Heavy Equipment Guide Logo

This ad will close in 15 seconds

Trimble LOADRITE improving quarry loadout for aggregates producers

Loader scales combine with communications technology to give aggregates operators more efficient management of trucks and material

Trimble’s LOADRITE 360 is a connected quarry solution.
Trimble’s LOADRITE 360 is a connected quarry solution.

Company info

935 Stewart Drive
Sunnyvale, CA
US, 94085

Website:
construction.trimble.com

Read more

It is no surprise that there are plenty of variables that come into play when it comes to optimizing an aggregates operation. One area in particular where telematics and other technologies can improve efficiency and profitability is tracking and managing loadout activities.

Quarries have come a long way from the days in which outgoing loads would be guesstimated for amount of material and charged accordingly. Accurate weigh scales and ticket systems have helped, but there are still many potential points where efficiency can be reduced or costs can be inflated due to errors - and plenty of potential irritation to be had for drivers, loader operators and management.

Many operations need updates to their approach and that can be started with something as simple as better communication, advised Jerome Thomas, area sales manager with Trimble.
The ideal quarry loadout workflow looks something like this: a truck arrives, crosses a weigh bridge, and the driver knows exactly which stockpile to drive to. There, a wheel loader operator knows the right material and amount to be loaded, and in short order the truck is loaded, the driver heads back to the exit, gets weighed out and is on the road.

Of course, that ideal is rarely what occurs. The entry scale may be down, or unstaffed. Drivers may not know where their stockpile is. Loader operators may not know where their truck is. Even when they do, the communication issue is front and centre.

"Generally, information – product and tonnage to be loaded – is passed either on a two-way radio to the loader operator, or shouted across from the truck driver to the loader," Thomas described. "These instructions can be rounded or estimated, and the entry time of the truck is unknown so it's difficult to know whose turn it is."

That imprecision leads to the wrong material being loaded, or arguments between drivers and operators that end up with machines and trucks idling, employees out of their seats and general friction, Thomas noted. 

Slower cycle times and longer trips for trucks occur, and there may be mixups with material – which is a problem when a more expensive product leaves the quarry or the material that reaches its destination is wrong for the job.

Quarries may also end up with problems like trucks queueing up to pick up material or a bottleneck at the scale house on the way out of the site. That can cause problems that stretch off the site, causing traffic flow issues, dust and other irritations for neighbours. 

LOADRITE scale systems can be incorporated onto wheel loaders and excavators.

Tying technology together

Changing the flow of communication and adding automation to the process is one way to tackle some of those problems, Thomas noted. 

Trimble's LOADRITE 360 system, for example, can be a key piece of the puzzle, helping bring numerous pieces of technology within the quarry site together and help streamline data while safeguarding the operation against some of the common problems that may crop up.

"We basically install a server on site that's connected to the customer's point-of-sale software," Thomas explained. "Both talk to each other through API, and then from the server to the payload we use a radio modem."

With that in place, the workflow can become much smoother. When a truck arrives, a ticket is started that indicates the material needed and amount; that information is then pushed through LOADRITE 360 out to the appropriate loader operator. The truck can then proceed to the stockpile, where the loader will be prepared with the proper material and the correct weight to load. 

LOADRITE loader scales come into the process during loading, ensuring that the operator knows precisely how much material they are moving while also recording it in the central system. 
"This brings the operator simplicity - clear and precise instructions coming directly onto his payload system - and it eliminates discrepancies between them and the truck drivers," Thomas said. 

Operators are also able to track other factors, such as the wait time of any particular truck; if a truck has been waiting longer than expected, it may indicate that the driver has gone to the wrong spot in the quarry or is otherwise lost, and the loader can sort out the problem quickly. 

Precision measurements, ensuring the product is correct, and reduced confusion between drivers and loader operators all help cut down on such things as travel distance and idle time on site, Thomas noted.

"Operators aren't reacting to immediate stress - they have full visibility of how many trucks are on site, where they are and how long they've been there. Loading tasks can be rationalized and easily improved," he said. "It also improves stockpile management and loader task management; all information going into the payload system is coming from the quarry point-of-sale software, so they are reliable and not reliant on operator selection."

There are numerous ways in which quarry operators can take advantage of automation, as well as other features of LOADRITE, to improve efficiency at their operations. 

Real world solutions

One large producer was having issues with some of its smaller quarries, which were not producing enough to keep a scale house operator busy through the day. The company decided that removing the weigh bridge was its best option for keeping those quarries operating.

Taking advantage of LOADRITE loader scales that were certified as legal for trade, the company first started by having its loader operators generate the ticket for each truck they saw. While that removed the weigh bridge and operator for some yearly savings, it also increased loader idle times by 10 percent because the operators were required to do more in their cab to track the outgoing material. In addition, people needed to get out of their cabs to pick up and deliver tickets.

