Versatile Cat 336DL for Parkside
Parkside Quarries has a long association with the Caterpillar brand over many decades and that tradition continues with the acquisition of a new Cat 336DL excavator from Goughs.
The new machine joins a thirteen-strong fleet of working Cat machines owned by the North Otago-based quarry operation. In an industry where productivity is critical, this Cat machine is displaying it’s versatility and providing a range of complete solutions for the operation. Combining an improved specifications profile from its predecessors with a range of specialised attachments, this 336DL excavator is solid as a rock.
‘Parkside’ is a 300 hectare sheep and cropping farm approximately ten kilometres west of Oamaru. The property sits on a solid mass of limestone from which Parkside Quarries extracts the famous Oamaru stone building material and one of New Zealand’s purest agricultural limes.
The new Cat 336DL that has been added to the quarry operation drives three heavy duty attachments – twin saw blades, a three-pronged ripper, and a twenty-tonne bucket. The twin saw blades in action are certainly an impressive sight and head of operations at Parkside Quarries, Bob Wilson explains how they are utilised with the 336DL. “The twin blade stone-cutting saws, three metres in diameter and a total weight of 4.5 tonnes, are used to cut 2.5 tonne limestone blocks from the quarry floor. The saw can also be applied when breaking up off-cuts from the quarry into more manageable sizes before crushing.”
He adds that with a base operating weight of over 36 tonnes, the 336DL has significantly extra hydraulic power and weight for stability that aids its application. “The combined weight of the saw blades, aided by the heavier boom and stick [on the 336DL], make it more suitable for impact breaking of limestone,” Mr Wilson says.
The boom and stick regeneration circuit in the 336DL saves energy during boom-down and stick-in operation which increases efficiency, reduces cycle times and pressure loss for higher productivity, lower operating costs and increased fuel efficiency. Parkside Quarries previously operated an older Cat 330B, before upgrading to the 336DL, to cut the blocks of Oamaru stone on the quarry floor, and a considerable difference can be recognised between the two. Aside from a considerable operating weight difference, the 336DL with its Cat C9® engine with ACERT™ Technology provides 9 percent more horsepower compared to the engine in the 330B.
The Cat C9® engine gives the 336DL exceptional power and fuel efficiency unmatched in the industry for consistently high performance in all applications. It introduces a series of evolutionary, incremental improvements that provide breakthrough engine technology with which customers can balance the demands of performance and fuel economy to suit their requirements and application.The excavator’s engine power management system optimises machine performance for each type of application.
At Parkside, the 336DL is also used to extract solid limestone from the ground with the three-pronged ripper attachment or the twenty tonne bucket, and for loading lime rubble onto dump trucks for transporting to the crushing plant. In these circumstances, the operator can change the engine power on the monitor from standard to high. The high power mode is recommended for extremely productive and hard digging applications, and the standard power mode is used for lighter duty applications and optimises fuel efficiency.The hydraulics system is also an important aspect of the overall performance of the 336DL at Parkside Quarries.
The excavator’s hydraulics delivers power and precise control to keep material on the move. Notably, the layout of the 336DL hydraulic system and component locations has been designed to provide a high level of system efficiency. That is, the main pumps, control valves and hydraulic tank are located close together to allow for shorter tubes and lines between components, which reduce friction loss, and pressure drops in the lines. The hydraulic cross sensing system utilises each of two hydraulic pumps to 100 percent of engine power, under all operating conditions. This improves productivity with faster implement speeds and quicker, stronger pivot turns.
The Cat 336DL has a proud place in the working Cat fleet at Parkside Quarries. Among the fleet is seven wheel loaders ranging in size from the 902 to the 966 sizes, a TH330B Telehandler, a 977 Traxcavator, a 322BL Excavator, a 770 Dump Truck, a D8R Bulldozer, and a 12G Grader.
Parkside also has two vintage D8 2U bulldozers, fully restored, that were purchased new from Caterpillar in 1948-1949 by the Taylors Lime Company.
Bob Wilson adds, “These machines are only brought out of the shed for special occasions. Both machines have well over 36 thousand hours on them.”
The Parkside quarry has been producing stone since 1906, and the quality is as high as ever. The company employs 13-15 staff including a farm manager. Parkside recently completed the supply of 220 tonnes of Oamaru stone to the new Otago University building attached to the north and west sides of the new Forsyth Barr Stadium in Dunedin.