The moment one starts to dig downwards in Qatar is the moment one finds limestone rock! The majority of the peninsular is underlain by thick limestone beds, and thanks to construction works associated with both the FIFA World Cup in 2022 and the Qatar National Vision 2030, a huge quantity of this tough rock is being excavated every day.
With so much material coming out of the ground, Maram Group has established a large-scale crushing operation in the Doha Industrial area, in the suburbs of the capital – an operation that is presently processing in the region of 2-million tonnes of limestone rock per year. “From the spoil created by the many construction projects across the city, we are creating value, producing a range of products for use as sub-base, aggregate and back-fill,” explains Managing Director Mehtab Hussain Satti.
Essentially, Maram Group is operating a quarrying operation, although in this case the rockface is delivered by the truckload. “This is very much a material handling operation,” he says. “Trucks tip the spoil from excavations, but thereafter its all about loading the hoppers of the crushing plant, and then stockpiling and loading production.
And on the frontline of this material handling process sit three SDLG LG958L wheel loaders, that are working 20-hours per day and six days per week. “Araco, the dealer for SDLG here in Qatar, first introduced us to these machines,” says Satti. “They are our very first Chinese machines, but overall I’d say the quality is good, the price point offers excellent value for money and, with regular servicing, the reliability is beyond our initial expectations.”
Satti concedes that he’d perhaps like to see a little more hydraulic power and possibly a few more minutes of production per litre of fuel from the machines, although he believes the new SDLG F-Series wheel loader represents a step forward on both counts and will be ordering at least one L958F unit in the coming weeks.
“Overall, I would say SDLG wheel loaders have surprised us,” he says. “And in a good way! We’ve had our current machines on-site for about a year and there’s no hiding from the fact that what we do here is demanding work with a tough material in hot and dusty conditions for prolonged periods of time. This is a challenging environment for any machine, and the SDLG LG958L wheel loaders have pretty much taken it in their stride. What’s more, our operators like these machines as they’re simple to use and there’s easy access points for regular servicing.
Satti adds: “Another important aspect of our investment in SDLG equipment is the support provided to us by Araco. The team at this dealership is hugely co-operative and I would say when dealing with Araco you have a partner on-side that’s full of dedicated people. This instils confidence.
”Furthermore, all our operators and engineers have benefitted from time at the Araco Training Centre, where the instructors have not just covered the dos and don’ts – they’ve taught best practice. This makes a difference!”