SDLG wheel loaders are improving productivity and efficiency at an agricultural soil plant in Qatar.
Agriculture in Qatar was strictly limited due to the country's harsh climate and lack of arable land. But in 2011, Khulaifi Al Nuaimi began producing agricultural soil composed of sand, silt and clay that has proven to be 80 per cent more effective than the country's previous soil solutions.
The company's plant - the sole provider of such soil in Qatar - is 40 km south of Doha. And as one would expect of a 6 sq km facility that produces corrosive materials in a harsh climate, the work can be very harsh on capital equipment and machines. Khulaifi Al Nuaimi relies on SDLG wheel loaders to handle the rigors of the job site and provide exceptional productivity and reliability.
Since May 2017, Khulaifi Al Nuaimi has used a fleet of four SDLG LG958Ls for its plant operations. Arabian Agencies Company (ARACO), SDLG's dedicated equipment dealer in Qatar, sold the company the machines, and they were put to work straight away, operating 16 hours a day. The machines have clocked more than 3,000 hours on the job site and Nabil Youssef, executive manager of Khulaifi Al Nuaimi, reported that the fleet has been very reliable and has helped reduced operating costs.
'When we're looking for a new machine, we first think of the price, the value and then the operating cost,' he said. 'With the SDLG wheel loaders, we not only purchased them at an affordable price, but we discovered that they have very low fuel consumption and high reliability. This is very beneficial for us and has provided great value.'
Before Khulaifi Al Nuaimi began its soil production operations nearly seven years ago, Qatar imported its agricultural soil from Iran and UAE. As soon as the country began its own domestic production, demand began to boom. In turn, production at the plant requires machines to work long hours in challenging conditions, meaning reliability is at a premium.
Khulaifi Al Nuaimi was so impressed with the quality of its SDLG wheel loaders five months after its initial purchase, the company bought four more units, this time L958Fs - the first to be sold in the country. The new machines are currently working 16-20 hours a day, split between two shifts. The plant currently produces 15,000 tonnes of soil per day, and its output is expected to continue growing for some time.
The purchase of these machines has already had an effect on the company's bottom line, Youssef reported, as the wheel loaders were priced lower than premium-model machines and also run at a lower operating cost than competitor machines.
A-class F Series
'The productivity and reliability of the machines is very good,' Youssef said. 'The F Series performs particularly well due to its increased bucket capacity. Our operators think the machines are very easy to operate and extremely comfortable, adding that the air conditioning is very effective in keeping them cool despite the challenging climate.'
Khulaifi Al Nuaimi's SDLG fleet
is being used for loading raw materials into crushers and screens, as well as handling the plant's final product. The silt and clay in particular put a great deal of strain on the machines with their abrasive, corrosive compositions. Due to the demanding conditions, the company required a fast and reliable customer service agreement (CSA) to ensure maximised uptime and superior aftermarket support services. However, SDLG wheel loaders are built to be reliable and robust in such conditions, and with aftermarket support from ARACO, the machines are standing up to the conditions just fine.
'The machines are working in a very dusty environment,' Youssef explained. 'We have a mobile workshop, which we use to regularly grease the machines, clean the filters and generally check the machines for other issues. The accessibility and serviceability are very good. When we ask for support and dealer expertise, ARACO is quick to respond to our needs. Any maintenance needs are quickly remedied to ensure our plant is as productive as possible.'
The new L958F features a modern design and many improvements over previous-generation wheel loaders from SDLG, including a new six-cylinder Weichai engine, a new VRT200 transmission that is 8 per cent faster than its predecessor and a higher breakout force. The 5,400 kg lift capacity loader is engineered for high productivity, thanks to its 3.2 cu m bucket and 3,300 mm wheelbase. Especially useful for Khulaifi Al Nuaimi's soil production efforts is a 93-type sand and dust filter with filtration effectiveness of up to 93 per cent, which helps keep the machines running smoothly in the dusty, hot climate of Qatar.
Fadil Al Nuaimi, the company's deputy general manager, summed up the company's impression of its new SDLG fleet, 'In addition to the machines' reliability, productivity and operating costs, another thing we look for in new equipment is dependable and reliable aftersales support. All our SDLG machines are under ARACO's service contract. Whenever we encounter any issues with the machines - and they are few and far between with such reliable machines - we receive fantastic customer care support from ARACO.'