Making the switch from a mining articulated dump truck (ADT) to an IVECO Astra 8x6, is providing fuel savings and increasing payload efficiency for leading New Zealand quarrying and construction, company Isaac Construction.
Around the time when a replacement was due for one of its ADTs, Isaac Industries Manager, Jeff Collins, was speaking to an industry colleague who mentioned taking a look at a more road-biased truck such as the IVECO Astra.
“I had been suggested an Astra for the new purchase and after doing some research, it really looked like it had all the requirements for the application,” Jeff said.
“The timing was also good because one of the local construction equipment dealers, Advancequip, had recently been appointed to sell the model.”
Isaac Construction then worked closely with the team at Advancequip to specify the Astra for quarry work. The Astra 8x6 is fitted with a tipping body and features an IVECO Cursor 13 turbodiesel engine producing 540 hp and 2350 Nm of torque. Matched to the engine is IVECO’s Eurotronic II, 16-speed automated transmission and the Hydraulic Intarder.
Ensuring its suitability off the bitumen, the Astra benefits from a high tensile, steel C-section chassis, front parabolic and rear cantilever suspension and differential locks and hub reduction on all drive axles.
The truck is being used to transport product from the company’s Christchurch-based alluvial quarry to an onsite processing plant about two kilometres away where the rock is processed to make road base and cement products.
Importantly for Isaac Construction, with a 40 tonne payload, the Astra offers an additional 10 tonne of carrying capacity compared to its ADT predecessor.
“The Astra is allowing us to haul considerably heavier loads per trip,” Jeff said.
“To get an ADT that could carry this same weight, we’d be looking at a much more expensive purchase.
“As well as providing us with this payload efficiency, the Astra’s using two to three litres less fuel per hour than the ADT – I’m sure this figure will further improve in the future as the driver becomes more accustomed to the truck and the driveline gets properly run-in.”
At present the Astra is being used five and a half days per week and normally accrues around 45 engine hours of work over this period, and it’s time in the cabin that’s been enjoyed by the driver according to Isaac Quarry Manager, Adam Waite.
“We tend to assign a truck to a single driver, we’ve found that the vehicles are better cared for this way,” Adam said.
“Compared to the ADT, the Astra is a lot more ergonomic for the driver. The cabin is well appointed and the AMT is smooth to drive and easy to operate.
“The three-way adjustable air suspension seat is also a favourite feature for the driver allowing him to get his driving position exactly as he wants it.”
Although still early in its working life, the Astra is proving that it pays to think outside the square.
In keeping with a focus on doing things differently, Isaac Construction has become internationally recognised within the construction and mining industry for its environmental efforts, particularly with its reclamation efforts.
Once a site has been worked, the Isaac Construction has the objective of returning the land to an improved state than it was prior to quarrying to assist in the future study, protection and breeding of native flora and fauna.