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MINExpo 2016 Review: mining trucks

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World Coal,

Back in September in Las Vegas, MINExpo 2016 saw the release of a variety of products and technology innovations. In the December issue of World Coal, we took a look at the latest developments released for mining trucks.

Of the many product and technology innovations at the show, Komatsu's cab-less autonomous haulage vehicle came closest to stealing the show.

Unlike the 930E and 830E autonomous models, Komatsu has newly developed this vehicle exclusively as an unmanned vehicle designed to maximise the advantages of unmanned operation. By distributing equal load to the four wheels both when the vehicle is loaded and unloaded, as well as adopting four-wheel drive, retarder and steering, Komatsu is aiming for high-performance shuttling of this vehicle in both forward and reverse travel directions, thereby totally eliminating the need for K-turns at loading and unloading sites. In particular, the company expects that this new vehicle will considerably improve the productivity at mines where existing unmanned haulage vehicles face challenging conditions, such as slippery ground due to frequent rain/snow fall, as well as confined spaces for loading.

Caterpillar and Liebherr also presented new mining trucks at the show – although of a more conventional design.

Caterpillar’s newest large mining truck, the 794 AC, made its mining show debut at MINExpo 2016. The 291 t (320 short t) capacity truck uses a combination of proven designs, including a chassis design that has accumulated about 18 million operating hours and a powertrain design that has racked up three million hours. The truck design focuses on productivity, while delivering reliability and simple serviceability, the company said. To date, the 794 AC is operating in four countries, including in a coal application in South America.

Leibherr meanwhile introduced its new 100 t mining truck at the show: the T 236. According to the company, the new truck demonstrates the company’s continued innovation in design, paired with the evolution of its own components and technology. This combination results in increased productivity, better efficiency, enhanced reliability and improved safety, while lowering cost per tonne. First prototypes are currently undergoing field testing with an official product launch to follow.

Peoria-based Philippi-Hagenbuch highlighted its Predictive Load™ technology at the show, which helps customers using the company’s Hi-Vol™ Load Profiled™ trucks to optimise their payload by matching a customer’s unique conditions to a specific truck body design.

“Truck bodies take a beating day in and day out, from hauling iron ore and oil sands to rock and overburden,” said Leroy Hagenbuch, Philippi-Hagenbuch Co-Founder and Chief Engineer. “Ensuring they can withstand that abuse so customers get the most out of their equipment and achieve their highest productivity levels requires a deep look into the design, and that’s what this patented system allows us to do.” Canadian tyre specialist, Kal Tire, also focused on optimising its customers’ performance with a number of innovations on show in Las Vegas, including Ultra Repair, its product and process to repair large injuries to ultra-class tyres. It also showed its gravity-assist system for heavy tyre mounting tools, such as torque guns, and its tyre recycling solutions.

“For us, innovation is about the small, incremental things we can do that are part of that larger contribution of enhancing more efficient operations,” said Dan Allan, Senior Vice President of Kal Tire’s Mining Tire Group. “If we’re diligent and we focus on the details, the big picture around productivity is going to look a lot better.”

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US coal news Mining equipment news