Floating Quarrying Proving Cost Effective

Astley Moss floating quarrying Astley Moss floating quarrying Astley Moss floating quarrying

Land & Water Plant Hire recently took delivery of a new 20 metre, long-reach excavator. They made this investment to ensure Breedon Group has a reliable, long term, production solution at Astley Moss, a quarry which is situated near Manchester.

Some sand and gravel was safely excavated by a long reach excavator working from the bank but this achieved a limited depth of 6 meters. So Breedon turned to Land & Water because of their unique expertise in providing floating solutions, which mean that the rest of the material could be quarried successfully.

The specialist team at Land & Water is retrieving the remaining material by floating a 20 meter, ZX470 long reach excavator on one of their own pontoons. The pontoons are designed to carry the long reach safely yet can still be transported by road, a must for this scheme because of its landlocked location.

The sand and gravel is excavated from the quarry bed and loaded onto one of Land & Water’s split barges. The barge is moved easily around the lake by a 250 HP river class tug which has again been designed by the Land & Water team.

The barge splits at the edge of the lake, dropping around 100t of sand and gravel into the shallow water at the bank. The process gives the material a valuable first “wash” removing much of the fine silt. A Hitachi ZX 350 long reach excavator is then used to remove the washed material to the bank where it is stockpiled and will drain more quickly because of this first wash. Around 24 hours later, the stockpile is loaded directly into the plant for washing and processing.

The efficient and cost effective floating solutions is only possibly because of Land & Water’s specialist expertise and equipment. It has allowed Breedon to reliably supply constantly high quality aggregate from this challenging site.

"The quality of Land & Water’s plant, specialist equipment, knowledge and product support is why we work with them. They have proved themselves to have their clients’ needs uppermost; ensuring we receive a top class, reliable and productive service. They have been at the plant for 18 months and have ensured a delay free, smooth operation."

Jon Drabble - Quarry Manager, Breedon Aggregate

"Our team like to solve a problem and are dedicated to producing the best possible outcome for our clients, if that means purchasing a new piece of machinery – then so be it. A lot of our plant is customised or in some cases a new design for the unique work it needs to carry out."