Business, Earthmoving News

New branch headlines big year for Liebherr

After a year of excavator trials, Liebherr Australia is seeing in 2022 with a brand new branch

Liebherr Australia will open a new branch this month in the Western Australian mining city of Kalgoorlie.

It will provide spare parts and customer service for the mining industry across a 10,000sqm block and has been prompted by Liebherr’s “growing fleet of equipment and customer base in the Goldfields region”.

The company says more than 30 of its excavators and trucks, more than 15 mine sites and nine customers are in the region, with these numbers expected to grow next year.

“Returning to Kalgoorlie marks the success we’ve had in recent years in growing our equipment fleet in the region,” says Liebherr Australia managing director Trent Wehr.

“We have always been committed to providing the best support to our customers and establishing the Kalgoorlie branch will only further enable us to provide these services.”

The new branch will include a 1,000sqm warehouse and 180sqm office space and will have full-time parts personnel on site.

Liebherr has previously had a presence in Kalgoorlie between 1986 and 2006, firstly operating through an agent followed by taking over the region’s official OEM dealership.

This will be the manufacturer’s third branch in Western Australia and sixth Australian site, including its Adelaide head office.

The Kalgoorlie branch’s January 2022 opening follows on from a big year for Liebherr, both globally and within Australia.

The Liebherr R 9600 was tested at Coronado’s Curragh North coal mine in Queensland

Earlier this year, Liebherr announced its total global turnover for 2020 exceeded €10 billion, while it also launched a new mining excavator to the world following a year of trials on Australian mine sites.

This total turnover was a decline on the previous year – due to the COVID-19 pandemic – with revenue in areas related to civil construction down by just over 10 per cent.

The company still posted a net profit of €7 million (A$11 million), and Liebherr says “in view of the year’s special challenges and extraordinary conditions, this can nevertheless be considered a success”.

Australia also hosted the year-long field trials of Liebherr’s newest mining excavator – the R 9600.

The 600-tonne excavator has a 37.5 cubic metre bucket in standard backhoe configuration with a heavy-duty wear package and can load 190 tonne trucks in three passes.

A successor to the R 996B, the new machine has a cabin which Liebherr describes as “first-class” and “state of the art”.

It features noise and vibration-limiting design, a repositioning of the seat to maximise visibility, air-conditioning and touchscreen displays. There are also four cameras on the rotating upper carriage to further aid visibility.

The Liebherr R 9600 was tested at Coronado’s Curragh North coal mine in Queensland

The R 9600 also offers Liebherr’s Assistance Systems, which are designed to increase efficiency by providing “analytics and actionable insights from live data”.

A further technological addition is the optional semi-autonomous bucket filling assistant.

Liebherr also plans to create an electric drive version once the R 9600 enters wider-scale production.

The manufacturer says Australia is its largest market for 600-tonne excavators, with more than 115 sold nationwide since their introduction Down Under in the mid-1990s.

It was this popularity that prompted Liebherr to choose Australia as the location for its trials, with a BHP mine in WA and a metallurgical coal mine in Qld chosen to test the R 9600.

“Partnerships like this benefit not only Thiess and Liebherr, but the broader mining industry through the trial of next generation fleet prior to its release in the market,” says Thiess’ executive general manager assets Anthony De Domenic.

“The introduction of this new technology provides valuable maintenance data to increase machine performance and helps operators optimise payloads.”

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