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Approximately 40km south of Doha, Khulaifi & Al-Nuaimi World Infrastructure has eight SDLG wheel loaders, including four new F-Series L958F models – the first such machines in Qatar, working 16-hours per day in a unique business that involves carefully blending clay, silt and sand made from crushed wadi stone to create a soil that is scientifically tested and proven to be some 80% better than sand when it comes to growing vegetation.

Executive Manager at the company, Nabil Youssef says: “The geology of Qatar means there’s a real need for soil, so our company’s activities are crucial to both the agricultural and landscaping sectors”.

The 6km2 site is situated in an area owned by the Private Engineering Office and sits on a unique vein of clay in what is otherwise essentially an arid limestone landscape.

“The natural clay layer here is the only such deposit in the whole of Qatar,” he says. “By blending 75% crushed limestone sand with 20% silt – a by-product from a local sand factory – and 5% of this precious clay we are now producing all of the agricultural soil used across the country. What’s more; the five mobile crushers we have on site are also producing aggregate from the wadi stone, so everything above 5mm is used in projects from landscaping to road building. Ultimately, 100% of the material we handle is put to good use!”

Prior to 1st December 2017, production was in the order of 10,000 tonnes of soil per day. Since then, this has been increased to 15,000 tonnes. “We have definitely seen an increase in demand from the farming industry as well as the landscaping sector,” says Youssef. “Even at this level of production, surveys have shown that the clay deposit here is sufficient to serve the needs of Qatar right through to at least 2050, so there’s a lot of soil still to be created!”

At the heart of the operation, which started back in 2011, is the need for material handling. “There’s crusher hoppers to load, stockpile management and the loading of the final products,” says Youssef. “In May 2017 we took delivery of our first SDLG LG958L wheel loaders to work across the different applications, and our experience with these four units prompted us to invest in four F-Series machines too, which were delivered in October. We expect to add a further two L958F units imminently.

“With any machine, knowing that we have superb back-up is crucial to our purchasing decision,” he adds. “With SDLG, we know we’ll get fantastic aftersales support from Araco and this certainly helped in our decision. Now that we have some experience with the machines, I would say the performance and reliability ideally suits our needs.”

Due to the incredibly dusty environment on the site, daily servicing and cleaning or replacement of oil and air filters is vital according to Youssef. “The SDLG machines, and particularly the new L958F model, offer excellent accessibility to the key servicing points,” he says. “Certainly, we’ve found SDLG wheel loaders to be reliable work-horses that are simple to maintain. All told, these machines represent excellent value for money. They are far superior to any other Chinese machine.”

And it is not just Youssef that’s pleased with the investment in SDLG wheel loaders. “Our operators really like them too,” he says. “They say they’re easy to use and the AC makes the cab a comfortable place to work – An important consideration when one considers what a challenging and tough environment they’re working in each day.”