It’s a long way to Tipperary, it’s a long way to go. Well not really, from my base it is very much a short trip to Tipp. Down the N7, turn off for Moneygall and a short drive from there would you bring you into the quarry of Seamus Ryan. This well run and respected family business had recently purchased a new Hyundai HX330L excavator for their expanding business. I was looking forward to getting a closer look at it and to talk to Seamus about his machinery and the type of work he does. He started extracting sand and gravel from the family farmland in 1999, and over that time his product has developed a strong reputation for quality, especially in the golfing world. They say first impressions last, and for me this was very true when I arrived in his quarry. It is extremely well organised and very well laid out and his trucks and equipment are in tip-top condition. Shortly after arrival I got to meet Seamus and discuss with him his new machine and get an overview of his business.
The man with the sand
They opened the doors in October 1999, and they were very much providing to local farmers and providers. In 2003 they purchased more equipment and started to screen the material themselves. The products were drainage stone, 610, of various sizes. Also, they manufactured four types of sand and here they discovered that their sand was naturally very strong for concrete. The first machines he bought were Kawasaki loading shovels and then they bought a Volvo 220 loading shovel. They have been using Volvo ever since. Things really got going during the mid-noughties and they had to work round the clock to keep up with demand. In 2008 they invested heavily in a new wash plant, but then things dramatically slowed down for obvious reasons. They had to look at other markets besides house building and develop new products. This led to them provide sand for the fairways on the renowned Adare Manor golf course. They also supplied drainage stone for the venue and the course builder was delighted with the product. They provided fifty thousand tonnes of sand for the course and this prompted me to ask Seamus, does this mean he might end up supplying other golf courses, maybe even the famous Augusta in the USA? “That would be nice job, but we are delighted to have been chosen for Adare Manor. This is creating new opportunities for us and our sports field sand is great for percolation and that is creating demand for our certified product”, enthused Seamus. He has also built up a strong customer base in Tipperary, Cork and Clare. Mostly concrete manufacturers and pre-cast providers. He also gets phone calls on a regular basis from prospective customers who ask, “Are you the man with the sand?”
Seamus Ryan currently runs four articulated tipper trucks, three Volvo and one DAF. He also runs four rigid tippers, one Scania and three Volvo. His trucks are constantly on the road, delivering to his large client base. To wash his pay-dirt is a CDE plant, and he also has a Hazemag crusher which crushes the stone down into sand. He also runs Trio cone and jaw crushers. He runs two Volvo 220 loading shovels and he also has a Komatsu 210 excavator. He purchased the Hyundai HX330 after doing some extensive research. “We wanted another digger and I enquired about what was on the market from different manufacturers. I know some contractors that have Hyundais and I went to visit them and have a look. The price point was also very attractive compared to other brands. The machine looked ideal for digging out sand and it was very fast and stable”, said Seamus. The task for his new Hyundai is to dig out the gravel from the base of the pit and then mix it with a fine sand and with a coarse material. This must be done correctly to achieve the perfect material before it goes to the wash plant. Think of it like baking a cake. The Hyundai arrived in late June from Whelan Plant Sales and so far, everyone is very happy. Another important factor for Seamus is fuel burn. “This machine is fierce easy on the juice. It is drinking a third less than our previous excavator and doing the exact same job. This is a major factor for any plant owner. Sometimes buyers look purely at the cost price but forget to look at fuel burn, which can make a massive difference to the bottom line”, he said. Another top tip from Seamus regarding buying equipment is to do your homework. He advises that you contact someone who is using a brand that you are interested in and see how they are getting on with it, which is very good advice. Seamus currently has his two sons involved in the business, so there is a succession line. He also uses the family crest as the company logo. He is very proud of his product, which is CE certified and of course, all his employees who work extremely hard to get the job done.
I get an opportunity to operate the Hyundai HX330 and to open the panels to see what makes her tick. The HX (Hyundai Excavator) range was launched several years back. They have become a common sight around job sites in Ireland. When they first came on the market, one of the key features was its large information screen in the cab. The 8-inch capacitive-type display (like smartphone display) of the HX Series is 30% larger than the previous models, delivering excellent legibility. The centralized switches on the display allow convenience of checking the urea level and temperature outside the cabin. The audio AUX, air conditioner and heater interoperation, and inclination sensor also maximize the operator’s convenience. The ECO Gauge enables economic operation of the machine. The gauge level and colour displays engine torque and fuel efficiency level. On top of that, the status of fuel consumption, such as average rate and the total amount of fuel consumed are displayed. Hourly and daily-based fuel consumption can be checked in the detailed menu as well. The cab has plenty of room and is very comfortable. Visibility is really good, and the camera gives you an all-round view of any obstacles or anyone approaching from behind. The HX series improves lubricity of connecting parts between the equipment and attachments. Gaps with attachments are minimized by wear-resistant long-life pins, bushes and polymer shims, supporting the highest performance with invariable durability.The HX Series has an eco-friendly, high-performance Cummins engine which ensures both excellent fuel efficiency and high power. The HX Series minimizes equipment input and output control signals to improve fuel efficiency. Its three-stage Power mode ensures the highest performance in any operating environment. On the dig it has plenty of power – it was moving sand, but it was very fast on the cycles. Overall you can see why Seamus invested in this Korean-built machine. You can also see why every second car on the road is built by Hyundai, good quality at a good price.
Hyundai HX330L Tech-Specs
Engine: Cummins QSL9, turbo-charged, air-cooled diesel
Power: 284 HP @ 1800 rpm
Max bucket capacity: 2.10 m³
Operating weight: 33,500 Kg