Engineering support services company Babcock has announced that it will be launching “ground-breaking construction equipment” during the course of this year.
“Babcock is renowned and respected for delivering high-production machinery that is also fuel efficient. Therefore, this year we are adding the Volvo A60H, the largest articulated dump truck (ADT) to ever be launched commercially by Volvo, to our product range,” said Babcock Equipment MD David Vaughan said last month.
He remarked that the Volvo A60H’s higher payload represented a 40% increase on Volvo’s A40 model, thereby significantly lowering the cost-per-ton ratio for haulier customers, while its stability, comfort and high hauling speeds are ensured by the matched drivetrain, automatic drive combinations, all-terrain bogie, hydromechanical steering and active suspension, further optimising production and decreasing operational costs.
Vaughan commented that the first Volvo A60Hs were expected to reach South Africa’s shores by March and would be launched into the Southern African market by May, together with the new Volvo EC950E, a 90 t crawler excavator that combines power and stability to handle a higher capacity in the toughest applications.
“The A60H is ideal for hard rock mining, coal mining, general mining and big quarry applications and the EC950E has been designed to load the massive A60H, therefore they work hand-in-hand,” he noted.
Vaughan pointed out that Babcock has already presold three Volvo A60H ADTs, as well as one Volvo EC950E excavator to Burgh Plant Hire, which is a long-standing customer of the company, at the Bauma 2016 exhibition.
Burgh Plant Hire CEO and owner Stanley van der Burgh owns a fleet of more than 100 Volvo machines for his company’s coal mining operations – the majority of them ADTs – demonstrating that he has full confidence in the new model.
Additionally, Vaughan said that Babcock would also be bringing Volvo’s A45G ADT to South Africa during the course of this year. He stated that the A45G was designed for heavy hauling in severe off-road operation, adding that this “ultimate haulier” delivers“unbeatable” off-road performance in its class and has a 2 t larger payload than its predecessor the A40.
Terex Trucks sub-Saharan Africa business manager Erik Lundberg noted that another first for Babcock in 2017 would be the introduction of the company’s Generation 10 TA300 and TA400 ADTs. He pointed out that the Generation 10 ADTs were the first new Terex Trucks products to be launched by the company since Volvo acquired the Terex Trucks brand in June 2014, and Babcock’s subsequent appointment as the official distributor in Southern Africa of these ADTs and rigid haulers.
Further, Vaughan commented that the demand for larger construction equipment continued to prevail as customers were continuously searching for the most cost-effective way to move material.
“With indications of recovering commodity prices, our customers are positive about the outlook for 2017,” said Vaughan. He stated that the mining sector remained an integral market for Babcock, particularly as it had several high-profile customers operating in the coalfields of Middelburg, in Mpumalanga.
Supporting Middelburg Coal Operators
Vaughan recounted that, at the beginning of last year, the company opened an ultramodern sales, parts and service dealership in Middelburg to offer responsive support and service across its entire equipment product range to customers in the region.
“From this new flagship branch, we have been able to deliver improved service and a faster turnaround time and the response from our customers has been exceptionally positive,” he enthused.
Opencast coal mining subcontracting company Atlantis Mining MD Mark Johnstone affirmed that Babcock’s Middelburg facility was “world-class and well-stocked with inventory lines”, therefore it was very seldom that the company had to wait for parts. “The sales team is always willing to assist us at the drop of a hat,” he added.