Swedish Black Beauty
After his family and snowmobiling Jimmy Väisänen’s biggest passion is operating heavy equipment, specifically larger machinery. Growing up in Gothenburg, Sweden, Jimmy’s first operating experience was on a wheel loader in his mid teens.
After finishing school in 2009 he searched though job listings for many of the mines in Sweden, eventually landing a job as a dump truck driver in Kiruna located in the far north of the country. After one year on the truck in Kiruna Jimmy then landed himself a job in the Svappavaara mine working for a company called Cliffton Mining, operating a brand new, 100 tonne, Cat 990H wheel loader. During his two years on the 990H he took an interest in operating the excavators which worked alongside his wheel loader on a daily basis. Jimmy then decided to ask a local owner of a Cat 390D called Fredrik Mattsson if he could work for free on the machine during his spare time to gain experience. Fredrik agreed and from then on Jimmy was hooked on excavator operating.
Eventually Jimmy’s bosses at Cliffton Mining decided that the Cat 990H wheel loader would be replaced with an excavator, which happened to be the Cat 390D owned by Fredrik Mattsson. Cliffton Mining suggested to Jimmy that they could either sub contract him to Fredrik Mattsson or let him go to work directly for him . Jimmy choose the latter and went to work to work for Fredrik for four and a half years. During that time the Cat 390D was replaced with a Cat 390F with the job being simply to load oversize rocks on to Cat 775 and 775G trucks.
Over the years Jimmy got to try out a massive range of equipment ranging from 15 tonne Hitachi Excavators right up to a 200 tonne Cat 994H wheel loader and a 500 tonne electric Cat 6060 shovel.
Fast forward to the last couple of years when Jimmy in his own words says “ I fell in love again” when he tried a Liebherr for the first time. It was an all white R966 that he operated over the entire winter which was followed by a R980 SME with a 7.5m3 bucket. Jimmy states “It was tremendously powerful with so much capacity for work”. After operating the R980 over the Summer it was time for a brand new Liebherr R945 long reach.
New at the beginning of 2021, the R945 Multi-User, generation 8, stage V machine belongs to 65 years established GE Maskintjänst AB, a family owned construction company which has almost 250 employees, based in Gällivare and does a wide range of work from mining to residential excavation. The company had a total turnover in 2020 amounting to approximately SEK 250 million. The machine was sourced directly from Liebherr. It is customised in black for the customer as can be done with all new Liebherr machines. Jimmy describes the R945 as the most beautiful excavator he’s ever seen and has every optional extra you could want which includes an OilQuick system, GPS, tinted windows, heated seat, chrome decals, subwoofer and 19 L.E.D lights in the front and 6 in the rear, much needed during the long dark winters in what is the Artic circle. The R945 also has an LC-V R956 undercarriage with 900mm pads.
Jimmy loves the comfort of the Liebherr, “ it’s a big and quiet cabin with good positions for the buttons and touchscreen display”. He continues,
“I sit and feel like a King in the R945…”
…as it’s such a great looking machine and fast for its size”. Jimmy says the company prefers to buy Liebherr because of the outstanding service and back up with the companies employees preferring the comfort of the Liebherr machines.
Daily work for the Liebherr R945 is as a dredge. Water from the cleaning process in an iron ore mine is washed into ponds. The Liebherr is then tasked with keeping the ponds clear of silt. After operating the R945 and Liebherr machines in general Jimmy says he wouldn’t want to operate anything else, attributing his bias to the speed, comfort and build quality of the Liebherr machines.
LIEBHERR France SAS, COLMAR
While many excavator manufacturers will be able to supply a long reach machine in certain configurations, Liebherr are able to offer almost any of their excavator range in a variety of configurations and built specifically for the customer on their production line at Colmar, France.
Colmar has been at the heart of Liebherr excavator production for over 50 years with the factory commencing excavator production in 1961. The plant now employs close on 1500 people and builds in excess of 2000 crawler machines per year including special builds such as Liebherr’s demolition, tunnelling and long reach models. The 140,000m2 production facility currently builds models from the Earthmoving range up to the 100t R980 family with the mining models moving to a new facility a few miles away in 2011 to free up production space for the smaller models.
The design and manufacturing teams at Colmar are capable of taking the basic Liebherr crawler models and customising them in any way their customers require from undercarriage options, working equipment and paint finishes, all designed, manufactured and finished in-house.