Essential to generating affordable and reliable electricity, coal continues to be one of the most valuable fuel sources in Pennsylvania and throughout the nation. With the help of Hyundai Construction Equipment, Neiswonger Construction is able to contribute to the economically beneficial coal production industry in Pennsylvania, where nearly 60 million tons of coal was output in 2011 making it the fourth largest coal producing state in the United States.
Since 1978, the multi-faceted construction company has been providing western and central Pennsylvania with a wide variety of services including site work, demolition, heavy construction, snow plowing and dumpster rentals, but in 2000, Vice President Vinnie Neiswonger became determined to add coal mining under his belt. In a little over a decade, Neiswonger Construction did just that, eventually becoming the 22nd largest coal producer in Pennsylvania by 2011.
Neiswonger Construction specializes in surface mining, predominately working on job sites with many acres of both mountainous and flat terrain where coal seams are located close to the surface. Currently stationed at a 4 month long, 140 acre coal mining job site in Bentleyville, Pa., the company relies heavily on a staff of 19 employees and a combination of Hyundai Construction Equipment to keep up an accelerated production rate.
The beginning of the Neiswonger’s coal production process begins with blasting a large section of the job site with dynamite. This cuts through the multiple feet of overburden, consisting of mainly sandstone, covering the coal seams. Once blasted, Neiswonger Construction uses a Hyundai 800LC-7A excavator fitted with a rock bucket to remove the large amount of thick, heavy sandstone. After the machine excavates to within a few inches of the coal seam, a Hyundai R480LC-9 excavator with a flat lip bucket takes over to strip the coal.
Unlike most surface mine sites which largely depend on high-lift wheel loaders for coal stripping, Neiswonger Construction prefers to leave this task to its Hyundai excavators.
“In this particular mine there are large amounts of mud seams,” said Neiswonger. “Using the R480LC-9 gives us a great advantage by providing more precision and efficiency, allowing us to extract as much clean coal as possible.”
The R480LC-9 then loads the coal onto a massive rock truck where it is transferred to a crusher to be further cleaned and sized into 4-in. (10 cm) pieces.
Providing Neiswonger Construction with ultimate power and efficiency, Hyundai’s R480LC-9 excavator features a fuel efficient, 342 hp (256 kW), Tier III, Cummins QSM11 engine. The machine has an operating weight of 106,040 lbs. (48,099 kg), a maximum dig depth of 25 ft. 8 in. (7.8 m) and a bucket breakout force of 62,530 lbs.
In the next segment of the production process, Hyundai’s HL780-9 wheel loader is actively involved. After the coal rapidly shoots out of the crusher into massive piles, the HL780-9 is responsible for loading 23 to 25 tons (21 to 22.6 t) of coal onto tri-axle dump trucks to be brought directly to power plants for utility energy production. With more than 48 to 50 dump trucks leaving the mine every day, the Hyundai loader is moving approximately 1,104 to 1,250 tons (1,001 to 1,134 t) of coal, six days per week.
Hyundai’s HL780-9 wheel loader is equipped with a fuel efficient, 344 hp, Tier III, Cummins QSM11 engine. The machine has an operating weight of 66,100 lbs. (30,000 kg), a bucket capacity of 7.1 cu. yds. (5.4 cu m) and a bucket breakout force of 52,360 lbs.
With machines working in such a rugged application as mining, machine downtime could understandably be a concern for many, but not for Vinnie Neiswonger. Having been a Hyundai customer since 2007, Neiswonger has the utmost confidence in the sales and service team of Hyundai dealer, Highway Equipment of Zelienople and DuBois, Pa., especially his salesman, Dan Olson.
“In this type of operation machine uptime is critical and Highway Equipment fully understands that,” said Neiswonger. “If we need parts or service assistance I know I can give Dan a call and someone will get here right away. Having that trust and reliability makes all the difference.”
As far as features and performance, Neiswonger Construction has been especially pleased with its two newest machines, the R480LC-9 excavator and the HL780-9 wheel loader. According to Neiswonger, both machines are the perfect size and fit for a mining application, neither too big nor too small, and provide maximum power and fuel efficiency. In a short time operators have already come to love the upgrades from Hyundai’s previous 7A models, including a more spacious cab, convenient controls, optimum visibility and a comfortable air ride, heated seat. All of which, make 10 to 12 hour days in harsh conditions more enjoyable, according to the company.
One particular feature Neiswonger Construction has found to be extremely beneficial on the HL780-9 wheel loader has been the load weighing system. Each and every bucket load of coal is weighed before being loaded onto a truck. This feature ensures operators are precise in meeting but never exceeding weight limits for every truck load. This is an especially important tool for the company because no profit can be earned on any amount of coal over each truck’s weight limit. Each driver with an overweight truck load also can be fined substantially.
Not only is this essential data viewable by the operator in the machine, but also through Hyundai’s Hi-mate remote management system. The company can access statistical data for both Hyundai machines including cycle times, machine locations, fuel consumption and operating and maintenance history through a daily reporting function from anywhere with internet access. This feature allows Neiswonger Construction to closely monitor each machine and avoid any unplanned downtime.
Although the company has had many brands of machines over the years, Neiswonger Construction continues to stick with Hyundai not only because of the overall reliability, but also due to the competitive pricing and financing options as well as the excellent parts availability. As an added bonus, the company has seen the lowest cost per hour against productivity over a 3 to 5 year period with Hyundai equipment.
“The R480LC-9 excavator and HL780-9 wheel loader have both been a tremendous asset to our operation, significantly benefitting our productivity and bottom line,” said Neiswonger. “And combined with the invaluable support from our dealer, it is certain we will be a Hyundai customer for a long time to come.”
Neiswonger Construction is a full-service heavy construction company providing a wide array of services to the central and western Pennsylvania and Penn-Ohio region for more than 35 years.
For more information on Neiswonger Construction, call 814/764-3455 or visit www.neiswongerinc.com.
For more information on Highway Equipment, call 800/222-8798 or visit www.highway-equipment.com.
Today's top stories