450 hours of operation on this job. It will certainly be deployed for similar work elsewhere throughout the islands,” Doherty adds.

Semco’s Graham Murphy says the Fiori DB 180 is a highly productive machine and, while compact, its agility and stability as a four-wheel-drive vehicle with an articulated chassis and differential swivelling axle has made it suited to large-scale works in some of the world’s most demanding environments.

“The Fiori DB 180 self-loading mixer enables independent production of top-quality concrete, delivered direct to any site, whether in an urban setting located in some remote or inaccessible area,” Murphy says. “Furthermore, it is easy to use and capable of producing over 60 cubic metres of concrete daily.”

Semco Group is a full service heavy equipment sales and service organisation with locations in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Newcastle, Queanbeyan and Goulburn supplying new and used heavy equipment from brands such as Takeuchi, New Holland, Rockla and Terex.


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