Case Study, CJD Equipment, Dump Trucks, Earthmoving Machinery, Excavators, Material Handlers, Volvo, Wheel loaders

Newcastle Sand: Getting it right from the start


A fleet of Volvos has helped new sand extraction business Newcastle Sand quickly establish itself in the industry.


Starting up a sand quarry is no small task, so it’s essential to get the right equipment for the job from the start.

Independently-run Newcastle Sand began operations in 2019, extracting and processing wash dune sand for use in concrete, asphalt and screened landscaping sand.

Servicing the Hunter Valley and the Central Coast of NSW, the new kid on the block realised that it couldn’t afford to gamble with machines that couldn’t perform to expectations.

Newcastle Sand ultimately chose Volvo machines, and their exceptional performance has undoubtedly been the wind beneath the wings of the company’s success.

Newcastle Sand director Darren Williams said the company’s operations currently revolved solely around the Volvos: an L220H loader, an EC350DL excavator and A30G and A40G articulated haulers.

“We use them for everything: extraction, processing and sales,” he said.

“The A30G and A40G load and haul raw materials to the plant for processing and the L220H loaders load the wash plant and also the sales trucks of finished product.”

The A40G articulated hauler is among the many Volvo machines used at Newcastle Sand.

And it’s a big customer list to satisfy, including the likes of Boral, Hanson, Hymix and Entire Concrete, so only the best equipment is needed to ensure only the highest quality product is delivered.

As well, being one of the most recently approved sand quarries for State Significant Development in New South Wales, Newcastle Sand operates under some of the strictest environmental controls and compliance measures. These include providing environmental offset both onsite and offsite, ground water monitoring, maximum extraction levels, real-time dust monitoring, and maximum annual limit and maximum hourly truck movements, essentially meaning there is no room for error.

When originally sourcing equipment for the quarry’s needs, Darren approached the CJD Equipment branch in Newcastle and its regional sales manager Barry Mitchell.

“I think Darren’s past experience in the sand industry definitely helped, as he had Volvos in the past and knew about their pedigree,” Barry said.

“We took our time to make sure we got the specs right. We made sure that we got the correct size machines to match the Newcastle Sand buckets to try and get the full production out of everything.

“And we looked at what they were trying to achieve instead of just sort of rushing into it. We went the extra lengths needed to make sure everything was going to be right.

“We sat down and went over what their goals and targets were. We then tailored a machine to suit the application and to meet the production requirements.”

Barry said Volvo equipment was very popular in the sand industry due to the machines’ footprint and movement technology, allowing them to float across the sand instead of getting bogged.

“We recommended the Volvo L220H at first for their loaders and for the building of the quarry,” he said.

“The L220H, fitted with a light material bucket, wider-buffed low profile tyres really suited the soft sand.

“The EC350DL was next to be purchased as this was the best suited machine for the haulers and for the soft sand. This was followed by an A30G hauler, then the A40G.”

Barry said the Volvo machines were all about production and operator comfort, and had proven themselves in the quarry industry.

“These two characteristics go hand in hand, as the operator can have a comfortable day at the wheel, meaning production stays high with little fatigue,” he said.

“The Volvo machines have excellent uptime, meaning production doesn’t get interfered with.”

Darren highlighted the safety aspects of the equipment.

“One of the biggest things for me was that they won’t allow the operators to tip if the machines aren’t level, particularly like with the haulers and loaders,” he said.

Barry Mitchell (left), Darren Williams and Newcastle Sand quarry manager Elliot Laver.

“They’re very safe and stable in the way they operate and from a safety perspective, they’re second to none, for example, the seat belts have to be worn or the machines won’t operate.

“They make them very foolproof so that quarry managers aren’t panicking, that the blokes aren’t cutting corners, that everything’s getting done properly and they’re being used as they’re designed to be used.”

Barry agreed, saying “it all starts when we deliver the machine”.

“So we start off with full operator training showing what the machines can do to get the full production out of everything, but also we focus on the safety side, making sure you’re not pushing it too hard,” he said.

“We make sure you’re working in the correct range just to get the most out of the machine.”

Advanced technology is also seen across the range of the Volvo machinery from top to bottom.

“Things like the Volvo transmission and engine giving unbeatable fuel economy but not sacrificing power,” Barry said.

“A lot of adjustments can be made by the operator for each application, or better yet the machine will make adjustments on its own.

“The machines now do on-board operator training, helping the operators fine tune their skills.

“There are many other tools provided by Volvo that a quarry manager can use to check and record production and safety. It is one thing to look at a brochure and go over figures but to see a fleet work side by side with the actual fuel burns, tonnes per hour, uptime, and other statistics, it’s very impressive.”

The Volvo Co-Pilot offers real-time insight into work performed by select machines.

