Earthmoving Trails is a new series of programmes looking at a wide range of new and classic earthmovers working in different applications, including digging, demolition and dredging. This first trail, A Dutch River Journey, follows the River Maas which flows through the Netherlands. The starting point for this programme is just south of the Dutch border at the Belgian Voie Sèche chalk quarry; home to the only 283-tonne Terex O&K RH120-C and Hitachi 190-tonne EX1900 in the Benelux.
The next stop is at the ENCI cement quarry on the banks of the river at the Dutch city of Maastricht. There are several machines from the past here. These include a Liebherr R994 and a Ruston-Bucyrus RB-150 electric rope shovel. The modern-day star at the quarry is a 260-tonne Komatsu PC3000; the only one in the region. Further downstream two specially modified Caterpillar 385s are loading gravel into the 55-tonne capacity skips of a unique fleet of Volvo trucks. The River Maas is susceptible to flooding and removing this gravel will make room for the flood water and help protect local communities.
Two more unusual Volvo haulers are working further north at Venlo – these are modified A35Fs capable of shifting 60 tonnes at a time. The next stop is actually on the river where Dutch contractor Martens en van Oord is dredging with floating excavators, again to prevent the river from flooding neighbouring villages. Demolition features prominently during the second half of the programme and at the next site a specially modified Cat 385 belonging to Beelen Sloopwerken is pulverising the walls of a river lock at Sambeek.
The Port of Rotterdam is the location of the largest demolition project in the country. Here a heavily reworked Hitachi EX1200 belonging to Van Leeuwen Katwijk is removing a massively built quay. Journey’s end is on the North Sea Coast where the prestigious Second Maasvlakte Rotterdam Port expansion project is creating new land. Here a Liebherr R974 is unloading barges carrying debris from the demolished quay wall.
A Dutch River Journey is written and presented by Steven Vale who is a regular contributor to Earthmovers Magazine and has helped make several earthmoving machinery DVDs. The programme is directed, edited and narrated by Jonathan Theobald who has made many documentaries on agricultural and earthmoving machines working throughout the world.
All the Earthmoving Trails DVDs are multi-region and can be played in any of the world’s four DVD regions. They also use the PAL television system.