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In the late spring of 2015, Naeem Dhofar Trading Co Ltd started crushing wadi rock at a new purpose-built 7.5-acre site in Wadi Dahboon, around 100km north of Salalah in the Sultanate of Oman.

Today, approximately 20-months on, some 1,530m3 of rocks are delivered to the site each day and the company crushes and screens in the order of 3,000 tonnes of material in a 10-hour shift, producing a range of products from natural wadi sand, through crushed sand to aggregates (varying in size up to 20mm), all to meet the needs of the ready-mix, road building and general construction sectors in the Sultanate.

Since 5th October 2017, operations across the site have been boosted by the arrival of a new 17-tonne operating weight SDLG F-Series L958F wheel loader with a standard 3.2m3 bucket – a machine that boasts a rated load of 5.4 tonnes, a maximum breakout force of 194kN and 162 kW of power. “From the outset, this machine has impressed us with its power, quick cycle times and overall performance levels,” says Plant Engineer Devanand Bugde. “I would say that wadi stone is a particularly harsh material, and one that places extreme demands on equipment,” he adds. “Add summertime temperatures that are well into the 400C bracket and a general atmosphere of crusher dust and it is fair to summarise that the working environment here is somewhere on the far side of harsh!”

Despite these challenges, the new SDLG L958F wheel loader has won praise across the board. “Primarily, we’re using this machine to load the wadi stone – which is essentially hard limestone pebbles up to 12 inches (over 30cm) in circumference – into tipper trucks for delivery to the crusher hoppers,” explains Bugde. “It is also pushed into service to clear fines, to manage our stock piles and to load finished product, so we’re relying on it to work as an all-rounder.

In every aspect, the L958F is performing at a level that you’d ordinarily expect of a much more expensive European or Japanese built machine.” And when it comes to build and quality, Bugde is already a huge fan. “I would say the design of this machine puts SDLG in a different league when compared to any other Chinese machine. This new F-Series L958F is proving to be productive and reliable in a difficult environment, the operator likes using it, it’s easy to service and maintain and it looks the part too!”

As for the future, Bugde says Naeem Dhofar Trading Co plans to expand capacity as well as develop its own ready-mix capability. “Certainly, as a result of our positive experience with the SDLG L958F wheel loader, additional SDLG machines are on our shopping list when the time comes.”