Quarry operators Stevin Rock, who supply more than 35% of the aggregates used in the UAE and surrounding Gulf states, have standardized on Sandvik surface drills and rock tools after lengthy trials in a move to maximize productivity and meet the demands of the fast-growing construction industry in the Gulf.
The company operates two limestone quarries at Khor Khwair and Al Ghail, and a gabbro quarry in Ras Al Khaimah, producing 32 million tonnes of aggregates and rock armour a year.
The quarry operators brought in two hydraulic crawler drills of comparable specifications – one a Sandvik and the other from another well known and respected manufacturer – and operated them in the same quarry to evaluate their performances.
‘We had no preconceived notions as to which brand was the best, and we had no allegiance to either manufacturer,’ explained Stevin Rock general manager Naser Bustami. ‘But after extensive trials, it was clear that the Sandvik drill was doing everything we wanted.’ As a result, Stevin Rock have taken delivery of six Sandvik crawler rigs: a Pantera 1500, two Ranger 700 units; and three Ranger 780 machines.
The Pantera, which operates in the limestone quarries, is fitted with the top-of-the-range HL1560 hydraulic rock drill with integrated stabilizer designed to drill 89–152mm diameter holes to depths of 25m, using Sandvik GT60 drill steels and 127mm spherical retrac bits.
The hydraulically driven Rangers, meanwhile, are equipped with Sandvik T51 drill steels, revolving superstructures and articulated booms to meet the demanding terrain of the gabbro quarry.
Regional distributors Dynatrade Automotive Group have provided all the equipment and necessary operator training, as Mr Bustami commented: ‘Drill operator training is especially important, as some operators may not have experience with newer technology.
‘We are producing huge volumes of rock so we must learn and understand how these new machines work at optimum efficiency’.
Stevin Rock are currently supplying aggregates to a number of high-profile construction projects, including the Dubai International Airport expansion programme and The Palm Islands. The quarry operators plan to add more machines to their Sandvik fleet to cope with high demand for aggregates in the Gulf.