I was at Brinklow Quarry today with Mick Sturges and his shiny new Doosan DL420, supplied by Murley's, equipped with a Trimble Loadrite L-2150 loader scale. I don't spend a lot of time calibrating and operator training these days, but it is good to keep your hand in and there really is no substitute for experiencing life at the sharp end, in order to keep you focused on what is really important in your business.
The calibration was straightforward and Mick picked up the nuances of the system pretty quickly. We ran a few calibration checks and things were looking pretty sweet.
At this point, it would have been really easy for me to leave him to it, on the basis that he had a pretty good grasp of the system. However, I decided to invest some more time in learning more about what Mick wanted to achieve with the system, what was important and how we might be able to deliver on those requirements.
The additional couple of hours was well worth the investment; for both of us. We configured all the options for ease of set up according to specific tasks. We experimented with weighing on the move to gauge the impact on accuracy - In this case, it was well worth the experimentation and the level site, coupled with Mick's ultra smooth operation allowed us to speed up the loading time. Fine tuning and repeated practice with last bucket tip off, helped Mick gain confidence and understand the systems limitations with me there to back him up.
The end result was a system optimised to meet the requirements and, a proficient and confident operator, who really understood how to extract best performance.
The extra couple of hour invested by Mick will be recouped in no time and for me, the time invested was an essential part of the value we add.
As I said to Mick, 'It is my job to make you look good on this.'
I left him smiling and loading with confidence.
I was at Ineos in Runcorn yesterday, where they process the majority of UK mined salt. The minded salt is processed for treating the roads to putting on your chips and every applications in between.
Ineos has just taken delivery of two Bell 2106 wheel loaders installed with Loadrite Electronic Payload systems (EPS). One of the primary roles for these machines is the bulk loading of salt into cargo ships.
The complexities (and vagaries) of loading ships correctly rely on a huge number of factors. In essence, the amount of cargo (and other loads; fuel, ballast, provisions, crew etc) is related to how low the vessel floats in the water. (Here is a link for anyone curious enough to learn more about it). The suppliers are quite at the mercy of the ships Master to determine how much cargo the ship is loaded with unless they have an independent measure of cargo prior to loading. Error in calculation could be costly. With 5,000 tonnes of salt at £50/tonne. An error of just 1% would represent £2,500. One ship a week at that rate would cost £130K per year.
The Loadrite EPS takes some of the vagaries out of the equation and puts the initiative back with the supplier. Understanding that the ships Master takes ultimate responsibility for the loading of his vessel.
An enhancement to the system would be an upgrade to a Weighs and Measures certified system on the Bell's with remote reporting capability. This would give traceable loading along with other benefits such as loading efficiency. A conversation that I was keen to persue.
Watch this space...