A fleet of 34 Volvo machines, including 15 wheel loaders, nine excavators and 10 articulated haulers, are at work at the Turkish town of Sogut, where the local firm Yuce Maden is mining 170,000 tonnes of marble a year.
These machines are being put to work by the Turkish mining company in the machinery park at its quarry in Bilecik province, helping with the extraction and transportation of large blocks of high-quality Sofita Beige marble. The marble is then exported to Europe and the Far East, with China receiving 80 per cent of Yuce Maden’s product.
Turkey is located on the Alpine belt – a vast reserve of natural stone – and is said to be home to more than 80 varieties of marble. Yuce Maden, which has four quarries across the country and a total of 400 employees, is using Volvo CE machines to ensure operations continue effectively.
“The most important factor in choosing heavy equipment is fuel economy,” asserts Erol Yuce, the president of Yuce Maden, who has spent most of his life on and around mines and quarries, having been in the marble business for more than 30 years.
“This is as important as quality and speed when you’re using machines of the size that we do. That’s why my preference is Volvo. It ticks all the boxes for me, offering the quality, power and speed I need – but still giving me excellent fuel efficiency.”
The Volvo machines are involved in all aspects of the day-to-day running of the mine. Yuce Maden produces 170,000 tonnes of marble every year, and to keep up with customer demand its Volvo fleet works long, hard days. The machines are tasked with extracting the dense marble, as well as lifting and transporting the large, heavy blocks throughout the working day. Because of the demanding nature of daily operations at the quarry, it is important that these machines are robust and reliable, as well as fuel efficient.
“Quarrying marble without creating unnecessary waste actually requires great delicacy – and on top of this, it is heavy work in a tough environment. What makes working in these difficult conditions easier is having the right machinery,” says Yuce.
The company has to be sure that its machines always work as efficiently as possible – any downtime can severely affect production. The high quality of these machines, alongside the equally efficient after-sales service Volvo provides, helps to ensure everything runs as smoothly as the polished marble itself, he adds.
“Time is very important to us,” says Yuce. “If we commit to a delivery time on a contract, we can’t afford to run over the allotted period – we could end up suffering financial penalties. We have contractual promises that we need to keep. Volvo helps us to keep those promises by making quality machines. We are satisfied with their performance, as well as the after-sales service we get from our Volvo dealership.”
L350F-series wheel loader
The star machine at the quarry is the Volvo L350F-series wheel loader. This machine is equipped with a powerful Volvo D16E engine, and is capable of reaching incredibly high breakout forces. The frame on the L350F is ultra-sturdy and resists high stress levels – this stability is a good platform for delivering power to the ground via heavy-duty axles. Its long boom has been designed to lift heavy material smoothly and quickly, and reduced vibration levels mean that it
is a comfortable ride for the operator, making it perfect for Yuce Maden’s extensive operations.
Yuce says business at the quarry is growing even more, and this expansion calls for the purchase of more machines. The company is focused on replacing any outmoded equipment, and all machinery over three years old is replaced with newer models. According to Yuce, it intends to replace all older machines with Volvo equipment as the business expands.
“We are happy with our long-term relationship with Volvo CE,” he says. “It is true to say that we will be buying from Volvo again. We look to replace our machines before they are three years old, and as we grow our operations we will be buying five to 10 new machines every year.”