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Construction Digger Blog

Thu August 17 2017

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Look no hands! Volvo’s self-driving truck

Digger Blogger | 12:11, Fri September 09 2016

Earlier this year Volvo Group began tests and demonstrations of its autonomous self-driving trucks for mining applications. Now here’s the footage.

Volvo’s fully autonomous truck is the first in the world to be tested in operations deep underground in the Kristineberg Mine. The self-driving truck is part of a development project aimed at improving the transport flow and safety in the mine. The truck will cover a distance of 7km, reaching 1,320 metres underground in the narrow mine tunnels.

The research project is a cooperative venture with Saab’s technology consulting subsidiary Combitech.

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New primary mover for Dales quarry

Digger Blogger | 13:53, Fri September 02 2016

There's a big new digger ripping up the Yorkshire Dales...

Tarmac’s Swinden quarry is just off the road between Skipton and Grassington in the Yorkshire Dales National Park. Until the turn of the century it was operated by Tilcon and caused a right old mess, chucking limestone dust around the place. There has always been lots of quarrying in these parts, as evidenced by all those dry stone walls. In recent years, Taramc has invested millions in improving the quarry, drastically reducing its impact, and this securing permission from the National Parks authority to expand operations.

The most recent investment is an ultra-large Hitachi EX1900-6 excavator as the site’s new primary mover,  to reduce operational hours at the site by increasing productivity and efficiency.

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First footage of new Liebherr loaders

Digger Blogger | 11:28, Wed August 31 2016

Among the 20 or so new machines that Liebherr launched at Bauma earlier this year was a new series of mid-range hydrostatic-drive wheeled loaders.

These machines are now ready for market and the Liebherr factory in Bischofshofen, Austria, will begin deliveries before the end of September 2016, they tell us.

The new L526 (7.7 tonnes tipping load), L538 (9.5 tonnes) and L546 (10.5 tonnes) meet Euro Stage IV/ US Tier 4Final emissions regs (with claimed 25% fuel savings compared to the competition). They have been redesigned with reinforced steel structures and bigger axles, with automatic self-locking differentials for improved traction.

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Favourite machines of a Latin American autocrat

Digger Blogger | 16:06, Wed August 24 2016

If you were a South American 'el presidente' destined for prison for corruption and human rights violations, what sort of construction machinery might you favour?

Well, thanks to the reminiscences of my colleague Phil Bishop, who looks after our daily news coverage here at The Construction Index, I can tell you.

Phil was clearing out a metaphorical attic the other day and came upon these photos that he took in October 1993 while on a journalistic assignment to South America.

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WD Lewis gets attached to Hill hitches

Digger Blogger | 09:11, Wed August 10 2016

Welsh civil engineering contractor WD Lewis has signed a deal worth more than £100,000 with attachment manufacturer Hill Engineering for 20 Tefra quick couplers and 60 Titan buckets.

Northern Ireland-based Hill Engineering has been supplying WD Lewis with Tefra for the last six years but these are its first Titan buckets.

Based in Mid Glamorgan, William D Lewis (Aberdare) was established in 1972 and today turns over more than £25m a year from its groundworks operations and the manufacture of concrete blocks.

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