The two machines in question are a Volvo L110H, that has gone to work at the Mosstodloch mill in Moray, and the larger L120H, that has been deployed at their Lockerbie yard, both replacing competitive makes of machine.
“We have operated Volvos at our Mosstodloch site for some time and quite aware of their abilities, but it’s been some fifteen years since we ran them here at Lockerbie,” explains Log Yard Manager, Iain Gale. “An opportunity arose to introduce an alternative make of machine into our Lockerbie operation, and here we opted for the larger L120H. There were several reasons for choosing the Volvos, these being a competitive package, sound third party references but the absolute key was the fact that Volvo offer external axle cooling as an option, and this really clinched the decision,” he continues. “The machines work at speed across the concrete pad, handling in excess of some 2000 tonnes of logs per day. So having this option is essential in avoiding axle and brake failures, which we experienced with the previous models.”
Furthermore the patented TP loader linkage system on Volvo wheeled loaders lends itself perfectly for log handling applications since the machines demonstrate a high degree of breakout torque when crowding. This is due to the crowd ram pushing on the positive side of the cylinder as opposed to pulling on it, as can be found on Z bar linkage systems. The breakout torque for example on the L150H is a massive 347KNm. In addition to the benefit of a high breakout torque, the Volvo TP linkage system is still able to demonstrate parallel lift whether the attachment is a bucket, pallet forks or log grapples.
Iain also explains why the two different sizes of machine were chosen for the two sites; “It’s all about the weight and length of the logs in the log grabs, and the daily production activity. In essence, we handle five tonne of logs in the grabs at Mosstodloch whilst, here at Lockerbie, we handle a greater volume of longer logs, weighing between five to five and a half tonnes in weight and the L120H gives greater stability when the logs are 4.8m long. So for both yards, the machines we chose in the L110 and L120 are correctly sized and specified in our opinion.”
Moreover, at the Lockerbie yard for example, the L120H is working a grueling two-shift day, starting at seven in the morning and finishing at two the following morning, five days a week. “So far the machine is performing very well indeed,” says Iain. “What’s really impressive is the fact it’s consuming just nine litres of fuel an hour. So, all in all, everything is looking very positive indeed.”
Both the L110H and L120H are powered by a Stage V, Volvo 8 litre engine developing 190 and 276 nett hp respectively, and maximum torque for both machines is achieved at just 1450rpm. They both benefit from Volvo designed and manufactured driveline components, designed to offer considerable fuel savings for each shift. These savings are further enhanced by the Volvo Eco pedal, encouraging the operator to run the machine at its optimum rpm in the engine’s torque curve. Other features specified by James Jones & Sons include; the optional single lever cinematic control, the all-important external axle cooling option and a unique safety feature installed in the cab that alerts the operator to personnel, wearing an appropriate tag, who might be standing or walking in the vicinity of the machine. The 1.7m² log grapples have been inherited from the previous machines.
The two new shovels are fitted with CareTrack, as standard, which is Volvo’s telematics system that enables remote monitoring of a wide range of machine functions (e.g. location, fuel consumption, service reminders etc.), thus optimizing customer operations. In addition, James Jones & Sons has included SMT GB’s Level 2 ENHANCE service agreements with each machine, meaning that SMT GB will take care of the scheduled maintenance, with Volvo trained service engineers, using genuine Volvo parts. Both machines are expected to provide anything between 15,000 to 20,000 hours of service life in this application.
Through five generations of family ownership, James Jones & Sons Ltd has manufactured the widest range of sawn timber products, including; carcassing, fencing, palletwood, heavy sections and, more recently, engineered timber products, and is now regarded as one of the most innovative and efficient timber processors in Europe. It is one of the oldest, privately owned companies in the United Kingdom, operating five sawmills in Scotland. Up to 60% of logs come from private Scottish estates and the rest from Forestry and Land Scotland, and it has a comprehensive nationwide distribution network for its finished products.