When the going gets tough, SuperPro gets going
After receiving news that mining company Miller Argent was having suspension bush issues with its fleet of Land Rover Defenders, our territory manager Robert Hayward went to see if SuperPro could help. And here’s what happened...
Miller Argent is a joint venture between two major construction and development companies: Miller Group and Argent (Property Development) Services LLP, the two businesses forming a partnership to reclaim and restore around 106 hectares of derelict and potentially hazardous land at Flos-y-fran, east of Merthyr Tydfil.
The project – an initiative between local councils and the Welsh Development Agency - started in 2007. Initially, the work involved the site being cleared of discarded waste and, as a former mining area, the pits and shafts of the old mines were stabilised and made safe.
Since then, some of the reclaimed land has been developed for housing, light industrial and recreational use, whilst other areas have been returned their natural state. However, to make best use of the area’s resources, Miller Argent has opened up part of the site as an opencast coal mine – and this is where SuperPro comes in...
At the beginning of 2013 Miller Argent purchased ten 2008 Land Rover Defenders. These are used by the extraction team supervisors to keep in close contact with the huge Caterpillar trucks that transport up to 100-tonnes of coal per load across the site. Consequently, the Land Rovers have to deal with rough and punishing terrain for 16-hours a day, six days a-week and rarely see any stretches of smooth tarmac.
On speaking to the Site Operations Manager Gerwyn Morgan and senior members of the workshop staff, Robert was told that the vehicles’ standard OE rubber suspension bushes were lasting no more than four months. Added to this, when they tried other brands of polyurethane bushes, these too had lasted no longer.
Therefore, while the Miller Argent team felt the Land Rovers were the right tools for the job, they now needed to find bushes that could withstand the demands of the tasks they are asked to perform. So, having heard about the attributes of SuperPro bushes, they were eager to try a set and see what they could do. To prove that they could provide the solution to the problem, Robert handed over SuperPro kit part no. KIT0043DK.
All of the bushes contained in the kit were fitted to one of the ten Defenders during the first week of March and, from the word go, the Miller Argent mechanics were impressed, as they found the SuperPro parts could be installed as a like-for-like replacement, with no modifications required.
After using the newly equipped Land Rover as normal, with no apparent change in suspension performance, it wasn’t until the end of October when carrying out routine maintenance that the SuperPro bushes were first checked. On inspection it was found there were no signs of significant wear, which meant that after seven months the bushes had not been adversely affected by the treatment to which they were being subjected.
Impressed with the outcome, Miller Argent were confident that SuperPro could provide the answer and subsequently ordered further bush kits to commence an ongoing replacement programme with the remaining nine Land Rovers.
After a further six months and another 15917kms travelled, the original Land Rover’s suspension was carefully inspected. Whilst both front springs were broken and one of the anti-roll bar mounting brackets had been ripped away, it was found that all of the SuperPro bushes were in good order, other than a small amount of noticeable wear in the driver’s side Panhard rod joint. Although not necessary, the technicians decided to fit a replacement bush in this location anyway.
Robert Hayward was present when the most recent inspection took place and said: “Having SuperPro suspension bushes fitted to this vehicle has been a fantastic test and given us a good indication of the life expectancy from our products - even more so given the fact that these Defenders are given a lifetime’s pounding in such a short space of time”.
Having visited the site again recently, we were intrigued to find that the very first Land Rover fitted with a SuperPro upgrade in 2013 is one of the few that has been retained on site and we are delighted to report that its SuperPro bushes are still going strong!