Machine: SK350LC-11
Dealer: Entrack AS
Customer: G.S. Maskin AS
Owner: Geir Sandvik
Job site area: Florø, Norway

The customer

The town of Florø sits on the shores of Frøysjøen fjord where Geir Sandvik and his company are headquartered. G.S. Maskin AS undertakes a range of construction and development work across the region as well as installing new fibre communication cables across the Nordic regions and beyond. “We operate over 50 mini excavators along with specialised trenching machines on the fibre installation works,” Geir explained. “For a long period, the fleet was dominated by one brand but failing service saw us look at introducing alternative brands into the fleet.

“We looked at Kobelco and liked the quality and high standard of specification compared to equivalent manufacturer’s machine in the weight ranges we required. As our excavators operate across the region, we also wanted a dealer who could look after our equipment wherever it is located should we have any issues with it. Entrack AS has that network of service personnel and outlets that give us the reassurance we need to deliver our time-sensitive and important contracts efficiently.”

The jobsite

Winning a project to move over 250,000 cubic metres of hard rock ready for a new factory development in their hometown of Florø in Norway, GS Maskin required a reliable, productive, and operator-friendly excavator capable of working long shifts in the harshest environment.

The newest Kobelco to join the fleet is an SK350LC-11 purchased specifically for a project to construct a new section of the dockside for the development of a new salmon filleting factory. “We have an old New Holland E485 excavator which we purchased and rebuilt to put some of the larger rock into the salt water,” Geir explained.  “The new Kobelco’s main job is to load the blasted rock from the face for the short journey to fill in behind the breakwater we have recently constructed.”

The 36-tonne SK350LC-11 is the largest Kobelco in the fleet and has joined an SK28, SK55, SK75, SK140, and SK270 within the growing fleet of blue machines. “We needed an excavator capable of handling the blasted material efficiently over a long period and after looking at a range of options, we felt that the SK350LC was ideally suited to this task and others we have in the future,” Geir commented. “The SK350 provides us with the ability to work on heavy operations such as the Florø project but is also capable of undertaking a variety of smaller projects we often undertake.”

The machine

The SK350LC-11 comes with a high specification as standard and has impressed Geir with its productivity in the harsh conditions it is operating in. “We knew the machine would be strong enough to deal with the heavy material it is working in, but this usually comes at a cost of high fuel consumption. This hasn’t been the case with the SK350 and we are very pleased with the figures we are getting.”

The fuel efficiency is down to the well-respected and highly reliable Hino engine in the Kobelco. Meeting Stage V emissions regulations, the 213kW motor develops peak torque ratings of 1017Nm at just 1600rpm which means the engine works more productively and economically without being run at maximum rpm.

Gier has indicated that the Kobelco build quality was a determining factor for his company swapping brands and this is demonstrated in this project with the SK350 loading the blasted rock smoothly and efficiently. “I have spent some time on the new excavator and have found it to be an extremely smooth machine to operate,” he said. “The cabin is well laid out with all the controls being within easy reach. The seating position is very comfortable and adjustable to suit any operator.

“I particularly like the upgrade to the monitor in the cab. It’s easy to see, easy to use, and increases the driver interaction between the man and the machine with so much information available at your fingertips,” Gier continued. “The design of the Kobelco has impressed me too. Service engineers have an easier job changing filters with everything being so easy to reach, even from ground level.

“The remote monitoring through the touchscreen is invaluable for the operator to keep a check on the way the excavator is performing at all times. Our operators like the Kobelco machines too. We have no complaints from them about the machines, whatever size they are, as they are reliable, comfortable, and more than capable of doing the jobs we ask of them.”

The excavator has been equipped with a heavy-duty Klepp-Mek hitch and bucket, double-grouser track shoes, and additional LED lighting by Entrack prior to the machine’s arrival and was busy loading the blasted material into a pair of trucks for the short-haul to the water’s edge. Sitting on top of the blasted material, the SK350 steadily draws the material down from the face before loading it into the two trucks. Larger pieces are set aside to be used for filling in the deeper parts of the fjord whilst the smaller material is used as a capping layer.

The SK350-11 had been joined on this project by the smaller SK270SRLC-5 which was being used to clean the rock face before drilling and blasting. Both operators were very pleased with their respective machines saying that they have been very reliable since they arrived on the GS Maskin fleet.

As GS Maskin operates several Kobelco excavators throughout the country, the adoption of remote monitoring through Kobelco’s KOMEXS system allows staff in the head office to pinpoint a machine’s exact position 24 hours a day monitor and download data such as fuel consumption, working hours, and machine maintenance data whilst also being able to set an alert should the excavator be moved out of a certain area between given times. “The KOMEXS system is an ideal accompaniment to the excavators and completes the ideal package for us from Entrack and Kobelco,” Gier concludes.

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