Porter Press Extra: Sandvik QH331HS

By: Lyndsay Whittle, Photography by: Lyndsay Whittle


Deals on Wheels takes a look at the Sandvik QH331HS cone crusher recently purchased by McPherson Resources Limited in Mangatawhiri

When brothers Mike and Steve McPherson made the decision to purchase a new cone crusher for use in their quarry, their research led them to the Sandvik machine, which Mike says "ticked every box" on their wish list.

Situated in Mangatawhiri, near Pokeno, south of Auckland, the brothers’ quarry and surrounding property has been in family ownership for four generations—dating back to the 1870s—although, the quarrying operation was run for many years by the McRobbie family under a gentleman’s agreement struck by Mike and Steve’s parents.

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Steve and Mike took over the operation in 2009 and formed the company McPherson Resources Limited. It’s a family-run operation and their sister, Susan Burns and her son Joe also work in the business.

Hire vs purchase

The -brothers

Having discussed the pros and cons of hiring versus purchasing a cone crusher, the business partners agreed that hiring wasn’t a suitable option due to a number of factors, one of which was the impact transportation to and from the quarry at the beginning and end of each hire period would have on the company’s balance sheet.

A further consideration in favour of the purchase option lay in the firm’s ability to be able to fire the machine at a moment’s notice. McPherson Resources Ltd, which has customers ranging from small contracting firms to large corporations, produces GAP 20, 40, and 65 basecourse aggregates and drainage 20/40, 40/65.

Sandvik QH331HS features

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The company took delivery of the Sandvik QH331HS (the HS, an optional extra, stands for Hanging Screen) prior to Christmas 2017 and both Mike and Steve say they’re extremely pleased with their purchase. The crusher is entirely automated and can be set into operation in a matter of minutes.

Both men say the machine is simple to operate and that once the engine is started, all they have to do is concentrate on operating the wheel loader to feed the crusher’s hopper, leaving the QH331HS to do the hard graft.

Among the optional extras fitted to the QH331HS were the hydraulically operated hopper extensions that can be deployed to alleviate spillage when filling with a wide-bucket loader. The brothers also opted to have auto greasing and a dust suppression unit fitted.

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The wheel loader they use to feed the crusher’s hopper has a capability of filling approximately one-and-a-half times the feed hopper’s capacity, giving the operator a short break between rotations of delivering a load of raw material to the crusher and transporting a load of finished product back to the appropriate stockpile on the return run.

Other features both Mike and Steve like are the single deck hanging screen and the crusher’s ability to operate in open or closed circuits to produce two aggregate sizes at one time or to feed any stray larger pieces directly back through the crusher as the need arises.

All movement of the Sandvik’s components is carried out hydraulically, making it a simple operation not only to set up from compact transport mode but also to change from open to closed circuit modes as well.

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Sandvik’s attention to detail stretches as far as providing an on-board camera, which sits above the ‘S’ Type gyratory cone crusher and is attached to a monitor that can be viewed at ground level. The camera also folds away during transportation.

Moving the crusher is a simple operation, courtesy of a wireless remote-control unit backed
up by a hard-wired remote controller, which can take over the operation should the wireless unit’s batteries become flat. Safety while climbing aboard the machine is paramount with spring-loaded one-way gates attached to the safety railing protecting the operator at all times. Foldaway access steps, complete with handrails, also feature in the machine’s list of safety features.

The Porter connection

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Steve, who is a qualified diesel mechanic, worked as a mechanic for 12 years at Porter Group—the New Zealand agents for Sandvik equipment. He says the service they’ve received from Porter Equipment has been impeccable, right from the first call they made to Doug Ball, Porter Equipment’s territory manager, Auckland.

A somewhat unexpected feature of Porter Equipment’s service was was the 16-hour set-up time provided by Porter Equipment technicians. They continually made fine adjustments to the machine, including stopping the operation every hour to ensure all components were working correctly and within manufacturer-specified tolerances.

This set-up period gave the McPherson brothers valuable running-in experience with the machine, along with an insight into the machine’s many features and capabilities.

The final word goes to Mike, who says his company’s decision to purchase the machine rather than hiring one was "all about moving into the future", and the Sandvik QH331HS is already proving to be producing the right outcome for their particular operation.

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