Rokbak RA30 is helping to bring surfing to Scotland

The RA30 articulated hauler is able to take on challenging terrain in arduous weather conditions, in all seasons. It’s one of the reasons the truck has been integral to the groundwork at a disused quarry that will be home to Scotland’s new tourist beacon, Europe’s largest inland surfing destination, Lost Shore Surf Resort.

The Lost Shore Surf Resort is a gigantic £55million project set to change the landscape of Scottish tourism. A landmark construction venture near Edinburgh, Scotland, it is expected to deliver over 100 jobs and attract 180,000 visitors a year, as well as substantial sustainability and community benefits to help regenerate the area. It will soon be ready to make big waves and in no small part thanks to the performance of the Rokbak RA30 articulated hauler.

At the disused Craigpark Quarry in Ratho, the RA30 ADT is helping prepare the build of this unique leisure space. This leisure space’s jewel in the crown is a state-of-the-art ‘wave garden’ which, once completed, will allow people to surf pristine waves inland, a stone’s throw from Scotland’s capital as Europe’s largest inland surfing destination.

As a former quarry, the site is all manmade ground – where the original soil has been replaced or altered by the introduction of materials such as concrete or crushed brick. The regeneration of a quarry can have positive environmental and economic effects and significantly improve community wellbeing.

However, without the correct monitoring and operation, it can pose structural and contamination problems if built upon. With a maximum payload of 28 tonne (30.9 US ton) and a heaped capacity of 17.5m3 (22.9yd3), the RA30 is moving hundreds of tonnes of material a day and ultimately helping to make the site suitable to construct on.

“It’s been far more economical to invest in a 30t truck for earthmoving, rather than take on several smaller vehicles to move our material,” says Connor McAlister, Senior Site Manager for civil works specialist WH Malcolm at the Lost Shore Surf Resort development.

Reducing environmental impact is a key tenet of the Rokbak brand, and working with WH Malcolm at the Lost Shore Surf Project has shown the importance of collaboration and partnerships for Rokbak to work closely with its suppliers and customers in order to make a real impact. Both the Rokbak RA30 and RA40 EU Stage V engines produce a fuel consumption saving of up to 7%, when compared to the previous EU Stage IV engines. This means lower operating costs and less impact on the environment.

“The RA30 is one of the most up-to-date bits of kit we have,” Connor adds. “The project is unique – there’s only several in the world – and if we didn’t have kit like that, we wouldn’t be able to deliver the project in a timely and efficient manner.

“When you work seasonally, like we do in Scotland, you need kit like the RA30 to get you over the line.”

Setting the foundations

WH Malcolm has spent the past year consolidating the ground on which the park will be built. It’s a challenging geotechnical project to be involved in.

As one of the leading providers of logistics, construction and maintenance services in the UK, WH Malcolm is responsible for the deep drainage, plot drainage and foundation work for the Lost Shore Surf Resort development. WH Malcolm’s RA30, purchased from Rokbak dealer Molson Group in December 2021, has been at Craigpark Quarry since October 2022 and is the company’s main earth-moving equipment. In the space of a year, the RA30 – decorated in a customised Malcolm’s yellow paintjob – has already moved over 120,000 tonnes of material at the site.

Material can be Type 1, pre-bedding, 40mm sub-base or rock. Once it has been collected, the truck leaves the site out of the main gate and travels two miles up a main road to another area at a higher level of the site. Following the deposit, it travels the two miles back down to the lower ground level where the main groundwork takes place.

Weather conditions are, in typical Scotland fashion, usually wet and challenging, especially coming into the winter. The RA30 dump truck has worked in seasonal dry and wet conditions and has performed consistently.

“The Rokbak is one of our key players on the job as we have to move massive bodies of muck very quickly in very wet weather,” says WH Malcolm Groundworker Foreman, Damon McLaughlin. “The traction it gives us means it gets into areas that are almost impossible to do with other vehicles.”

The RA30’s heavy duty axles are designed with fully floating axle shafts and outboard planetary reduction gearing. The three axles are in permanent all-wheel drive (6×6) with a differential coupling between the front and rear axles. All three axles have hydraulically actuated multiplate transverse diff lock differentials for 100% cross-axle lock up. The inter-axle and cross-axle diff locks are controlled by operators and can be actuated when required in poor traction conditions.

“It’s comfy to drive in, with the air-assisted seat meaning bumps aren’t a problem, the air conditioning unit is spot-on, and it’s got everything I need,” says the RA30’s operator Matthew Baird, who has been operating the truck since January 2022. “It is a good truck to drive – there’s no hassle with it. It goes exactly where you want it to go and there’s good visibility with the heated mirrors.

“There are parts of the site that are a little bit more difficult, but the Rokbak does it. It has very good adaptability.”

A bright future for Scotland

The Lost Shore Surf Resort is scheduled to open in 2024. It will become the focal point of a 60-acre country park which will also offer luxury accommodation, a food market, shopping, and a wellness spa. Only a few miles from Edinburgh Airport, this world-class sports facility is set to change the landscape of Scottish tourism, bringing an iconic sport to a new inland home, further establishing Scotland as a go-to destination for adventure. The 160 metre-long Wavegarden Cove-powered facility will be the centrepiece of the resort and be capable of creating up to 1,000 sustainably generated waves per hour.

“It’s fantastic that Rokbak gets to be part of something that looks set to be so important to Scotland and the Scottish tourism industry,” says Kenny Price, Rokbak’s Regional Sales Manager for EMEA. “Our trucks are designed and built for major projects such as this and, as a proud Scotland-based company ourselves, we’re delighted to be helping put the country on the map.”