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The AfDB is supporting the federal and state governments to improve the national and states’ infrastructure. (Image source: Adobe Stock)

The African Development Bank (AfDB) has announced an investment of US$1.44bn to redress the infrastructure deficit currently strangling the West African country

This was disclosed at the Nasarawa Investment Summit 2024 by AfDB’s Nigeria Country Department director general, Lamin Barrow who explained that this deficit is restricting the country’s efforts to diversify its non-oil production and achieve international competitiveness for exports.

“To address this problem, the African Development Bank is supporting the federal and state governments to improve the national and states’ infrastructure. As of April 2024, 31% of the Bank’s active portfolio, valued at US$1.44bn, is supporting infrastructure development in Nigeria,” Barrow commented in a speech read on behalf of the group’s president, Dr. Akinwumi Adesina. He added that, in order to achieve an industrial renaissance, Nasarawa State and Nigeria must accelerate domestic resource mobilisation; boost agriculture sector productivity; develop value chains and supportive infrastructure; enhance de-risk investments; prioritise natural resource value addition and beneficiation; strengthen institutional capacity and bridge the skills mismatch to enhance youth employability.

As such, the investment will be deployed to support the development of energy, transport, water and sanitation infrastructure in Nigeria.

Mantrac customers are presented with a range of repair options to suit their budget and requirements. (Image source: Mantrac)

As heavy machinery plays a vital role in various industries, ensuring optimal performance and longevity is paramount and no one understands this better than the Mantrac Group

Operating in 13 territories across East and West Africa and the Middle East, Mantrac is a leading distributor of best-in-class Cat equipment, power solutions, and microgrid solar and energy storage systems, all backed by its maintenance, repair and other support services. The dealer’s comprehensive inventory also includes parts and attachments as well as rental and used machines and power systems.

Offering the best industry equipment for a range of sectors including construction, mining, oil and gas, agriculture, quarrying and more, means also offering the best support. To help its customers maximise the value of their investments, Mantrac offers comprehensive repair and rebuild options.

Built to rebuild

Caterpillar machines are engineered for multiple rebuilds throughout their lifecycle, ensuring maximum performance and reliability. To make it easier for customers to take advantage of this special Caterpillar design, Mantrac has invested millions in its very own dedicated Certified Rebuild Centres (CRCs).

Spanning thousands of square metres and equipped with world-class tools, these facilities meet the same safety, quality and contamination standards as a Caterpillar factory. The rebuilding of all major components can be done quickly and tested to Caterpillar’s rigorous standards and backed by the same standard warranty for peace of mind by specialised teams of engineers and technicians trained to minimise costs while maximising component lifecycle.

Automated repairs

The importance of timely repairs cannot be overstated. Component failure can cause damage to other components, lead to increased downtime and increase repair costs by 2.5x.

Mantrac understands the impact of equipment failure on operations. That is why Mantrac offers predictive maintenance plans tailored to customers’ needs, considering key factors such as usage hours and cost-benefit analyses.

Customers are presented with a range of repair options to suit their budget and requirements. Basic covers rebearing and reseal with fixed, up-front costs, while Basic Plus includes additional parts and performance restoration, extending component life up to 50%. Then there are the Rebuild and Reman options. End-to-end rebuild gives components a second life with a 12-month warranty. Or replace it with Cat Reman products, offering genuine parts remanufactured to like-new quality and performance at a fraction of the cost of new parts. This flexibility extends to different levels of rebuilds, from component refurbishments to complete machine overhauls.

While Cat Certified Rebuilds adhere to factory standards, Mantrac also offers dealer rebuilds that provide customers with greater flexibility and alignment with their specific needs. Both options aim to restore equipment to optimal working condition, prolonging its operational lifespan and enhancing performance.

Dedicated facilities and support

With CRCs strategically located in Egypt, Ghana, Nigeria and Tanzania, Mantrac ensure prompt and efficient service to its customers across East and West Africa. With the use of sophisticated diagnostic tools, machines are disassembled and inspected, worn-out parts are replaced, and equipment is reassembled to like-new condition.

It is this thorough repair and rebuild process that Mantrac provides customers the assurance of maximum equipment performance and longevity. By leveraging Caterpillar’s expertise and industry-leading standards, Mantrac helps businesses both big and small minimise downtime, greatly reduce repair costs and optimise their operational efficiency.

