Porter Press Extra: Taranaki Mix

By: Cameron Officer, Photography by: Cameron Officer

The Taranaki Mix team needs a reliable wheel loader to shift aggregate consistently and cleanly. That's where their new Hyundai wheel loader takes centre stage.

The company’s new Hyundai HL760-9 XTD wheel loader

With its bright white, yellow, and grey livery fleet of seven trucks and an impressively designed (and concreted) yard at Bell Block on the northern outskirts of New Plymouth, you can tell from the moment you drive through the gate—or see one of their trucks out on the road—that Taranaki Mix is going places.

Taranaki Mix operates a wet-batch mix concrete plant based at Bell Block, New Plymouth

Owned and operated by husband-and-wife team, Steve and Kezia Beard, Taranaki Mix supplies ready mix concrete for pretty much any concrete application going, including housing slabs, driveways, commercial buildings, swimming pools, cow sheds, feed pads, farm sheds, and plenty more besides.

The company has experienced increased market share in recent times, which has led to the commissioning of a new Con-E-Co Lo-Pro 12 wet batch plant that can produce more than 120 cubic metres per hour.

Compared to Taranaki Mix’s previous plant, this represents a much larger and efficient output over the course of each day, which Steve describes as an absolute game changer.

"Being a wet batch, we mix in the plant and not in the trucks, so we’re reducing truck emissions and saving the drivers considerable time," he explains.

"The drivers can pull up, grab their docket, and drive out in one minute compared to around 15 minutes at a dry batch plant." It’s not just speed and convenience that the Beards had in mind when commissioning the new plant either.

"When planning the plant, we had ‘clean green’ in mind. Everything is contained, so we don’t have a dust problem, which is also good for the health of our staff. We’ve also installed a second 100-tonne-capacity silo, which can use either fly ash or slag by-products, which also reduces our carbon footprint."

Future-proofing their business and driving growth are clearly important to Steve and Kezia. While not boasting as significant a footprint in Taranaki Mix’s yard as the wet batch plant, the company’s new Hyundai HL760-9 XTD wheel loader also on-site at Bell Block is another direct response to the increase in volume the 15-strong team has experienced over the last 12 months.

A bigger loader was required to replace an ageing, smaller machine. Taranaki Mix looked to Hyundai construction equipment as a viable option, backed by local distributor, Porter Equipment.

"The value proposition in investing in the Hyundai was very strong," says Kezia. "Right from the start, everything was transparent with Porter Equipment and [Taranaki territory manager] Anthony Wanoa was very good to deal with.

"In doing our due diligence on the machine, we were given all the right info about it, the after-sales maintenance programme, and all of that was covered with a fixed price structure, so there were no surprises."

Kezia adds that thanks to Porter Equipment’s ready line of supply from the factory, the Taranaki Mix team didn’t have to wait too long for the new wheel loader to arrive on site either—an ongoing issue that some other distributors have been battling with.

The Hyundai HL760-9 XTD also extends Steve and Kezia’s desire to be cleaner and greener further through engine and powertrain management technology. The wheel loader’s reliable 215hp (160kW) Cummins QSB6.7 engine offers a combination of a high-pressure common rail system and advanced in-cylinder combustion technology, which translates to both increased power and reduced fuel consumption while complying with EPA Tier3 and EU Stage IIIA emissions standards.

The Hyundai HL760-9 XTD also offers three engine power modes (heavy duty, standard, and economy mode) to ensure the engine is working at its most efficient regardless of what the machine has been tasked with.

These operating modes contribute to improved productivity, enhanced operator comfort, and reduced fuel consumption across a busy day servicing trucks that arrive through the gate.

Thanks to the Hyundai HL760-9 XTD’s increased bucket capacity over its predecessor, the new wheel loader helps Steve and Kezia use less fuel

With fewer machine movements across the yard, thanks to the Hyundai HL760-9 XTD’s increased bucket capacity over its predecessor, the new wheel loader helps Steve and Kezia use less fuel (and emit less carbon emissions as a result) while reducing wear and tear on both the machine and the yard surfaces under the wheels.


Loader operator David Doeg and company director Steve Beard (right)

David Doeg is the main machine operator on the Hyundai HL760-9 XTD, with Steve occasionally helping out at the controls. The new wheel loader has only been on-site for a couple of weeks but already one attribute has been vocally welcomed.

The new wheel loader has only been on-site for a couple of weeks

"The main feedback from David I’ve had so far is that the heated seat is great," laughs Steve. There’s more than just a heated seat to keep the operator comfortable inside the cab on a Taranaki winter’s day, too.

The cab has been designed to offer more space, better visibility, and increased comfort

The 11 air vents of the Hyundai HL760-9 XTD’s air conditioning system offers increased cooling and heating capacity for optimum temperature control. The defroster vents on the front and rear window and an electric pre-heater make working in the cold much easier.

Overall, the Hyundai’s cab has been designed to offer more space, better visibility, and increased comfort. The front window is curved with 17% more glass area than previous Hyundai wheel loaders, ensuring better outward visibility, which is important on a busy yard such as Taranaki Mix’s.

Hyundai’s combination of cab ergonomics and comfort features put David, Steve, and anyone else tasked with driving the wheel loader in the perfect position to work safely and comfortably.

Steve, Kezia, and the Taranaki Mix team have not only founded a successful business over the last few years but they’ve also had the foresight to embrace new technology and better ways of working in order to meet the needs of their diverse client base throughout Taranaki.

Together with Hyundai’s reliability and the back-up support of Porter Equipment, Taranaki Mix is well placed to continue to evolve, succeed, and stay ahead of the game.

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