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Touring the Liebherr Manufacturing Facility in Newport News, Virginia

By Chris Workman, PE, Director of Environmental Engineering, Koontz-Bryant, P.C.

As an investigative and consulting engineer, I get to work on a wide variety of interesting projects. I am currently studying the costs, modes, and methods of transporting crushed stone mined from local quarries within the Commonwealth. I have investigated three such modes of transportation: trucking, rail, and barge. To learn more about the transportation aspects of the mining industry, I visited and interviewed production managers, terminal managers, and trucking owners; three quarries in the Richmond area (Buckingham Slate, Luck Stone, and Vulcan Materials); Deepwater Terminal; and R.S. Thomas Hauling in Powhatan, Virginia.

In light of this project, I was particularly interested in the May meeting of the Hampton Roads Section of the American Society of Nondestructive Testing (ASNT). Seventeen engineers toured the Liehberr Mining Equipment production facility in Newport News. Larry Stippich, the Director of Nondestructive Testing for the facility, talked to us about fabrication, assembly, welding, and nondestructive testing of the large components of the trucks that haul quarry stone.

Liebherr, a family owned business, is not only one of the world’s leading manufacturers of construction machinery but is also an acknowledged supplier of technically innovative user-oriented products and services in numerous other fields. The trucks fabricated at this facility are huge at 30 feet wide, 27 feet tall, and 51 feet long for the T 284 model. It is a state-of-the-art truck, with a 20-cylinder engine capable of producing over 4,000 horse-power and a payload capacity of 400 tons. It uses 100 gallons per hour to operate and each truck costs about $5 million.

The tour of this facility and an understanding of the machines that they produce allowed me to better understand the field operations associated with a large open-pit mine. I can better estimate the costs of transporting quarried materials from purchasing, maintaining, and operating the large trucks, to estimating the costs of transporting the quarried materials from the ground to the consumer or the construction site.
For more information on transporting quarried materials, such as crushed stone, dimensional stone, or ornamental granite, contact Chris Workman at (804) 200-1920 or via email.