Photo: Helena Ma
An army of SDLG wheel loaders are working at a concrete manufacturing facility in Shaanxi Province, west China, close to the site of the famous Terracotta Army.
Lintong – a rural settlement 35 km to the east of Xi’An, western China – is famous for being the birthplace of the Terracotta Army, a collection of terracotta figurines depicting the army of Qin Shi Huang, China’s first-ever Emperor. Today in Lintong, a fleet of SDLG wheel loaders is busy loading gravel from the nearby river plains for Jinsheng Concrete Co., Ltd., which sits on the 800-km Wei River, facing the picturesque Qin Mountain Range.
‘Go West’ for success
The concrete production facility is making the most of opportunities in the construction industry following the launch of China’s ‘Go West’ policy, launched just before the country's entry into the World Trade Organization in 2001. This government scheme is aimed at promoting economic development in the remote western fringes – areas that have previously been ignored in favor of the big cities of Shanghai and Beijing in the east. The policy has promoted the construction of new housing and infrastructure – making Lintong the ideal place to produce concrete.
Photo: Helena Ma
Your reliable long-term partner
On site, four SDLG wheel loaders must navigate piles of gravel and sand interspersed with large water pits (which create thick mud). The aggregate material is mixed with the finer sand to produce concrete. In some parts of the site, the wheel loaders must scrape down to the river bed to dig out the course material before transporting it to the crushing machine for processing into concrete.
“The terrain where the machines are working is very muddy and machines have to be tough to handle it,” comments Gao Weidong, managing director of Jinsheng Concrete. “Western China has a climate of extremes. In the wintertime it can drop to -10°C while remaining extremely dry – conditions that can be difficult for some machinery to handle.”
Gao’s fleet includes an SDLG LG953A1 wheel loader, an LG953 that he has owned for two years and an LG953N – a model renowned for its fuel-saving mode – plus an older version of this model. For Jinsheng Concrete to meet increasing customer demand, machine uptime and reliability are hugely important to keep the job site running.
“We like SDLG machines because they are straightforward, easy to maintain and easy to operate,” says Gao. SDLG machines are designed for maximum reliability – and by simplifying what goes on underneath the hood, operators can easily maintain the machine themselves.
One operator, Hao Hongbo, who operates one of the wheel loaders for 10 hours a day, is impressed with the comfortable cab – even when having to endure below-freezing temperatures. Hao says: “The ergonomic layout of controls makes the SDLG wheel loaders easy to operate. I have a great time driving around whether it’s on top of the gravel pile or in a water pit because it’s easy to drive on any terrain. When in the cab, I appreciate the climate control system that keeps me comfortable at any temperature from the 38°C scorching heat to below freezing temperatures.”
The LG953 wheel loader has other features to improve operations, including better visibility from the cab, a rear-view camera and an improved bucket design for longer uptime. “We want the driver to be comfortable at work to keep the staff turnover rate to a minimum. It costs a lot to train a new operator – so our aim is to keep our existing ones happy so they stay with us,” Gao said.
Jinsheng Concrete was founded just three years ago, but its annual turnover is already in excess of RMB 200 million (US$33 million). While there are reports of a slowdown in China, for Jinsheng Concrete the opposite is true. With pre-orders of more than 400,000 m3 of concrete already on its books for 2014, the company will be looking to its SDLG machines to continue their workload, handling as much as 2,000 m3 of gravel and sand during every 10-hour day.
Photo: Helena Ma
Proactive service wins loyal customers
Boasting an efficient parts supply system and reliable technical support team, the on-call service is provided by Shaanxi Fulin Construction Machinery, SDLG’s local dealer. The company has five locations across north and south-west China, and is headquartered in Xi’an. The company has been a huge benefit says Gao. “The local technicians arrive within 12 hours to carry out any repairs or maintenance. In wintertime the technicians will proactively come out and visit us to change the anti-freeze lubricant and upgrade the diesel to ensure maximum machine uptime.”
Gao speaks enthusiastically about his company’s partnership with the local SDLG dealer and he’s been a loyal customer to the brand for three years. “We are a young and ambitious company that wants a fast return on our investment, that’s why from the moment we were established, we incorporated SDLG wheel loaders into our development,” he says. “One motivation for continuing the cooperation with SDLG is the value-added benefits we receive. The area we supply is located within a 30 km radius so the cost of maintaining our equipment is a factor that we need to monitor.”
Bai Xian xuan, managing service director of Shaanxi Fulin Construction Equipment Co., Ltd says aftermarket support to customers is critical. “For us, being able to provide efficient aftermarket service and parts supply is crucial,” he says. “Having our head office close to one of the most important regions for construction in China, and our major clients, allows us to supply parts and components in the shortest time possible.”
Another pioneering program developed by the SDLG dealer is substituting old machines for new models to save customers money on their operating costs. “It reduces unnecessary fuel waste as new machines are optimized to offer enhanced fuel economy,” comments Bai. “We look forward to continually improving the services we offer our customers and building an ever closer and more rewarding relationship with them.”
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