This article is sponsored by Mantrac. Find out more about Mantrac’s Repair and Rebuild offering at

The new L110H and L120H provide a comprehensive upgrade over the F and Gz-generations. (Image source: Volvo CE)

Volvo CE, a global leader in construction solutions, has released the H-generation L110H and L120H wheel loaders to replace the F and Gz models

The new models are suited for rehandling, agriculture, waste handling, log handling and have been designed to boost productivity by 12%, fuel efficiency by 28% and to generally enhance operator performance. The 20 ton machines have a 5-6 ton lifting capacity and boast a number of new technology innovations including a new Volvo engine and electronic platform, as well as an optimised transmission and hydraulics system.

Volvo’s Torque Parallel linkage has always delivered high breakout torque and excellent parallel movement throughout the lifting range. Added to that, the new H-generation machines now have a higher tipping load – over 6% depending on the model. Thanks to a higher pin than on the outgoing Gz model, they can also tip higher, for example into taller-bodied trucks or in storage areas. The new engines deliver at least 5% more power, while other options include an automatic engine shutdown facility, which reduces fuel consumption when idling beyond a set time, and a delayed engine shutdown feature, which allows the turbocharger to cool, thereby reducing wear.

An upgraded cab with electric servo controls allow for a greater degree of control and customisation. These come as standard and are joined by boom and bucket levelling functions and a choice of three hydraulic response modes. The optional Comfort Drive Control enables the machine to be steered from a lever, particularly useful for fast-paced truck loading operations. Visibility and safety enhancing options abound, including a Collision Mitigation System and new LED lighting packages.

In regards to optimising load cycles, the Load Assist suite of apps is another option, powered by the Volvo Co-Pilot touchscreen. On-Board Weighing takes the guesswork out of loading the optimum amount of material, while Operator Coaching helps operators use their Volvo wheel loader to its full potential thanks to instant feedback and real-time on-screen guidance. And with the Tire Pressure Monitoring System, they can ensure that tires are operating within the correct parameters, and not causing unnecessary fuel consumption and wear.

Both Volvo wheel loaders feature an all-new ignition strategy, which is designed to make operators’ lives easier. The ignition key now activates and powers the machine, with no need to turn on the ground-level main switch at the start of shifts, before climbing into the cab. Quite apart from offering added convenience to operators on start-up and shutdown, it also removes the risk of the battery running flat overnight because the main switch has been left on.

The L110H and L120H offer grouped service points and unrestricted access to vital components. The engine hood opens electronically, while the tilting cab is operated hydraulically – to either a 30° or 70° angle, and the cooler installation slides out. Wear indicators placed by the wheels make it easy to check the condition of the brakes. The engine now features an electric pump for priming the fuel system, making the procedure quicker and more convenient than with a manual pump.

A feature also found on the L60H, L70, L90H, and L350H is now being introduced as standard on the L110/120H – a lockout-tagout. Known by its acronym ‘LOTO’, this feature makes it easier to lock the battery disconnect switch in the OFF-position – thereby preventing any unwelcome energy release when conducting maintenance work.

For extended service intervals, the axles, transmission, hydraulic tank, and fuel tank have replaceable breather filters – located remotely – to prevent them from dirt and moisture contamination. The brakes are outboard mounted, and the oil circulation cools the front and rear axles. The rear axle cradles contain greased-for-life bushings and bearings, and so are maintenance-free.

Volvo construction equipment has been playing a major role in the delivery of a megaproject in Egypt. Learn more at:

The pylon spires of South Africa's Msikaba Bridge mega project are on their way up, soon to be almost 130 m high at each side of the deep river gorge. (Image source: Concor)

Concor Construction the contractor for the Msikaba Bridge in South Africa, has indicated that progress is continuing to be made on the project and they are now entering a highly technical phase

The erection of the bridge is part of the South African National Roads Agency Limited’s (SANRAL) N2 Wild Coast Project and is being constructed by CME JV, a partnership between Concor and MECSA.

“The last two years have been spent completing the four 21,000 t anchor blocks and progressing the elegant bridge pylons on each side of the gorge,” explained Laurence Savage, project director of the structure. “We are now entering some exciting but technically challenging phases.”

The next steps include the post-stressing of the anchor blocks to ensure the transfer of load exerted by the stay cables is well distributed. Embedded 14 m deep into each block, the post-stressing is profiled as a large ‘U’ shape to mobilise the dead mass of the anchor block being pulled up by the stay cable at the top. The post-stressing option is a modern and efficient strategy that reduces the need for reinforcement steel, according to Savage. The locally procured post tensioning strand cables at each of the 17 anchor points in each block are stressed up to around 500 t by a specialist company. The process is expected to take two to three weeks for each anchor point.

“The next major step will be installing pylon inserts into the pylon’s structure as it rises above the 86 metre mark,” Savage continued. “There are 17 inserts for each pylon; these are steel rings weighing 8 to 10 t each, which are concreted into place one after the other until the pylon reaches a height of about 122 metres.”

