Some twenty years ago, earthmoving service provider SOTEC chose Liebherr to supply machines and the company recently purchased an R 960 SME crawler excavator for its quarrying activities to replace a Liebherr R 964 crawler excavator that had delivered 9,000 hours of reliable service.
Manufactured in Colmar, France, the R 960 SME has an engine compliant with Stage IIIB / Tier 4i that delivers 250kW / 340HP. With an operating weight of around 60 tonnes, this model is particularly suited to quarrying applications.
The acronym ‘SME’, ‘Super Mass Excavation’ to give it its full name, highlights the special features of this crawler excavator. The R 960 SME has a reinforced undercarriage featuring undercarriage components from the next model up in the standard range. This means that it has the same undercarriage as the R 966. Combined with a heavy counterweight, this reinforced undercarriage improves the stability of the machine and also enables the use of larger buckets for increased productivity. The boom and stick are also designed for higher digging and breakout forces. Together these features increase the power and cost-effectiveness of the excavator.
After more than 4,000 operating hours at SOTEC, the Liebherr R 960 SME crawler excavator has proved to be the ideal model for production in quarrying application. David Bouchet, Materials Manager at SOTEC, commented: "With an increasing number of different sites to cover, we needed a machine that was easy to transport and with an operating weight close to 70 tonnes, our old R 964 reached the limits of our Low Loader capacity. With the R 960 SME, we found a lighter alternative that retained the excellent quarrying performances, thanks in particular to the stability of the large travel mechanism and the counterweight."