(L-R): Adam Gaston, project manager; Jamie Frego, regional parts manager; Bill Morrow, general service manager; Sloan Brooks, president and CEO; Mike Moore, general manager, California; Ion Cojocaru, parts warehouse specialist; and Dean Alonzo, mining account manager, cut the ribbon on the new facility.
Supporting the heavy equipment needs of the only gold and silver mine in California can be challenging, especially when the mine is located in a remote part of the Mojave Desert.
(L-R): Golden Queen Mine's maintenance crew, Shawn Folkes; Eli Blades, maintenance superintendent; Steve Baker; John Horton; and Dusty Basham, take a well-deserved break.
That's exactly why Road Machinery, the equipment dealer that supports the mine's fleet of Komatsu equipment, invested in a branch location right next door. Golden Queen Mine and the new Road Machinery branch are both located in Mojave, Calif.
"The idea and concept to create this location to take care of the mine was birthed more than five years ago", said Sloan Brooks, Road Machinery CEO, while attending the branch's open house in June. "To see it finally achieved is a big deal for us."
Brooks said that in the past, it would take several hours to get large parts to the mine from one of Road Machinery's other California branches.
"Our efficiency has been greatly improved. We can now store all our large components on site for Golden Queen and have the opportunity to move some of our other operations closer for other high desert clients such as Borax and several smaller nearby quarries."
The new 7,000-sq.-ft. facility sits on five acres of land and will house more than $5 million in parts inventory to support the mine. The facility was built to easily accommodate future expansion as needed.
The new Road Machinery is located at 1265 Business Hwy. 58, Mojave, Calif.
"Some people might call us crazy for building a facility out here in Mojave, but we saw it as an opportunity," said Mike Moore, general manager of product support of Road Machinery.
Since 2014, when preliminary construction began at the mine, Road Machinery had been working out of a small warehouse in Mojave, but quickly saw the need to improve its level of service.
"With this industry, it's critical that no machinery goes down, even for a few seconds," said Moore. "It was important to us and the customer to be in as close proximity as possible."
With the logistics finally in place, the biggest challenge Road Machinery now faces is growing their technician count.
"It's really a nationwide obstacle at this point: finding and training the right people. It takes years to develop these skills," said Moore. "We've been very fortunate. We have several guys that have been with us less than a year that we've been able to escalate and now they are working on the large component repairs as well."
(L-R): Road Machinery staff includes Adam Gaston, project manager; Sloan Brooks, president and CEO; and Mike Moore, general manager, California.
With the mine operating around the clock, the Road Machinery support staff is on call 20 hours each day. Resident technicians are staffed at the mine seven days a week with the additional support staff at nearby locations if needed.
With the recent purchase of a second Komatsu PC3000 hydraulic excavator, the mine's fleet now consists of two PC3000s and 15 Komatsu HD785-7 haul trucks. It also utilizes three wheel loaders — a WA900, a WA800 and a WA600 — while two Komatsu dozers move dirt at the mine — one D275 and a D375.
Road Machinery's new Mohave branch will sell, service and rent quality construction, mining and forestry equipment from Komatsu; compacting and paving equipment from Dynapac and Carlson; track crawler carriers from Terramac; and quality attachments from NPK, Hensley and JRB corporation.
For more information, call 800/989-7121 or visit roadmachinery.com. CEG