Fighting Fertiliser With GrainCorp

Specialised John Deere wheel loaders delivered to GrainCorps Geelong Terminal

GrainCorp is a leading global agribusiness that owns the largest Australian network of grain storage sites and ports. It also has substantial grain marketing and processing operations.

The company plays an important role in connecting food manufacturers globally with Australian growers. Its ports elevate an average of five million tonnes of grain and up to 1.5 million tonnes of non-grain commodities annually.

The two John Deere 644K wheel loaders delivered to GrainCorp incorporate Deere’s innovative Parallel High-Lift configuration designed for powerful digging and lifting forces in material handling applications.

Designed specifically for use in GrainCorp’s Geelong Terminal fertiliser sheds – which store up to 150,000 tonnes of fertiliser – the loaders have been modified to suit commodity handling in the blend plants environment.

Built to perform in tough environments, John Deere’s unique Quad-CoolTM system with reverse cooling fan utilises large perforated side shields, which pre-screen the air and decrease air velocity, minimising debris ingestion.

Due to the corrosive impact of fertiliser, the 644K units have a factory fitted Level 1 and Level II Corrosion Protection package to withstand the elements.

The package incorporates harsh environment axle coolers and a Level I Electrical Corrosion Prevention kit – Amphenol connectors are positioned on each harness to harness connection, and the alternator package provides seal-tight electrical connections.

Additional modifications include anti-corrosion spray on high risk areas, such as hydraulic fittings, driveline and sensors. Denso tape has also been applied to electrical connections to help prevent corrosion.

The 644K loaders feature a series advanced technologies to meet strict safety, performance and productivity requirements.

A factory fitted rear-view camera with radar detection system enhances safety by alerting operators of any object positioned in the machine’s direct path when reversing.

Radiator and side-screen debris covers, a full windscreen guard designed to fold up for easy wind-screen cleaning access, as well as complete lighting guards, deliver extra protection from debris.

Optimised productivity is achieved via a purpose-built 4.4m3 Hi-Tip bucket and the fitment of stainless steel pins with seals and stainless steel fasteners. The inclusion of a bucket linkage dump speed control protects linkage components from damage with large attachments.

An intuitive hydraulic load sensing system is linked to the Compuload 3000 load weighing system – presenting operators with easy-to-read onboard diagnostics.

A pressurised, air-conditioned cab with adjustable front and rear cab work lights offer improved visibility. This is advantageous in environments such as fertiliser or grain handling sheds.

The machines also feature a fully automatic greasing system, and an air-conditioner pre-cleaner for prolonged life of the internal filter.

As the exclusive distributor of John Deere construction equipment in Australia, Hitachi Construction Machinery Australia (HCA) is renowned for its ability to supply customised equipment to meet the demands of the evolving worksite.

GrainCorp’s Geelong Terminal Maintenance Supervisor, Neville Tanis said, “The machines provide excellent functionality for the environment in which they operate. The ability to integrate specialised features and modifications into the machine build make these 644K units unique. Safe operation was paramount and we achieved this outcome in the build design.”

The 644K units are not only backed by a fully maintained service contract, but also backed by the comprehensive support network of HCA.

“From preliminary product evaluation through to machine delivery and training, HCA were great to work with.”

“The support we received throughout the procurement process in the hands of Keith Bailey was excellent. The level of expertise from training facilitators during delivery ensured operators had the best opportunity to come to grips with the safe operation of the two machines.”

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