In challenging economic times, the fate of a quarry may hinge on the skills of its equipment operators to extract, load and haul quarried materials to the processing plant in the fastest and most efficient manner, says Nico Pienaar, director of the Aggregate and Sand Producers of Southern Africa (Aspasa).
Pienaar argues that it is true that even the most efficient processing plant cannot operate effectively unless it is being fed at its optimum rate. It is therefore imperative that operators work accurately according to prescribed plans and make the best use of the equipment that they operate, he says.
Pienaar says well trained, motivated and diligent operators play a major part in the profitability of quarries and processing plants. Not only are they able to work more quickly and efficiently, but they can also negate the need for additional equipment that might otherwise be brought in to boost production.
“This has the effect of saving on the capital expenditure of extra machines, operators, diesel and associated costs. It is therefore imperative that quarry operators take the time to train staff and work with equipment suppliers and training companies to get the most out of their machine operators. In most instances the equipment suppliers will provide basic training to operators upon the acquisition of equipment, but thereafter it is imperative to keep training operators and then refine their skills,” says Pienaar.