Product feature: Antraquip AQ-3 mill heads

Antraquip cutters have been making a mark among its customers

In the school of hard rocks, Antraquip cutters have made a mark among its customers. Founder Karl Mitterndorfer is an Austrian hard rock mining professional who moved to the US and set up his own business to fill a gap in the hard rock environment.

AQ-6 operating successfully in dense Manhattan schist

Forty years later, the Antraquip range of mill heads and road headers is distributed worldwide. During this time, Antraquip has been involved with some of the most impressive, challenging and rewarding rock-cutting projects, the manufacturer say.

The range includes models suitable for materials with uniaxial compressive strength (UCS) ranging from one to 175 plus mpa for small- to mid-sized cutters. The AQ-5 (200kW for 50 plus tonne carrier) and AQ-6 (400kW for 65 plus tonne carrier) models can be utilised in rock substantially harder than this.

Boss Attachments is the Australasian agent and company MD Paul Herbison says he’s impressed with the capability of the attachments."Karl and sons Peter and Tom have a wealth of knowledge in hard rock excavation, which we are able to draw on as required for specific projects. Peter has been personally involved with all of the projects to date."

The Antraquip range can provide custom engineered solutions for any rock or concrete cutting project, he says. "A major focal point for our product development at Antraquip is pushing the limits of what material can be excavated utilising our mechanised cutting technology," Peter Mitterndorfer, Antraquip VP/co-owner says. "Historically, the limit was for "soft rock" only but more recently, our attachments have proven they can provide impressive production in all types of rock, including basalt and granite."

Antraquip AQ-3 scaling greywacke rock faces in North Auckland

During the past 18 months, Antraquip drum cutters have been used across a number of landmark New Zealand projects and have included the successfully cut and milled concrete, greywacke, blue basalt, hard blue sandstone, and stabilised road pavement. Some of these projects are: 

  • At the North Auckland sandstones with an AQ-3xl and AQ-5, they are achieving the expected production rates of up to 100 cubic metres per hour.
  • At Kaikoura earthquake recovery tunnel strengthening works milling 100-year-old concrete linings and blue Greywacke with an AQ-1s and AQ-1 on eight-tonne excavators. These are the babies of the range and they achieved and exceeded clients and our expectation.
  • Central Auckland milling bluestone basalt with an AQ-1 on a 22-tonne excavator. This job was a boutique project where the client had an old blue stonewall below a historic building. This wall protruded and had to be milled back. Progress was within the expected production rates. Using the Antraquip head saved temporary works and months on the project timeline."We have also milled 40mpa concrete diaphragm walls with our baby AQ-1s on a three-tonne excavator to allow steel and formwork to be placed in the correct locations," says Paul.

Antraquip Drum Cutters deliver a number of major benefits for clients, the manufacturer says, and these include:

  • Little or no micro-cracking of the ground outside the excavation line (cracking from hammers has been shown to reach up to two metres, depending on rock type). This can cause issues with existing infrastructure.
  • Minimised overbreak of trench line
  • Minimal disturbance of trench face making for a safer more intact trench
  • Lower noise impact than other methods
  • Lower vibration impact
  • Ability to reuse the material on-site as hardfill, thus reducing waste and increasing site efficiency

"Antraquip is a fantastic brand to be associated with," says Paul. "Their product quality, durability, and performance is exceptional, on top of which, their 24/7 support and an unparalleled level of hands-on construction and tunnelling experience helps us add real value to client’s projects."

Antraquip range available for hire and or sale includes AQ-1S, AQ-1, AQ-2, AQ-3, AQ-3XL, AQ-4, AQ-4XL, AQ-5, and the mighty AQ-6—from one- to 10-tonne excavators, there’s a model to suit everyone.

For more information, contact Paul Herbison 027 290 8306 or visit

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