Liebherr at Large

Three new Liebherr machines, which recently joined an already impressive fleet operated by ZTL Contracting, have been certainly earning their keep on a variety of projects.  We first encountered them earlier in the year on the 60-acre first phase of a major logistics and industrial scheme known as Konect 62 in Yorkshire.

The Liebherr R 945 excavator, Liebherr PR 726 dozer and Liebherr TA 230 articulated truck are currently working on contracts in Middlesbrough and Sunderland where their performance and handling have been impressing their operators.

A big fan of the Liebherr brand, ZTL Contracting, part of the Applebridge Family, who have offices in the North East of England and Yorkshire, undertake a mix of projects.  These involve bulk earthworks, site remediation, site investigation, and ground improvement.  Its unique approach is centred around its ‘Zero to Landfill’ ethos and ensures that each project is approached with the aim of re-using materials in an environmentally sensitive manner. 

When we first caught sight of the three new Liebherr machines they were working alongside a variety of equipment on the Konect62 scheme on the former site of Kellingley Colliery in Yorkshire.  This is the last deep coal mine in the UK, which closed its doors in 2015 after 50 years of operation. The contract there was part of the development of 1.1m sq ft of state-of-the-art, energy efficient warehouse space across four units, all built to BREEAM Excellent sustainability standards. It included ‘Big K’ a 735,000 sq ft unit, one of the largest ever delivered in the north of the UK, as well as three further units of 161,000, 151,000 and 55,000 sq ft, which will appeal to a diverse range of occupiers who will bring high quality jobs and investment to the area. 

With their task finished on that part of the project, the Liebherr machines have now been employed at Teesworks in Middlesbrough.  This is Europe’s largest brownfield site covering 4,500 acres on the banks of the River Tees in Teesside. The site includes land formerly occupied by steel firm SSI and is being developed for a range of industrial uses including wind turbine manufacturing and carbon capture.

The team at ZTL Contracting are currently excavating a large watercourse where they are building what will be the largest gabion basket walls in Europe.  They are also working on part of the SeAh Wind project in Teesworks, stabilising 90,000m3 of site won material and importing 50,000m3 of type 1 stone, as well as moving 90,000ms of dredging material and stabilising it ready for re-use in 2024.

On top of that, other ZTL Contracting projects include work on several Applebridge housing developments in Wynyard and Carley Hill in Sunderland involving cut &fill to roads and plots along with attenuation ponds, so clearly the Liebherr machines are proving their worth.

“The performance of these additional machines to our fleet has been excellent,” says ZTL Contracting’s Construction Director Andrew Blighe. “Not only do they look the part, but they are reliable, powerful and fuel economy is very good, all of which is why we are happy with the Liebherr brand.”

Operators loved the new Liebherr machines, with their large 

comfortable cabs, excellent visibility and quiet operation…

The operators have also been complimentary about the Liebherr machines, pointing to their large comfortable cabs, excellent visibility and quiet operation.

The new Liebherr R 945 Litronic crawler excavator, for example, has been completely re-designed as a replacement for the R 950 SME.  It offers even greater comfort, better ergonomics, enhanced performance and better all-round visibility, aided by cameras on the rear and the right side for improved safety.

Other notable features include a liftable console for easy and safe access to the cab, emergency exit via the rear cab window, a spacious, air-conditioned work space, an airsprung seat with vertical and horizontal suspension and an easy-to-use high resolution 9″ colour touchscreen.

The new Liebherr PR726 dozer, meanwhile, is also impressing its operator, with its hydrostatic drive that delivers optimum pushing speed, while the Operator Assistance Systems guarantee maximum grading quality and efficiency.  The spacious cab provides a comfortable working environment where the operator can readily feel at home. It features adjustable seat and joysticks and a 9” touch display that provides access to all key parameters and individual settings for the drive and operating hydraulics. 

It has an advanced lighting layout that illuminates even the outermost corners around the machine. With large glass surfaces, sloping shapes for containers and ideal positioning of exhaust pipe and driver’s seat, the design is optimised for visibility to offer a clear overview even in tight spaces. Even the windscreen wipers can be regulated separately for perfect visibility in every direction.

The third new addition to ZTL Contracting’s Liebherr fleet is the TA 230 Litronic dump truck. Its efficient drivetrain, permanent 6 x 6 all-wheel drive, reliable traction control and solid axle mounts enables it to tackle any terrain.  It produces incredibly fast cycle times, regardless of whether it is on a large construction site or in a quarry.

The TA 230 is powerful, robust and efficient. Under its bonnet is a 6-cylinder construction machinery engine with a displacement of 12 l, developing 265 kW / 360 HP (at 2,100 rpm). Thanks to its powerful engine and efficient drivetrain, the TA 230 generates enormous drawbar pull on difficult terrain and challenging gradients. 

The adaptive steering system in the TA 230 continuously adjusts the transmission ratio of the steering movements to the current speed. This makes easy, precise manoeuvring possible at low speeds. Furthermore, more pronounced steering movements are required at high speeds to manoeuvre the machine. This ensures you can move around your site in safety and comfort at all times.

The TA 230 cab has a roomy design to keep operators feeling good even on long, hard working days. Various storage trays, storage areas, cup holders and the standard air-conditioned compartment deliver additional space and enable the operator to store personal items safely. The sound-insulated cab and its visco-elastic mounts produce a significant reduction in noise level inside the cab, while the pressurised ventilation and air-conditioning system with improved cooling capacity delivers a dust-free environment and a pleasant temperature at all times.