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Case study: Rokla rockwheel smooths out Sydney rail link

A twin-head Rokla D30 rockwheel is being used for high tolerance rock removal in a station box being excavated during construction of Sydney’s new north-west rail link.

The work by contractor JK Williams involves the excavation and removal of 80,000 cubic tonnes of shale material, which is being recycled by one of Sydney’s brickworks.

A rock hammer attachment is used to remove coarse material, followed by trimming with the rockwheel to efficiently produce a smooth face to the trench wall that is required to be held within a 40mm tolerance.

JK Williams site supervisor Mitch Long says the Rokla wheel was acquired several weeks ago from Semco Equipment Sales as a result of a decision to optimise this construction phase.

“We use the Rokla rockwheel because of its efficiency in controlled removal of rock from the trench wall,” Long says. “The rockwheel gives us the accuracy we need to hold the specified tolerance, and so far we have achieved excellent results.

“As with any major infrastructure project, timing is of critical importance. In this case there can be no delay in having the site ready for access by a new tunnel boring machine with daily operational costs around $175,000.

“Downtime on the rockwheel has been surprisingly minimal,” he adds. “We have only needed to replace two teeth on the twin-head D30 rockwheel attachment which has overcome the challenge of working around many columns.”


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