The Dhofar Region of Southern Oman boarders the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to the north and the presently troubled Republic of Yemen to the west. To the south lies the Arabian Sea, on the coastline of which sits the Governate’s capital of Salalah.
Thanks to several months each year of lush greenery, engorged wadis and even waterfalls following the area’s monsoon season (July-September), the region is very much a jewel in the crown of the Sultanate as a major tourist attraction, and the government is presently investing heavily in infrastructure to bolster the industry. One such project involves the construction of some 50km of new 9m wide, asphalt finished internal roads in the Teetam area, which lies approximately 15km north of Salalah, and some 700m up in the Jebel Qara mountains.
Tasked with this demanding and rather spectacular, if not incredibly windy, road building programme is Oman Roads Engineering Co L.L.C, one of the Sultanate’s leading road and bridge construction specialists. “We have built a reputation over the years, that with Oman Roads Engineering Co, there is simply no compromise on quality,” says Managing Director Periasamy Durairaj. “This is an approach that encompasses our entire operation, including the machinery we use, and it is for this reason that in Teetam you’ll presently find SDLG machines – a pair of LG958L wheel loaders and a G9220 grader – headlining our activities.”
Durairaj adds: “We were a relatively early adopter of SDLG machines when they came to market here in Oman, being the first company in Salalah to invest in a grader. We have since taken a second G9220 and added five SDLG LG958L wheel loaders. At the heart of this investment programme lies one simple fact; SDLG machines have proven themselves to be excellent performers and this means by using them we can attain the levels of quality expected of us.”
According to Durairaj, the performance of SDLG machines is more than matched by their reliability and the support provided by SDLG dealer in Oman, Genserv. “We have a strong history and close relationship with this dealership,” he says. “Indeed, it was at the behest of Genserv that we initially trialled SDLG and we’re delighted we did as the machines truly represent great value.”
This value is laid bare in the figures associated with the project in Teetam. “We started on site 3-years ago and we expect to complete in early March this year, which, significantly, is ahead of schedule,” says Durairaj. “Overall, by completion, we will have produced some 300,000m3 of base material, with something in the order of 60% of this being handled by SDLG wheel loaders. At the same time, the G9220 graders we’ve used on the project will be responsible for some 70% of the total grading works. With a 20cm deep sub-grade and a similar sub-base, this project has seen us produce, load, put down and grade an extremely high volume of material and essential to this entire process has been the reliability of our SDLG machines.”
Oman Roads Engineering Co grader operator on site, Purushotham Narada shares the sentiment. “I’ve been working with the SDLG G9220 grader on this project for the past two years and it has proved to be incredibly reliable,” he says. “I would say this machine is really user-friendly, comfortable and is ideally suited to this type of work on internal roads.”
Certainly, the 9.2m overall length, 6.48m wheelbase and 7.6m turning radius help make this an agile mover for a project that is, after all, having to master a mountainous environment.