January 09, 2015

Remember the Alamo: A Story of Loader Longevity in a Texas Quarry

When we first visited Alamo Concrete Products in Georgetown, Texas, back in 2012, their 844J Wheel Loader had logged an astonishing 17,000 hours hauling rock in the limestone quarry's dry-crushing operation. Today the machine has logged almost 25,000 hours. Early in its storied career, the machine worked 24 hours a day, six days a week. Today it still runs 10-hour shifts, six days a week. "We still run it quite a bit," says Keith Witt, quarry production manager. "We haven't retired it by any means."

Conditions at the quarry are pretty unforgiving. We're talking Texas, after all. Temperatures can reach 114 degrees. Moving rocks that weigh as much as 12 tons would take a toll on lesser machines, but not the 844J. "It's still in such good shape," observes Witt. "We replaced the drivetrain, redid the center pins, and replaced the curl cylinders on the bucket – all things that were budgeted, scheduled, and planned. Other than that it's really no different than it ever was. It still runs great and keeps going and going."

After their positive experience with the 844J, Alamo decided to buy an 844K, which it uses to load customer trucks with finished product. "Our new 844K is great, and according to JDLink™, we're seeing excellent fuel efficiency. But I'll tell you what, that 844J still really produces. I wouldn't be afraid to use it in any application. That tells me a lot in terms of how Deere delivers in terms of durability, quality, and performance. And they compete on price too."