Product feature: Keestrack R3e all-electric mobile crusher

By: Lyndsay Whittle, Photography by: Lyndsay Whittle

Fulton Hogan recently commissioned a Keestrack R3e all-electric mobile crusher at its asphalt recycling facility in Mt Wellington

A group of media personnel, along with transport minister, the Hon Michael Wood, were invited along to see the new Keestrack R3e all-electric mobile crusher in action in late December 2022.

Minister Wood described the introduction of the environmentally friendly machine to the Fulton Hogan facility as being a "win-win-win" for all parties involved, as the asphalt processor has the capability of recycling material and reducing waste, with the bonus of saving money.

The minister said that the government "has a big challenge in its system to decarbonise transport and that while some of it’s about what we build it’s also about how we build it", citing the fact that high-volume roads need to be resurfaced approximately every seven years, creating a lot of potentially reusable asphalt.

He was enthusiastic about the current 30% of recycled asphalt being used in new roading projects and the potential the Fulton Hogan plant has to increase that percentage by recycling asphalt "that otherwise might have been a waste product and to use the value of it to build and maintain our roads".

Those weren’t just empty words, because at the time the crusher was only working at 40% capacity, yet was still producing an impressive 130 tonnes of product per hour.

The Keestrack R3e

Fulton Hogan department manager Wayne Richarson giving an overview of the Keestrack R3e

Supplied by Equip2 Processing Solutions, the 30.2-tonne Belgian-designed Keestrack electric mobile crusher is believed to be the first one of its kind to be placed in operation in Australasia.

Being powered by electricity, the Keestrack R3e enables the use of fewer moving parts than its diesel-hydraulic counterparts, making it more reliable because fewer moving parts generally equates to fewer things to break down.

Electric motors are not only less susceptible to the ingress of dust than ICE (internal combustion engines) but also produce more torque, with less power lag being a definite advantage in the aggregate crushing industry.

Equip 2 general manager Bert Hart explained that while there’s a price premium placed on fully electric machinery over diesel-powered units, the initial added expense is quickly paid back because of the elimination of the need for servicing things such as filters, oil and coolant change-outs, air filter replacement and burst hoses, not to mention the ever-increasing price of diesel.

Reducing downtime

Transport minister Hon Michael Wood and Wayne Richardson

Bert says that considerable added savings can be made due to the elimination of the downtime required to carry out onsite servicing and that the electric crusher will save 78.75 tonnes of CO2 emissions per year compared to a diesel machine, based on it running 1000 hours per year.

"Equip2 recognises the future is electric and we’re transitioning our product range in line with rapidly growing customer demand," he says.

The Keestrack R3e can be moved and operated under the power of its own onboard generator if need be but is plugged into the grid (not hard-wired) while in use at the Mt Wellington plant, creating greater savings and efficiency.

Should it be required for use in other parts of the recycling processing plant, it can be moved short distances while still plugged into the plant’s power supply.

Committed to emissions reduction

Associated infrastructure was built by Rocktec Ltd

It’s a matter of record that the global construction industry is directly responsible for up to 39% of energy-related CO2 emissions across the planet.

Reducing this, it’s said, is a critical goal if the world is to meet emissions targets and the 17 United Nations sustainable development goals adopted in 2015 as part of the 2030 agenda for sustainable development.

These aims are increasingly supported by governments and think tanks such as the World Economic Forum.

The team at Fulton Hogan says that in order for them to play their part in CO2 reduction and to remain at the forefront as business innovators, they will continue to make the shift to plant and machinery that is more environmentally friendly.

The purchase of the Keestrack R3e electric mobile asphalt crusher was commissioned shortly after Fulton Hogan introduced another large-scale piece of electrically powered plant – the world’s first Volvo EC480EL 50-tonne hybrid excavator, both of which are examples of their serious commitment to reducing emissions.

Auckland regional manager James Weller says the deployment of the Keestrack R3e will save Fulton Hogan about $55,000 per year in fuel savings alone and that those savings will flow through to the end product and to their customers. Expanding on the benefits the electric crusher has to offer, he says it’s the kind of capital investment that’s needed to reach the company’s carbon reductions targets where it aims to have a 30% emission reduction on its 2021 baseline by 2030 (a mere seven years away) and become net carbon zero by 2050.

About Equip2, Fulton Hogan, and Keestrack

Recycled asphalt is generally produced in three aggregate sizes

Equip2 specialises in equipping quarries, recyclers, and materials businesses with machinery to sort, crush, and shred materials such as rocks, concrete waste, and biomass. Bert says the company has been playing its part to decarbonise the industry by providing hybrid diesel-electric mobile material processing machinery for many years and that the company is committed to the eventual supply of completely carbon-neutral machinery.

Fulton Hogan’s belief in having "resilient infrastructure in place to tackle the challenges of a changing world" embedded in its philosophy, the company is continuing to show its commitment to this philosophy by introducing more environmentally friendly machinery to its inventory.

Company founders Jules Fulton and Bob Hogan would’ve surely been impressed by their company’s latest purchase of the all-electric Keestrack R3e mobile crusher given that they started their venture 90 years ago with a Boothmac sprayer and a bitumen pot they towed behind Bob Hogan’s Willys-Knight car.

Writer’s note: The Willys-Knight’s unconventional sleeve valve engine (AKA ‘Silent Knight’) was also an innovation of its time and is interesting that the company they started nearly a century ago continues to be innovative well into the 21st Century.

Keestrack was founded in Belgium by Kees Hoogendoorn and his wife, Anett Schoenmaker, in 1988. The business has been continuously 100% privately owned.

Keestrack has a philosophy of building machinery that’s designed to "make work easier and to reach goals more efficiently". The company says it’s committed to utilising the opportunities offered by electro-mobility.

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