Porter Press Extra: DHM Sand & Soil

By: Cameron Officer

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  • Earthmovers & Excavators

This family firm with 30 years’ experience in materials processing is reaping the benefits of a buoyant land development market in its native Ballarat. In order to keep pace with demand, DHM Sand & Soil recently upgraded its capabilities with the purchase of a brand new Sandvik QJ241 tracked mobile jaw crusher

An older jaw crusher was replaced with a Sandvik QJ241 tracked mobile unit

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A move into the busy recycled materials market recently led Les Henderson from DHM Sand & Soil to replace an older jaw crusher with a brand new Sandvik QJ241 tracked mobile unit.

But while Les has been in business for 30 years, he’s no stranger to the trusted Swedish manufacturer.

"The new machine is actually our third crusher from the brand. It replaces an older Sandvik C12 model that had done around 3,000 hours for us," says Les.

"That old machine was still going strong when we sold it – we just prefer to trade out machinery while it still has a usable amount of life left in it for the next operator. But in saying that, the new Sandvik QJ241 gives us more processing ability and improved ease-of-use. I think it’s set to be a good investment."

There has been a distinct shift to crushing paddock rock for DHM Sand & Soil in the last 12 months as the pace of sub-division development in the company’s hometown of Ballarat kicks into gear. With the number of developers utilising re-zoned farmland in the city’s outlying areas to meet demand for housing, Les says the new Sandvik QJ241 is working from dawn ‘til dusk processing between 300- and 500-ton of paddock rock per day.

"As fast as we can process it, it’s heading out the front gate," he laughs.

While the machine has only been on-site for a couple of weeks when I catch up with Les, he says there is a notable difference in the capabilities of the new jaw crusher, which is generally being operated by son, Riley (Les’ wife Marita is also heavily involved in the family firm, which employs 11 people all-up including sub-contractors).

"The control panel at the side of the machine makes for easy operation day-to-day and the colour screen gives our guys a real-time overview of output and how the different parts of the machine are managing material processing.

"The machine is straightforward to move around the site too. Obviously, Sandvik makes larger jaw and cone crushing gear but the Sandvik QJ241 provides the perfect application for a medium-sized operator like us.

"If we need to transport it, everything folds down nicely, and it can move under its own steam. You might pay $2,000 to transport a bigger machine three kilometres and I just don’t see the sense in that. Besides, we’re still ahead of where we were in terms of processing anyway," says Les.

Les, Marita and Riley Henderson

With an operating weight of 34-ton, the Sandvik QJ241 tracked mobile jaw crusher has been purposefully designed for SME quarry and demolition operations.

The machine meets Stage 3B/Tier 4i legislation and boasts hydraulic adjustment and a reversible jaw, along with a variety of other component upgrades over the model it supersedes, all designed to make operation more straightforward while improving material through-put and reliability.

These include a Danfoss hydraulic control system for improved operating efficiency, the ability for Les’ team to hydraulically raise and lower the main conveyor to give increased clearance for rebar discharge, a tunnel arrangement to reduce catchment points in recycled materials, and an extended conveyor for greater discharge height.

Maintaining a consistent operating temperature out on the Victorian Central Highlands is important for DHM Soil & Sand. To that end Sandvik states its jaw crusher can operate in the most hostile situations, not requiring oil changes in even a 50°C ambient temperature environment.

The Swedish manufacturer uses steel pipe work extensively throughout the machine in order to give superior heat dissipation and to provide maintenance-free sealing. A hydraulically driven cooling fan also allows for more precise fan speed control, while Sandvik’s auto-reverse feature periodically back-flushes dust build-up in the radiator; important for the continued day-to-day productivity of a busy operator like Les.

With an unrelenting line of trucks at the gate, "downtime" isn’t a word you’ll find listed in DHM’s corporate dictionary; the new Sandvik QJ241 has been purchased through local Sandvik distributor, Porter Equipment, in order to ensure seamless productivity.

Les says that the ease of completing jaw swaps and Porter Equipment’s parts availability and back-up means that, together, the machine and the company standing behind it tick all the boxes for him.

"Everything fell into place rather nicely. We knew we wanted to stick with Sandvik as a brand and Porter Equipment were able to confirm and deliver a machine for us quick-smart too, so we have been very impressed with the whole upgrade process," he says.

"We’re really busy right now, which is a good thing. So, knowing that this new machine has the capability to get through the material we need it to in order to keep our client’s happy means one less thing to worry about for us."


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