Indeed, one of these innovations has been valued highly by Darren: the Volvo Co-Pilot, the company’s intelligently-designed interactive display in the cabs which offers real-time insight into work performed by select machines, ensuring the highest standard of efficiency and accuracy in any application.

“We utilise Volvo Co-Pilot in both our articulated haulers,” he said.

This technology offers several functions, such as on-board weighing, reverse camera, live haul road mapping, production recording, weather updates and much more.

“The application’s Haul Assist has been an awesome tool for me as a manager, providing access to real-time production mapping and data. This information is great for making informed decisions regarding the load and haul of material and the allocation of machine-hours required to meet production requirements within the quarry.

“This is a huge help for a quarry manager as a lot of the time you will only know the tonnes being put through the plant once it’s on the other side. So this helps with planning and knowing who needs to be where.

“Furthermore, Co-Pilot and Haul Assist have played a significant role in ensuring adherence to site safety rules. By monitoring operator behaviours and performance, I can identify areas for improvement and guide the team towards a safer and more efficient workplace environment.

“Overall, the integration of Volvo Co-Pilot with Haul Assist has been great in optimising our quarry operations, enhancing productivity, safety, and cost-efficiency.”

Every Volvo machine also comes with CareTrack, a GPS system that can provide the owners/managers a lot of information such as fuel burns, location, service scheduling etc.

The relationship between CJD and Newcastle Sands has been reinforced by the strength of the relationship when it comes to after-sales, service, parts and maintenance.

“After-sales is the most important part of the business,” Barry said. “That’s when the talking stops and things need to happen quickly.

“CJD has and continues to invest into the Newcastle branch to give our customers in the Hunter region better support.

“Newcastle Sand has been set up on service contracts; when we service their equipment most of the time it is out of hours so we don’t interfere with production.

“We service their machines in the late afternoon or weekends. We try our best to keep an eye on their machinery by calling into to site and seeing how things are going.

Volvo construction equipment exhibits a remarkably soft footprint and smooth movement capabilities. The machines seem to effortlessly float across sandy terrain.

“Our after-sales representative, Malcolm Inman, will conduct machine inspections and organise anything that needs fixing before it does become an issue.

“We have a good relationship with the team at Newcastle Sand so we try to focus on preventive maintenance and discuss any wear and tear to keep the machinery moving.”

For his part, Darren couldn’t be more delighted.

“The relationship we have with Barry and CJD is fantastic. Anything we need gets resolved and dealt with without question,” he said.

“They are as committed to keeping the quarry operational as much as we are, which is uncommon from a supplier.

“This goes to the point of the CJD Managing Director who visited the site, and said if we needed anything from CJD, talk to the locals first, and if required, to call him to assist. This is not something you hear from the head of a major company with hundreds of customers.

“Regarding CJD’s ability to provide field service, I’ve found them to be quite responsive and reliable. They typically respond promptly to breakdown calls and are usually on-site within a few hours, which is essential for minimising downtime.

“Their technicians are highly skilled and are usually quite good in resolving issues efficiently.

“Overall, my experience with CJD has been very positive. They provide excellent field service and a willingness to work with us to meet our needs.

“We haven’t had any competitor of CJD and Volvo come even close to the service and support we have received from Barry and the team.”

For Barry himself, being part of the Newcastle Sand journey has been memorable.

“We met early in my career at CJD, and they were just starting theirs, so we have grown together,” he said.

“I saw this quarry when it was still plans on paper and now to see a fleet of Volvo machinery there is quite special.

“There really is a mutual respect with them, and the workshop will always do our best to back them up and keep them rolling.

“I’m a big believer that if someone is going to invest and put all their trust in me and the product I am selling, I have to be there whenever needed.”

Machinery matters

The A30G hauler boasts a 29,000kg payload capacity, maximum gross engine power of 265kW, and a body volume of 17.8m3. Its bigger 24m3 A40G cousin can carry up to 39,000kg and roars up to 350kw. Volvo Co- Pilot is installed in both.

The new H-series L220 loader is more efficient, more productive and more intelligent than the former G-series, achieving up to 15 per cent greater fuel efficiency, thanks to a powerful engine, second generation OptiShift and new dry P-Brake. It has also been upgraded with a new transmission, new converter and revised gear ratio, and comes equipped with Volvo Co-Pilot.

The EC350DL 35-tonne machine is the perfect partner for general construction applications. Featuring the very latest in engineering excellence – including D8M Volvo engine, electro-hydraulic control system, customisable settings, and bounce reduction technology – the machine is designed to deliver outstanding levels of comfort, safety, versatility, efficiency and productivity.

The Volvo machines are all about production and operator comfort, and have proven themselves in the quarry industry.



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