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2020 / 2021 Edition

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Flagship Volvo loader for The Bristol Port Company

Volvo L350F wheel loader

New L350F loading shovel becomes the new prime mover at Royal Portbury Dock coal stock yard

A NEW Volvo L350F loading shovel complete with 12.8 cubic metre rehandling bucket has been delivered to The Bristol Port Company Ltd and taken over as the prime mover on train-loading duties in the coal stock yard at Royal Portbury Dock, Avonmouth.

Painted in striking red and white livery, the new 52-tonne machine joins two Volvo L330E machines originally supplied to the company back in 2006. ‘Both our L330E loaders have performed well, working virtually 24 hours a day, seven days a week and clocking up around 20,000 hours in the process,’ commented Bristol Port Company’s director of operational engineering, Martin Downey.

‘They have been good, reliable machines, which has been the key to us selecting the new L350F. The support from Volvo, when required, has been equally impressive,’ he continued.

The L350F will now take over as the prime loading shovel on site supported by the younger of the two L330E machines. Together they will load a rake of twenty three 72-tonne rail wagons in the space of one and a half hours. Equipped with the 12.8 cubic metre rehandling bucket, the L350F is capable of loading a wagon in just five passes and in the course of a year’s work will dispatch 1.5 million tonnes of coal from the yard.

The new L350F will offer The Bristol Port Company significant efficiencies in terms of fuel economy and productivity, thanks to the combination of the machine’s Stage III 16-litre Volvo engine which produces 535hp at just 1,400 rev/min, stronger hydraulics, a Volvo transmission with lock-up, and Volvo-designed and manufactured axles.

The machine also features CDC (Comfort Drive Control) as standard, automatic lubrication, a heavy-duty air filter, wide-core radiator and a fire-suppression system. Access to the spacious, air-conditioned interior of the Volvo Care Cab is via the rear steps on the machine.

Safety features on the L350F include all-round visibility aids, flashing rear lights and a white noise reversing alarm. To enhance lateral stability, The Bristol Port Company also opted for the recently introduced Goodyear 875/65 L4 sized tyre, as opposed the traditional 35/65 L5 size.

Supplied with a Volvo Blue service agreement whereby the machine will be maintained by a qualified Volvo service engineer, the new L350F is expected to live up to the reputation of its older Volvo relatives and provide an effective service life of 25,000 hours.

Working around the clock, the combined machines are expected to load up to 12 trains a day dispatching up to 6 million tonnes of imported coal to the major power stations in the UK.

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