Giti Tyres Big Test: Quality in the quarry
Tom McGoverin leans back in the driver's seat and sighs happily: "Now this is what I call a top-class workplace."
We're midway through a circuit of the Isaac Construction quarry at McLeans Island, just northwest of Christchurch, and Tom is at the wheel of the first Iveco-Astra HHD9 dumptruck in New Zealand.
The first, but quite likely far from the last, because this tall-standing heavy-duty 8x6 is being promoted as a more comfortable and profitable alternative to articulated dumptrucks (ADTs) in the mining, quarrying and heavy construction sectors.
And, though it's early days yet, Isaacs is finding that the newcomer is delivering on all of its promises as it shares bulk haul duties in the quarry with a pair of Moxy MDT30s and a Volvo A40F – primarily carting pit run to the crushing plant.
During its time in operation the Astra has been ticking all the boxes by way of operator and plant efficiency, reckons quarry manager Adam Waite: "The ADTs typically use around 16 to 18 litres of fuel per hour, while the Astra is down to below 14. It gains in payload as well – able to carry 40t, which is nearly 5t more than the big Volvo, and more than 10t up on the Moxys and the CAT 730 it replaced.
Pirelli Trevor Test
We're back down in Christchurch with Isaac Construction in their McLean's Island quarry, testing out another of their trucks.
We were here two years ago – testing their Iveco Trakker road truck and today's test vehicle, an Iveco-Astra HHD9 8x6 dumptruck, has quite a bit of that truck's DNA.
We have a history of testing Iveco quarry trucks – having also done a Big Test of an Iveco Trakker 6x6 in the Nightcaps coalmine back in 2012.
This one though is completely different: That truck was effectively a road truck converted into an all-wheel drive quarry truck…whereas this Astra 8x6 is purposebuilt for this environment.
Today my son Hayden and I are tag-teaming on this Big Test due to my slow recovery from recent surgery.
Visiting Isaacs is always an eye-opener – the place resembling a nature park rather than a working quarry, with its salmon ponds and an immaculate quarry floor.