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09 August 2019

Hitachi loader proves productive at Portuguese limestone quarry

First published09/08/2019
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The ZW310-6 wheeled loader in operation at Filstone Natural quarry

A Portuguese limestone supplier has added a Hitachi ZW310-6 wheeled loader to its fleet to help it maintain high productivity levels at its quarry near the town of Fátima.

The Filstone Natural quarry was established in 2002 by CEO Ricardo Jorge and produces 900,000 tonnes of material per year at the 30-hectare site.

The Hitachi loader is working on the second level of the quarry to load trucks, move limestone between different stockpiles, and feed the crushing and screening equipment. The material being handled by the ZW310-6 is a secondary commodity created by activities on the quarry floor, in which 13-14 tonne limestone blocks are cut. At the current time, reserves are anticipated to last for the next 100 years.

“I first learned about Hitachi on a visit to Japan in 1997 and I know that the company is associated with quality,” said Jorge. “Many of my friends in the industry own Hitachi machines and I have always heard positive statements about the servicing and maintenance. In time, we began discussions with Moviter [Hitachi’s authorised local dealer] to gauge what they could offer and agreed to invest in the ZW310-6.”

He added that the Hitachi vehicle is essential to Filstone’s output, especially in a market in which limestone can sometimes be more lucrative than marble.

"We had high expectations for the wheeled loader, but were surprised by its low fuel consumption," Jorge said. "In addition, the machine is stable and compact, and still performs as effectively as a larger machine.”

At the family-owned company, Jorge's cousin Humberto Miguel de Jesus Santos is operating the ZW310-6. “This wheeled loader is like a Porsche!" said Santos. "Rapid, agile and smooth. Inside the cab there is near 100% visibility and it is very quiet. In terms of maintenance, it has well-positioned access points and is easy to clean."

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