If you have ever driven by a construction site, you have likely taken note of the equipment that is specific to that type of work and industry. Bulldozers, trucks, excavators, and front loaders are often working alongside each other, all assigned to and achieving specific tasks but working toward a shared goal of completing a task in the most effective way possible.
Equipment used in quarries is not unlike the equipment you would find in a construction site. However, for most effective use in a quarry, the equipment needs to be much larger, and it must possess both increased power and more significant production capacity.
CAT: Perhaps the most recognizable brand of construction equipment and solutions is CAT. CAT is short for Caterpillar Inc. and the company has historically offered a full, comprehensive line of industry-leading construction equipment in all sizes to satisfy all projects. They continually update their products and machine effectiveness as technologies advance and the industry becomes more innovative.
John Deere: Another leading competitor of construction equipment is John Deere. John Deere is a more multi-disciplinary company, offering products for landscaping, sport turfs, forestry, and agriculture in addition to their construction lines. It is likely that you or one of your neighbors owns a trusted John Deere product, as they also offer many productions for domestic home and gardening projects.
Komatsu: Komatsu is another leading competitor of construction equipment. Originating in Tokyo, Japan, Komatsu manufactures and sells construction and mining equipment, utilities, forest machines, and industrial machinery.
Front Loaders: A front loader, also called a wheel or track loader, is a heavy equipment machine that is traditionally used to load or move materials using a front-mounted navigable bucket. This is one of the most common pieces of equipment in quarrying, as it is used to transport raw materials from their excavation location to the next phase of production before being transported to their desired locations. The front loaders you are used to seeing on construction sites likely have a 42-200 horsepower engine with varying bucket sizes. The largest front loader that CAT produces has 1739 horsepower capacity with 25-32 cubic yard bucket capacity. This is a size likely to be used for quarrying, particularly when hauling or transporting large raw material pieces like granite.
Excavators: An excavator is a piece of hydraulic equipment that is used to dig and excavate materials that are deep in the earth. The excavator is a popular piece of equipment on typical construction sites, particularly when laying foundation for houses. However, for quarrying, the high-capacity excavators are key in unearthing and digging out raw materials that are found deep in quarries. A small excavator would have anywhere from 70-120 horsepower with maximum digging depth of 16-20 feet. However, an excavator used in quarrying would likely possess around 500 horsepower and could dig up to 25 feet into the earth.
Quarry Truck: A quarry truck is a type of haul truck and it a key player in the equipment stock needed for effective quarrying. For example, a front loader would likely empty its bucket haul into a quarry truck to be transported from its source location to a processing location. Quarry trucks range from 40 short tons to 100 short tons in their capacity, but quarry trucks are available in sizes up to 496 short ton capacity.
Bulldozer: A bulldozer is essentially just a high-capacity tractor with a large metal plate stationed on its front end. This gives the machine the capability of pushing large quantities of materials during the construction or quarrying process. These machines have incredible power and tractive ability, making them effective tools for moving materials around a quarry. Typically, quarry bulldozers would have a semi-U blade, meaning that the large front-stationed plate would curve out slightly at its edges to accommodate the pushing of large rocks.
Powerscreen®: A Powerscreen® is a machine that has become a key player in the quarrying industry. These machines are designed to separate materials. Essentially, a Powerscreen® offers a mobile incline that is intended to separate raw materials like aggregates and sand into different grades by particle size. This is effective when quarrying crushed stone or gravel.