Powervamp - Aggregate Industries

Powervamp portable battery packs capable of jump-starting the biggest Caterpillar front-end loaders are playing an essential role at Torr Quarry, Somerset, where they are ensuring that product mined in the morning can be on a train to London the same night. Typically around 70 trainloads of aggregate are shipped from the site every week.

Torr Quarry, part of the Aggregate Industries network, produces millions of tonnes of limestone aggregates a year at its site near Shepton Mallet in the Mendip Hills.

Powervamp - Aggregate Industries

For optimum efficiency, the quarry operates on a quick-turnround basis rather than holding extensive stocks of finished aggregate on site. This ensures that the operation can be highly demand-responsive, but it also puts great pressure on the site engineers to keep their plant equipment available at all times.

“We simply can’t afford to have one of the Cats out of action…”

Twenty items of heavy plant equipment are operated at the site, including three of the largest Caterpillar 992 models, which can each lift up to 25 tonnes at a time.

Inevitably, like all automotive batteries, those on the Caterpillar loaders and Komatsu dumpers at the site sometimes run flat, especially after cold winter nights and holiday breaks, or in the event of a charging fault. Mobile plant maintenance foreman James Ashman says: “We simply can’t afford to have one of the Cats out of action during the working day just because the engine won’t start. It would disrupt the entire production process, with disastrous knock-on implications right down the line.”

Powervamp Aggregate Industries CAT machinery

The latest Powervamp units at Torr Quarry are dual-voltage 24-volt/12-volt NATO 200 packs. They are ganged together to provide a high starting current for the biggest 880hp Cat loaders, which have four on-board 12-volt batteries. They are also used individually at their 12-volt setting for starting the 28 Land Rovers used for staff movements within the 600-acre site, which stretches for a mile between its extreme points.

“The Nato packs are light enough to lift into position by hand, yet they keep on delivering the power…”

Powervamp jump-starter battery packs harness the proven power and durability of high-performance dry-cell lead acid batteries. The ultra-heavy duty NATO range delivers 2,100 peak amps. It features a tough steel case which encloses the batteries plus two integral three-stage chargers. For recharging, the units are simply plugged into a standard mains electricity supply.

James says Powervamp jump starters have provided the ideal solution. “The NATOs packs are light enough to lift into position by hand, yet they keep on delivering the power we need to get these big engines started.”

Powervamp Nato 200 - CAT Machinery

The Caterpillar loaders play a key role in the production process, lifting rock that has just been blasted and transferring it to the primary crusher. This reduces it to pieces no bigger than 9in across, ready for screening and filtering.

From here the conveyor moves the product to further crushers, which reduce it to the correct consistency for aggregates used in the construction industry.

Aggregate Industries operates its own trains through its part-owned subsidiary, Mendip Rail, and Torr Quarry ships a substantial amount of its output to south-east England by railway. There are three rail sidings within the area of the site. The rest of the output is despatched by road, but this is mostly limited to customers within south-west England.

Powervamp - Nato 200

To keep the units in prime condition, Powervamp offers a maintenance and repair service at its Weston-super-Mare headquarters, which coincidentally is not far from the Torr Quarry site. “Turnround is always fast,” James Ashman says, “and if there is any delay, Powervamp can provide loan equipment to ensure continuity of cover.”

For information and advice on how Powervamp can keep your large plant fleet on the move,

call our sales team on 01934 643000 or email sales@powervamp.com

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