Skene Group Construction Services Ltd adds more Volvo L220H loading shovels for its Soutra and Lomond quarries

Skene Group Construction Services Ltd of Glenrothes Fife has added three more Volvo L220H loading shovels to its fleet, with two going to work at its Soutra Mains quarry and the third taking up residency at the company’s Lomond quarry.

Two new L220H loading shovels join two existing L220s at Soutra with this particular size of machine being the optimum model of choice for carrying out rehandling and stocking out duties around the quarry. The machines have been specified with Michelin XMineD2 29.5R25 tyres and large capacity 5.6m³ rehandling buckets, auto lube and boom suspension. The L220H which has been put in charge of similar duties at Lomond quarry has been equipped in the same fashion.

The 32 tonne L220H is powered by a 13 litre stage IV final engine developing 380hp in a relatively low rpm range of between 1300 and 1400 rpm and maximum torque achieved at just 1100 r/min. The machine’s full turn tipping load equipped with its rehandling bucket is a generous 22 tonnes and breakout force is measured at 229kN.

Skene Group Construction Services has been operating L220H shovels at Soutra for the past five years and have lived up to the expectations of Joint Managing Director Darren Forrester with regards to productivity, machine uptime and fuel economy and savings. “The first L220H machine here at Soutra Mains replaced a smaller L180F to increase production and we considered the specification closely in order to achieve just a two bucket pass loading out eight wheeled lorries,” says Darren. “We added a second L220H two years ago based on the strength of the reliability and productivity of the older unit machine and in total we now run four loading shovels at Soutra and have introduced another L220H at our Lomond facility to cope with ever increasing demands on our production output.”

All of Skene’s existing fleet of Volvo branded equipment have been supplied with Volvo’s Blue service agreements which are based on a fixed rate per scheduled service and a fixed rate for mileage including oil sampling and regular inspections to be reviewed on an annual basis. These latest additions however, have been supplied with a Volvo Gold agreement which is a full repair and maintenance package whereby SMT GB takes charge of everything when it comes to scheduled maintenance, breakdowns and repairs. “The decision to outsource the complete maintenance and repair regime to SMT GB makes perfect sense in our opinion,” said Mr Forrester. “Having them looking after the equipment with their own trained engineers using genuine parts with the proper disposal of all used oils and materials gives us both peace of mind and a tight control on each machine’s life time cost.”

The key features of the Volvo Gold service agreement give Skene maximum visibility and control of the total cost of ownership and enables them to analyse fleet performance and find potential fuel savings and areas where operator performance can be improved through the use of Insight reports.

Skene Group Construction Services Ltd has enjoyed steady growth since it was founded in 1968 by Donald Skene. It became a limited company in the late 1970s with the launch of its civil engineering, road building operations and demolition activities then diversified into minerals in the 1980s, quarrying sand, gravel and hard rock deposits. The 1990s saw further expansion, this time into pre-cast and ready-mixed concrete products. Managing director Neil Skene joined the business in 1984 and now oversees all its divisions providing sand and gravel quarrying; hard rock quarrying; concrete products and construction services along with joint managing director Darren Forrester.