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Volvo goes with the grain

Volvo Grain

The CBH Group in Australia transports, stores and markets about 15 million tons of grain a year and relies on a fleet of Volvo wheel loaders as a ‘staple’ of its equipment fleet.

Australia’s grain industry represents a quarter of all agricultural exports and plays a vital role in the country’s economy. CBH Group is one of Australia’s leading grain organizations and represents more than 4,500 grain growers throughout Western Australia (WA). Last year, the company recorded its largest ever harvest, handling more than 15.8 million tonnes of wheat, barley, canola and oats. But high summer temperatures – reaching over 40°C – and dense, fine dust makes this a difficult environment for man and machine. CBH Group relies on a fleet of Volvo wheel loaders to ensure the grain gets delivered around the world, on time.

Headquartered in Perth, the 80 year old CBH Group is a co-operative – owned by growers – and covers a dozen grain-growing zones across the southern part of WA. Its fleet of L60 E-Series and F-Series wheel loaders move the grain from silos onto rail or trucks, to be transported throughout Australia and the world. The grain is shipped overseas from four ports in WA and then processed into different food produce, or used as feed for livestock.

CBH Group has been using Volvo wheel loaders as its primary loading equipment for over 10 years. Leon Fallon, network resources manager of operations, says: “With our product being an essential staple of peoples’ diets, we need a brand of wheel loader that we can trust.” Each of the 59 Volvo machines moves around 200,000 tonnes of grain a year, working for eight hours a day and running for a lifespan with us of around 13,000 hours.

The CBH Group regards protecting the environment and conserving natural resources as an essential element of the company’s operations. In 2008, a Sustainable Fleet Initiative – a program aimed at reducing the engine capacities and increasing the emissions ratings of all the vehicles and machinery used on its sites – was introduced at CBH Group. “Volvo products perform better all round,” says Leon Fallon. “Our wheel loaders use less fuel than other brands – and they are more efficient compact machines for our working environment.”

Volvo’s wheel loaders are characterized by lower fuel consumption. The F-Series range features a quiet, low-emission Volvo V-ACT D6E engine that delivers high torque near idle rpm. Teamed with the Automatic Power Shift (APS) function – Volvo wheel loaders always select the right gear for fast, efficient work cycles.

With excess-demand and supply shortages throughout the global grain industry, CBH Group cannot afford to have its machinery out of operation – otherwise the world’s food chain could be seriously disrupted. The company relies on Volvo CE’s national distributor CJD Equipment Pty Ltd to keep its fleet of equipment up and running. “CJD Equipment has been a great business partner,” Leon Fallon says. “The sales and service staff are committed to us – and as a result we experience less downtime and more reliable machines.”

Founded in 1974, CJD Equipment is also headquartered in Perth, WA, and has a network of sales and service centers to cover Australia from coast-to-coast. Its team of over 500 employees are well trained – and experienced service technicians aim to be on-site within 24 hours to resolve faults or maintenance issues. “We’ve always received excellent service from CJD,” Leon Fallon adds.

Volvo’s range of wheel loaders offer unrivalled operator comfort, with fully functioning in-cab climate control that keep operators cool – even in the blistering temperatures of the WA’s summertime.

“By keeping our operators comfortable while they work, they are more engaged in what they’re doing,” explains Leon Fallon. “This leads to a more productive workforce – that contributes towards our bottom line.”

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