Internationals are back on track with Booyal Quarries
There’s something rather nostalgic about thinking back to when you were first allowed to ‘drive’ a vehicle. For Booyal Quarries owner Bruce Evans, that experience was at the age of eight, at the controls of his father’s International Harvester bulldozer.
Bruce eventually graduated from the ‘dozer to drive his first truck, an International AA 164 Series. For devotees of the brand, the AA Series was sold in Australia from 1958 until 1962, with GVMs ranging in those days from 1900 to 15,000 kg.
This early association with International products continued into Bruce’s working life, with the subsequent purchase of Transtars, Eagles, S-Lines and A and C model ACCOs through the intervening years.
Based south-west of Bundaberg, Booyal Quarries today remains a family-owned business, with Bruce and his family continuing to supply aggregates and road base material, usually operating within a 200 kilometre radius of the site. Bruce’s daughter Vicki handles the day-to-day organisation of vehicles and loads, while son Brett manages the crushing plant operation. Bruce can still be found behind the wheel when work demands run high.
Some 60 years on, Bruce’s affiliation with the International brand remains, as illustrated by the arrival of two new ProStar day cab prime movers. Power for both trucks comes in the form of Cummins X15 engines rated at 550 hp (410 kW) and producing a torque rating of 2050 lb ft (2780 Nm). The drivelines are completed by Eaton Roadranger 18-speed manual transmissions, and both trucks were supplied through Tony Reeves, heavy truck sales specialist of IVECO Trucks, Brisbane.
“I’ve had International in my blood since I was a young lad, so with the brand coming back to Australia, there was not much chance of us getting anything else,” Bruce said. “All the International trucks I’ve owned over the years have done a great job.”
The new ProStars have joined an International Transtar 4700 powered by a 525hp (391 kW) N14 Cummins, and an IVECO Powerstar 7800 already in the fleet.
The Powerstar is interesting in itself, as it is configured as a heavy-duty road train-rated prime mover and has been around the clock nearly three times.
Powered by a Cummins Signature 620hp (462 kW) engine and rated at 131 tonnes, it was re-engined at 1.4 million kilometres and the replacement engine has already notched up over an additional million kilometres without a problem.
“It’s used for hauling a Drake 4 x 4 lines, full-widening float plus dolly, usually carrying a mobile crushing plant that weighs in at a gross weight of around 80 tonnes, providing us with a payload capacity of around 52 tonnes,” Bruce said.
Since both ProStars joined the Booyal Quarries fleet last year, they’ve been put to work hauling two 19-metre B-double bogie/bogie Stag trailers and one 25-metre tri/tri Stag trailer. Supplied by Lusty EMS, the Stag trailers in B-double form are manufactured from 6mm aluminium plate for the floors and 5mm aluminium plate for the walls, with a one-piece extruded top rail Huck-bolted to the side sheets.
Booyal Quarries has standardised on Hendrickson PRIMAAX axles for each of the Stag trailer combinations, which provide low tare weight benefits with warranty protection of one million kilometre distances. In the bogie/bogie 19m configuration, the length of the A trailer is 8.3m, and this is extended to 9.6m with the tri/tri axle configuration of the 25m overall unit. When not hauling the Stag trailers, the ProStars are occasionally called upon to haul side-tippers.
The total distances covered by both of the ProStars are still relatively low, and at the time of writing had reached 70,000 and 45,000 kilometres on their respective odometers. Despite being barely run-in, according to Bruce they are returning excellent fuel figures.
“We’re getting around 2.2 km/litre combined (6.2 mpg, 45.45 L/100km) which I’m happy with. The 19-metre B-double is normally operating around the 56-tonne mark while the 25-metre trailers have us at around 65 tonnes,” Bruce said.
According to Bruce, the Cummins and Eaton Roadranger components provide a well-proven combination for heavy-duty earthworks. Prior to finalising this specification, he consulted with his drivers to get their thoughts.
“Both of the ProStars have regular drivers. I like to keep drivers with the one truck, because I think the equipment gets looked after better,” he said.
“They’re both very experienced, having spent a long time driving road trains. Each of them told me they would prefer the manual, so that’s the way we went.
“I can understand the attraction of an AMT for city driving where you’re starting and stopping all the time, but for us the Eaton manual Roadrangers work well. Once you’re rolling and on the open road there aren’t many gear changes needed. Although it’s a standard trip of 200 km you probably will stay in the top section of the ‘box, with just an occasional split.”
With considerable roadwork and subdivision activity occurring in the region, the ProStars are on the road five days a week and often have to put in big days, so the drivers are appreciative of the new equipment.
“The drivers comment on the comfort, the ample power and the excellent visibility, particularly when they’re driving through built-up areas,” Bruce said.
“The trucks are giving us the payload we need, the power we want and the right fuel efficiency. We often get asked by others about what the ProStars are like and have no hesitation in telling them that they go well and that we really like them. I can’t think of a bad thing to say about them.”
And yes, Bruce still uses International ‘dozers, including a 45-tonne unit running a Cummins QSX 15 powerplant, highlighting a great combination of the International brand with Cummins Engines.