Cover story: Christchurch Ready Mix Concrete

By: Cameron Officer, Photography by: Supplied

Christchurch Ready Mix Concrete’s aggregates mobile crushing fleet now numbers four, with the arrival of a Sandvik QJ241 jaw crusher

Sandvik mobile crushing equipment has proven its worth over many years of operation

For Christchurch Ready Mix Concrete’s aggregates manager, Rob Uffindell, Sandvik mobile crushing equipment has proven its worth over many years of operation.

The company, which incorporates ready-mix concrete, aggregates, and civil construction divisions, has been investing in the solid Scandinavian brand’s hardware since 2010.

In fact, when Christchurch Ready Mix Concrete was initially purchased, Rob says they imported their first machines independently.

Solid performance

Sandvik QH332 cone crusher

"We imported a Sandvik QH331 cone crusher and were immediately impressed with it," he says. "We haven’t looked back really and now all our mobile crushing gear is Sandvik. That first machine has well over 10,000 hours on it now."

The QJ241 jaw crusher is paired with the QH332 cone crusher at the West Eyreton quarry

The Christchurch Ready Mix Concrete mobile fleet has extended in recent times and now includes its latest acquisition, a Sandvik QJ241 jaw crusher, which is paired with a Sandvik QH332 cone crusher at their West Eyreton quarry on the far western fringes of Christchurch.

"Simplicity of operation is a big thing for us," Rob continues. "We operate with two jaws, two cones, all from one brand. That means we can carry one set of parts and, if anything trickier eventuates, we have one phone call to make."

That phone call would be to Porter Equipment, which provides sales and support for Sandvik’s screening and crushing equipment to the quarrying industry throughout New Zealand.

"Porters has put a lot of effort into the back-up for the Sandvik machines lately, which is great. The jaw works really well for the alluvial gravels we process here, and we’re very happy with the performance of the machines.

"To be honest, we ask a lot of these machines in a pretty harsh environment. Stick anything on tracks and add electronics to the picture and you’re going to come up against the occasional issue: it’s the nature of the work. But that’s where having solid back-up from
the machinery supplier is crucial.

Porters provides that for us. And overall, the actual crushing ability of the machines
is bulletproof." With its 4.95 cubic metre hopper capacity, 1000mm x 650mm feed opening, and 520 cubic millimetre maximum feed size, the Sandvik QJ241 offers the right grunt paired with the right sized footprint for Rob and his team of three.

"Most of the product we’re processing here is -200. We get the odd larger stone through, but generally speaking, this size jaw suits us really well. We don’t need a hulking big machine for the bulk of our product."

On an average, 4000 to 7000T is processed every week

That product list includes AP20, AP40, and AP65, fill material, 40mm ballast, base courses, drainage chip, as well as crusher dust, and a variety of washed round aggregates.

\Rob says the average week would see between 4000 and 7000 tonnes processed at the site, depending on what product is being produced.

The QJ241 offers performance throughput of up to 225tph

The Sandvik QJ241 offers performance throughput of up to 225 tonnes per hour, utilising a single toggle C10 jaw crusher, which can operate at up to 312rpm.

The main conveyor and fines conveyor offer up discharge heights of 3444mm and 1757mm respectively and, when the dual crusher set-ups are required to move around the quarry, Rob and his crew can do so using tethered radio control.

Robust technology

The product of a manufacturer that has been building crushing equipment for years, Christchurch Ready Mix Concrete’s Sandvik QJ241 features numerous advances in durability and technology to ensure it provides consistent performance.

These include a hydraulic drive, which enables the crusher to start under load, if needed, along with a load-sensing system for the feeder drive, which is paired with a jaw-level sensor to ensure continuous crushing.

A speed wheel fitted to the main conveyor to stop the feeder helps eliminate conveyor blockages, while the machine’s tunnel arrangement after the jaw discharge also helps prevent material blockages.

The jaw settings can be adjusted using the colour control panel, which also displays operational data. Needless to say, the mobile crusher features premium componentry and toughened steel pipework throughout its construction.

Like the Sandvik QJ241 jaw, the Sandvik QH332 cone crusher represents an additional machine at the site. "There might not be much different to look at in the new model, but the 332 definitely ups the power," says Rob.

Seamless support

Another aspect of Porter Equipment’s back-up support came to the fore when sourcing the new machines. With quarry operations always running at full steam, delivery time for the new equipment was important.

"It’s the usual story: when you decide you need something, you need it now. Once we had made the decision to buy the machinery, we wanted to make sure we wouldn’t be waiting for weeks and weeks to get them on-site and up and running.

"The jaw was at Porter’s yard in Hamilton, so that came down quickly. The cone was sourced from Australia and did experience some shipping challenges but arrived much quicker than if we had to source ex-Europe."

Compact footprint

Transportation is easy, too. With multiple bases around the Christchurch area, the aggregates team occasionally needs to move the crushing equipment to another site within the company’s network.

With transport dimensions of 13,900mm long x 2520mm wide x 3220mm high, the Sandvik QJ241 remains compact enough to be trucked to its next site without the need for a pilot vehicle.

"They’re good, solid machines and they’ve performed very well for us. We have no complaints," concludes Rob. Four reliable machines from one brand, backed by one distributor. Most often, ‘simple’ really is the cleverest solution.

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