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It’s another busman’s holiday for Digger in Fuerteventura

Digger Blogger | 14:02, Mon December 31 2012

The other half and I have just spent the Christmas period on the beautiful island of Fuerteventura, enjoying some quality chill out time, and more importantly topping up on some much missed vitamin D from the glorious sunshine. However, no holiday for me is complete without a day out in the hire car looking for a few machines, that I can snap some shots of for the pages of the Digger Blog.

Regular readers of the blog will recall that during recent visits to the island I have reported on the continuation of the roadworks from the airport at Puerto Del Rosario, down to Jandia in the south, which is where we normally stay. The works involve straightening of the existing rather twisty and dangerous route and the formation of a new dual carriageway road. The job, which is being undertaken by the OHL Construction Group, appears to be being carried out in phases, from Morro Jable (Jandia) back towards the airport. As before, the major earthworks on site are being performed by Cororasa, who are a big outfit in the Canary Islands and are often seen all over the place during my travels. We had a trip to Puerto Del Rosario to look for a new camera and some other shopping and on the way back we stopped by one section of the roadwork’s job that was accessible to me.

On my arrival at the jobsite, Cororasa’s tipper lorry’s were bringing in as dug rock to one section, which was being built up in layers to cover a concrete storm calvert, which will allow any storm water to pass under the finished road, this construction also allows any small animals to pass under the road in the future as well.

The material was being dug out further along the job by the old Caterpillar 375 LME that I had spotted on previous visits to Fuerteventura. This machine was now also joined by a Komatsu PC600-7 model, which I was told has been heavily involved in some serious hammer work in the big cut during recent months.

The volcanic rock that formed these islands around 23 million years ago certainly makes for hard digging. Hard digging requires hefty kit of course, and the big Cat D10N that I had seen previous trips before is still being put to good use on rock ripping and dozing duties. At the calvert site, the material was being levelled by a Caterpillar D5H XL fitted with a PAT blade.

There was a lot of banter amongst the lads on site as they watched me taking photos of the works progress, much hand waving and probably a lot of amusement as they saw this crazy English tourist snapping away like a mad man! I hailed the dozer operator and gave him one of my cards, so hopefully they will realise that there was a purpose to my madness!

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A vast majority of the excavated rock is being recycled on site, where it is being put through a crusher/screener system to achieve various grades to suit the job in hand. Across the road from the calvert infill area, a Caterpillar 140H motor grader was levelling type 1 or 803 quality stone in preparation for tarmac.

I could sit and watch a skilled operator on a motor grader for hours, and it really is a machine that tests any man in the field. I am sure that this day and age it must be very hard to find a good grader operator in the UK. Most of the ones I have had the pleasure to meet in the past have been older chaps, from a bygone earthmoving era that I doubt we will ever see the like of in our country again.

By this time Mrs Digger was starting to get a bit teasy, so I figured it was time to head off and get back to the sunbeds, but not before I took a shot of this Dynapac CA512 single drum vibratory roller. This guy appeared to be a very busy man, as I had spotted him rolling both behind the dozer and the grader. I hope he had a decent air conditioning system in that cab, as it was a tad on the warm side that day!

My other half had sadly caught the dreaded lurgey on the plane, so I was sent out on a mercy mission to the local pharmacy for medicinal supplies, whilst out walking I also spotted a number of smaller items of interesting plant which I will share with you later this week.

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