The pylon inserts are used as the anchors from which the cables run as back-stays to the anchor blocks, and as fore-stays to the bridge deck. However, Savage noted that not all the inserts have to be in place before the launching of the deck can begin. Careful planning will allow the deck launching to commence after the first five inserts are installed, which is likely to be in the second half of 2024.

Beyond this, another demanding aspect of the bridge’s latest phase will be the construction of the ladder deck. Being the first steel deck segment of the bridge, the ladder deck is to be cast in concrete into the foundation of the pylon and will be the largest continuous pour on site.

“We will cast 700 cu/m of concrete in a single pour, with a very strong 65 MPa mix,” Savage concluded. “This will also demand a high density of reinforcement steel, weighing 160 t.”

Learn more about the impact the Msikaba Bridge project is having in South Africa in the latest issue of African Review.

According to Rokbak, knowing the capabilities and limits of your hauler puts you in control. (Image source: Rokbak)

Rokbak, a ADT manufacturer, has provided a guideline on how to become a successful articulated hauler operator

Get ready to move:
Take control of the hauler and the daily work before the ignition has been switched on by making sure the truck is known inside out. It is important to have a thorough understanding of the truck's controls, capabilities and limitations. This includes knowing how to operate it efficiently and safely in various conditions.

Check things over:
At the start of the working day, prestart checks are essential. A diligent operator conducts routine truck inspections to make sure the truck is ready for work. They should check for pre-existing damage including identifying leaks and loose parts, the tyre conditions, lights and beacons are fully operational, full visibility through the windows and fluid and battery levels daily. Rokbak trucks have ground level test points and a fully tilting cab for quick, easy access when servicing. A thorough equipment walkaround before starting a shift can make a big difference, and it does not require a lot of time.

Know the limits:
Learn the worksite boundaries such as speed, ground bearing weight limits, travel direction, passing areas, width and height restrictions and no-go areas. Know the hauler’s capacity and ensure the truck’s working limits with regard to payload are understood. Furthermore, keep an eye on how many buckets the loader is dumping in the truck to stay within the safe operating limits of the ADT and avoid accelerated component wear through overloading. Rokbak provides an optional onboard payload system and exterior payload lights, which indicate to both the truck and loader operators whether the payload is on target or overloaded. This information is recorded and transmitted via the Haul Track telematics system.

Safe operation:
Follow all site operating procedures when driving the truck. Keep under speed and under control on gradients and check grade guides for safe and controlled descent speed. Correctly use differential locks – employing them when the operation is in soft or slippery ground conditions to maintain traction and control. Be aware of what equipment is on the haul route and what sort of traffic will likely be encountered.

Correct usage:
The Rokbak RA30 and RA40 articulated haulers have fully enclosed multi-disc brakes on all six wheels plus a retarder to deliver safe, consistent performance. Understanding the correct use of the retarder can prolong the life of the service brakes and reduce maintenance intervals for lower total cost of ownership (TCO). If required, make use of the transmission lock in range or manual shift modes to maintain a steady ascent or descent on gradients.

Stay alert:
A safe ADT operator stays alert to their surroundings, including other workers, vehicles and obstacles on site. They anticipate potential hazards and adapt their driving accordingly to maintain safety for themselves and others. Inevitably there will be challenges, such as navigating tight spaces. An alert operator can quickly assess situations, make informed decisions and take appropriate action to resolve issues while minimising downtime. Never operate an articulated hauler if feeling fatigued or unwell.

Keep an eye on targets:
Operating an articulated hauler requires attention to detail to ensure proper loading, unloading and manoeuvring of materials. While an integrated payload system can account for the number of loads moved, manually recording progress in relation to a target keeps productivity proceeding on schedule. For improved fuel efficiency, minimise heavy acceleration and aim to reduce unnecessary idle time whenever feasible.

Don’t ignore fault codes:
Critical information is delivered whenever system fault codes are triggered. If a Rokbak truck does develop a fault, the operator will receive a warning symbol on the dashboard. Faults should be reported when they occur as continuing operating could exacerbate the issue. Following the truck’s advice means increasing uptime by avoiding potential disruptions, and effective communication with site supervisors, co-workers and other equipment operators is crucial for coordinating tasks and ensuring smooth operations.

At the end of a shift, follow the correct shutdown procedure. Allowing the truck to idle for a brief period at the end of a long workday enables the coolant to circulate through the engine. This helps to gradually lower the temperature, preventing potential damage from frequent ‘hot shutdowns’ over time. Adhering to the correct maintenance and start-up and shutdown procedures will help to keep operation costs low.

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