Cover story: Sandvik QA451 mobile doublescreen

By: Cameron Officer, Photography by: Cameron Officer

Hawkeswood Civil’s newest on-site machine — the Sandvik QA451 mobile doublescreen — is the world’s first triple deck doublescreen according to the manufacturer

A visit to Hawkeswood Civil’s sprawling base at Brookby in rural East Auckland is always a tough assignment. Not because it’s particularly taxing to get to, or hard to get around once you’re there – it is a well-thought-out aggregates yard, not the back blocks of a forestry operation.

It’s a hard ask because, while it’s always interesting to check out what heavy construction machinery is being utilised out in the yard, Hawkeswood Civil director and past national rally champion, Andrew Hawkeswood, has one of the best motorsport workshops going. Thoroughly professional in its set-up, the main building at Hawkeswood Civil’s yard is an absolute toy box if gravel-spitting rally hardware is your thing.

The Sandvik QA451 is the world’s first triple deck doublescreen /div>

There is a connection between the world of rally and the heavy construction equipment we’re here to have a look at today though, as Andrew explains once we’re outdoors and off towards the screening area.

"When we created the circuit for the Repco Battle of Jacks Ridge, we used recycled aggregate on all the roads. We used our Sandvik equipment to crush and screen between 30,000 and 40,000 ton of material to build the track," he says.

The high-profile Repco Battle of Jacks Ridge rally event, held after the World Rally Championship Rally New Zealand was cancelled because of the Covid-19 pandemic, was a roaring success and attracted all manner of feature drivers, including Hayden Paddon, Ben Hunt, and Joe McAndrew.

Hawkeswood aims to be a fully wet processing system

Greg Murphy and Shane van Gisbergen – who memorably stole the show with his winning run across the purpose-built gravel road – also gave it their all in a weekend of huge excitement along the track, which features high speed jumps, sharp corners, and the ability for spectators to get up close to the action.

Being primarily the base for Andrew’s clean fill, managed fill and demolition waste recycling operation, there’s always plenty of action at the property down in the screening area too. The newest machine on site is Hawkeswood Civil’s Sandvik QA451 mobile doublescreen.

The new screen – which manufacturer Sandvik says is the world’s first triple deck doublescreen – joins a Sandvik impactor and scalping screen already onsite at Brookby.

"The more material we can send out the gate, the better, so a machine like this helps with our productivity which, with levy increases in mind, is paramount for us," says Andrew.

"We established an extra screening area to process more material because of the Gap 7 shortage. We’re producing Gap 7 and Gap 20, and because Gap 20 is used for drainage it needs to be clean. Auckland’s increasingly wet weather doesn’t help with this, so in the future we will look to move towards a fully wet processing system."

The conveyors all feature hydraulic raising, lowering and slew functions

Andrew says that evolving such a system in the immediate short term would be a costly exercise, but with help from "a couple of really clever engineers" Hawkeswood Civil will move towards this way of processing basecourse aggregate eventually.

"In the meantime, we are taking sustainability very seriously and we also have a goal of moving towards all electric plant in the future," Andrew continues. "But until such time as that technology becomes widely available and cost effective to invest in, we’ll continue to buy equipment from trusted manufacturers who are ensuring their machinery is efficient to run.

A mainstay of Sandvik’s latest generation machines are engines that reduce fuel consumption through optimised hydraulics and reducing engine rpm. Fuel tanks are also sized proportionally to maximise the amount of machine run-time between needing to refuel.

Supported throughout New Zealand by Sandvik distributor, Porter Equipment, Hawkeswood Civil’s Sandvik QA451 gives the 10-strong team the ability to produce large volumes of high spec product. The screen boasts two inline 3x1.5m screen boxes, which act in tandem as a fine extractor and grader, combining two processes in one machine.

High speed operation is the name of the game here, and the Sandvik QA451’s doublescreen design enables high throughput, more adjustability, and higher screening efficiency. The screen box has been designed to provide an aggressive vibe action of up to 1200rpm ensuring that volume is maximised. The conveyors all feature hydraulic raising, lowering and slew functions meaning that Andrew’s team have much more flexibility around stockpiling.

Sandvik engines reduce fuel consumption through optimised hydraulics and reducing engine rpm

Naturally, like other machines in the extensive Sandvik range, the 34-tonne Sandvik QA451 is a tracked unit, making it easy to place wherever production demands via simple-to-use radio control. All the machine’s conveyors are designed to fold for transport – not a mandatory for Andrew’s machine, which will stay onsite at Brookby – but a feature of the Swedish manufacturer’s screens, which adds to their flexibility for many operators.

Flexibility is the key word where Porter Equipment’s back-up support is concerned too. While Andrew has mechanical engineers on-staff to maintain his gear once out of warranty, he says that between the purchase and contract maintenance of his Sandvik machinery, Porter Equipment has him covered.

Fuel tanks are sized proportionally to maximise machine run-time

"Porters just makes life easy," says Andrew. "Between their back-up support once you’ve got the machine on-site and the availability of parts for all the gear they sell, you can’t fault them. I never feel like we’re going to be waiting for a machine part, but the machines themselves are very reliable – we’ve had a good run with Sandvik, which made purchasing the screen more of a no-brainer."

If the company’s machinery is producing aggregate in a consistent manner, then that gives Andrew a bit more time to focus on competition out on the rally circuit. With Hawkeswood Civil’s operation always busy and going from strength to strength as Auckland continues to grow, it’s always a juggle.

"Business interests obviously have to come first a lot of the time. But I’m lucky I have a good team in place on the business side of things, and I have a trusted team on the motorsport side of things," Andrew concludes.

"Obviously, sometimes I just want to focus on the race car, so not having to worry about how our heavy construction machinery is performing back at the yard, or who is going to sort out an issue if there was one, is a weight off the mind. And where Sandvik is concerned, Porters is really good like that."

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