The company re-evaluated its approach and instead moved to a kiosk system at the entrance to the quarry. There, the truck driver could generate his own ticket with the type and amount of material required, which would be sent directly to the loader operator's system. The truck would move to the loader, get the required material loaded up, and head out without waiting or weighing out. In the end, the producer was able to keep all of its smaller quarries operating thanks to the cost savings.

Another contractor operated a number of small sites where recycled material would be dropped off and processed, set in strategic locations around its operating area. That company also used a kiosk that generated a photo of the truck license plate and ID number, which was associated with the ticket and filed back at company headquarters to allow for tracking of material and truck movements.

In a third example, a large aggregates producer was having problems with product errors and weight challenges. Adding LOADRITE 360 to its system helped the producer turn its workflow around – literally. Instead of a weigh bridge at the exit of the quarry, it was moved to the entrance, allowing for correct taring in of trucks; from there, a legal for trade LOADRITE scale was used to load out, using the product and weight information sent by the 360 system. 

Overall, the use of automation in loadout operations can reduce costs, cut customer waiting times, drop loader operation and idle times, provide coaching opportunities for loader operators, and benefit staff all around. It can even be used to schedule loading a day ahead of time, or tie into truck telematics systems.

"Today, most sites are simply receiving trucks as they come in, being reactive. The improvement can come from the capability to anticipate truck visits and link those sales to the production site," he said. "We can install telemetry onto trucks that are moving around the quarry, and when they come into a perimeter – let's say 10 kilometres from the quarry – we can automatically notify the quarry's point-of-sale software. If the orders have been entered the day before, these loadout instructions can be pushed to the loader directly just as the truck drives in."

Adding such automation to a quarry's operations is relatively easy, Thomas added, and the benefits are immediately noticeable. 

"Everywhere we implement this, the happiest person in the place is the loader operator," he said. "He gets simple and precise instructions that come up in the display when he needs it. It cannot be simpler." HEG

More from Aggregates & Quarries

New location to double production capacity for Rockster

Continuous expansion, high quality standards as well as short delivery deadlines made such a step necessary for the manufacturer of mobile crushing and screening machinery, Kormann Rockster Recycler GmbH from Ennsdorf. The acquisition of a 10,000 m² property in Neumarkt im Mühlkreis (Upper Austria) promises to provide a strong and needed force in a continuous growth and market demand.

Technology, changing approaches to buying push aggregates industry in new directions

As the general manager of aggregate equipment manufacturer McLanahan, Mark Krause has seen a lot of change in the industry as a whole. Advances in technology are making significant inroads into aggregates, and that, combined with desire for more mobility from customers and a drive to draw new, younger professionals to the industry is what Krause sees shaping the market in coming years.

Loader scales put trust in every bucket

For Wayne Ylitalo, relationships with suppliers and customers is everything. That is how he built his business. Following that core principle has led him to a successful lifelong career in the aggregate industry around Toronto and across Ontario. It's also why he's been using VEI loader scales from RMT Equipment for 20 years. "When you buy something good, you have to tell other people how good it is," he says.

Primary crushing plants from Haver & Boecker Niagara combine components to meet customer needs

Haver & Boecker Niagara offers rugged primary crushing plants in a wide variety of configurations for pre-crushing, secondary and tertiary crushing in the mining and aggregates industries. From design to installation, the manufacturer uses its extensive industry experience and knowledge to provide turnkey systems engineered and built to individual specifications. Haver & Boecker Niagara will work with any crusher and peripheral component manufacturers to ensure customers receive the best plant matched to their requirements.

Metso celebrates milestone of 10,000 HP Series cone crushers sold

Metso has reached the significant milestone of 10,000 Nordberg® HP cone crushers sold globally. The most popular modern cone crusher in the world, according to Metso, the HP Series celebrates its 30th anniversary this year. The 10,000th HP cone crusher unit was handed over to the French aggregates and asphalt producer and urban infrastructure development company Eurovia in a ceremony held this week at Metso's Mâcon facility in France.

Terex Minerals Processing offers cones for every occasion

Cedarapids, a Terex Minerals Processing Systems (MPS) brand, offers a new range of cone crushers. The new TG Series will be a Bronze Bushing Spider Bearing Cone. This new series of cones will complement the current Cedarapids MVPX Series (Screw Type Cone) and the Cedarapids TC Series (Floating Bowl Cone).  Terex MPS will now offer a solution for every cone crushing application requirement while meeting the application needs of customers with the best possible product quality and productivity.

free-paper-airplane

Get our newsletter

Learn more

Kleemann innovations for crushing and screening plants provide simple and safe operation

Modern crushing plants have become more and more complex as their requirements rise. At the same time, the technology must be safe and as simple as possible to operate – and without lengthy instruction and familiarization periods. This is the challenge which faced Kleemann. At bauma 2019 Kleemann showcased innovative solutions for the safe and simple operation of crushing and screening plants. 

Haver & Boecker expands global mineral processing presence with Haver & Boecker Niagara brand

Haver & Boecker has established its global brand Haver & Boecker Niagara to combine the engineering expertise and product portfolios of its three mineral processing locations in Brazil, Canada and Germany. In the past, the three locations acted individually for their respective regions and territories. Customers around the world will benefit from shared innovative technology, more in-depth consultations, greater parts availability and better delivery times.

New Pitbull Grizzly screen an economical option for small- to mid-sized contractors

Lake Erie Portable Screeners introduces the heavy-duty Pitbull PB678 Static Grizzly. The compact screen is a smaller version of the popular PB148 for added jobsite versatility and pairs well with the Pitbull 2300 screening plant, making it an economical option for operations looking for a compact solution to sort oversize material on a reduced scale. The PB678 Static Grizzly includes features for easy bar removal or adjustments as well as transportability. It is ideal for a wide range of industries, including aggregates, mining, scrap, excavation, demolition, forestry and landscaping.

Multiple washing spreads impress at McCloskey customer open day event

Washing equipment specialist McCloskey Washing Systems (MWS), along with their UK dealer MaxInnovate Ltd, held its first multi-spread demonstration event, at Monk Plant Hire (MPH) in Hockering, Norwich, UK on Wednesday 20th and Thursday 21st March, highlighting the power of the washing equipment working together. The demonstrations were an integral part of events tailored to familiarize both new and established dealers and customers with the versatility and productivity of MWS latest products. 

Terex Finlay introduces 883+ triple shaft heavy duty screener

Terex Finlay showcased the latest addition to their 8-Series line up of heavy duty screeners, the ‘883+ triple shaft' at Bauma 2019. This new model has been developed specifically to work in a variety of dry and difficult sticky applications including quarry, mining, sand and gravel, construction and demolition debris and recycling applications. 

Metso launches hybrid truck body with unmatched payload and wear life

"Hauling is one of the most cost-intensive components of a typical mining or quarrying operation. In addition to fuel and labor, there's plenty of maintenance involved too. To ensure cost efficiency, a haul truck should carry as much payload as possible on every round. At Metso, we set out to tackle this challenge and designed a truck body that requires minimal maintenance while maximizing payload. The result is a lower operating cost per hauled ton," says Lars Skoog, Vice President, Mining Wear Lining & Screening, Metso.

free-magazine-subscription

Get Our Magazine

Paper or Digital delivered monthly to you

Subscribe or Renew Learn more

Keestrack extends worldwide manufacturing

Keestrack prides itself in consistently developing its worldwide manufacturing capacities. The company, which at bauma celebrated its 10,000th production machine since the legendary "4518" was introduced in 1996, is also marking the completion of its new 8740-square-metre assembly complex, the second extension phase of its main factory in Šternberk, Czech Republic. More milestones and new extension projects will be set and started in 2019, including the opening of Keestrack's Indian assembly in Neemrana and new production capacities in Ponzano Veneto, Italy.

Site planning with drones

Aggregates operators are always looking for ways to improve their efficiency and make more informed decisions in their planning processes. Many are adopting emerging technology as an added way to develop their operations, and the advent of drones is playing a large part.

free-paper-airplane

Get our newsletter

Learn more

Volvo CE demonstrates fully electric future for emission-free quarries

Volvo Construction Equipment's Electric Site project aims to test the world's first "emission-free" quarry by electrifying each transport stage, from excavation to primary crushing, and transport to secondary crushing. It uses both electric and autonomous Volvo CE prototype machines, plus new machine and fleet control systems and an entirely integrated real-time site management system. Together, these form a complete Electric Site solution. Volvo CE and its customer Skanska tested the viability of the Electric Site research project for 10 weeks at a Skanska's Vikan Kross quarry near Gothenburg, Sweden. Heavy Equipment Guide staff were on site to see the operation and learn about the results. 

Keestrack optimizes electric drive technology

Keestrack offers today the most versatile range of hybrid and plug-in solutions in mobile processing technology for quarrying and recycling applications. This applies to the complete product range, from screening plants and stockpile conveyors to mobile track-mounted crushing solutions of all relevant technologies and for all production capacities.

ROCKSTER to present most powerful, low-emission mobile impact crusher at bauma 2019

Since its founding in 2004, ROCKSTER has developed two patented systems for mobile crushers. At bauma 2019, the mobile impact crusher R1100DS will be displayed in the open area in front of the B2 Hall / Gate 7 (Booth No. 12B/2). The machine combines both innovative systems (DUPLEX and double-functional return / stockpile belt) and as of 2019, it will be equipped with a CAT C9.3B EUR5 engine. This will offer customers the latest state-of-the-art technology.

Telsmith 3244 portable crusher delivers a mobile advantage

The Telsmith 3244 Portable Plant provides the portable crushing producer consistent, reliable production, low mobilization costs, and the flexibility in a number of processing applications such as producing quarried stone, sand and gravel, and recycling. The 3244 primary jaw plant can be used alone or configured with other mobile plants to create a complete processing system in aggregates processing.

free-magazine-subscription

Get Our Magazine

Paper or Digital delivered monthly to you

Subscribe or Renew Learn more