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Mahindra aims high in mining

Brisbane-based Mahindra gets serious about mine-spec vehicles in Australia with the addition of a new rear enclosed braking system to its pick-up

Mahindra Automotive Australia has been supplying mine-spec utes in various configurations to companies throughout Queensland, Western Australia, the Northern Territory, New South Wales and Tasmania for the past three years.

One area of mining where the Mahindra mine-spec pick-up is moving ahead is in underground mining applications. This unique area requires a number of major and significant component upgrades, changes and additions.

To ensure safety requirements and standards are met the Mahindra Mining Division was created.

Within many features and upgrades that are offered, a recent development has been a rear enclosed braking system, developed in partnership with a leader in this field in Australia.

The company believes the Sealed Integrated Braking System (SIBS) braking option will be very much a part of the underground mining vehicles of the future.

This, together with a rear disc brake option, will see the Mahindra brand become a significant player in the underground mining segments, it claims.

The business of mining doesn’t just come about without rigorous testing programs throughout mines in Australia. It is often a 12 to 18 month program where Mahindra works directly with the mine on various aspects of the program.

The program doesn’t just start with the whole-of-life cost of the projected use of the vehicle, but in the correct requirements and fit out to suit the particular mines site requirements, to a thorough analysis of the mines maintenance schedule to the spare parts requirements to ensure minimal downtime and exceptional uptime.

“I remember one program where for the first three months the staff wouldn’t get out of their current fleet. So the superintendent took the keys off the staff and gave them the keys to the Mahindra mine-spec pick-up. At the end of the 12-month program those guys didn’t want to give the keys back, they were rapped with the Mahindra pick-up!” Mahindra’s Russell Thiele says.

The critical factor that mining companies are focusing on is how to get cost out of their operation without sacrificing on safety or durability. One of the great benefits of the Mahindra mine-spec pick-up is its whole-of-life cost.

“In full fit out, quite simply it is up to better than half the price of similarly equipped competitive brands, but most importantly, we don’t sacrifice on durability or safety,” Thiele says.

Mahindra takes durability seriously. It has been making specialist vehicles in India since the company first produced the Willys Jeep in 1947 for the War effort, to its more modern Mine Resistant Patrol Vehicle for more modern warfare.

The Mahindra pick-up is powered by the mHawk turbo diesel engine, which is a joint development between Mahindra and Australian diesel powertrain engineering specialists, AVL.

The common-rail power unit develops maximum 280Nm of torque from just 1,800rpm. It is particularly low geared, and in combination with speed limiters, hand brake and door alarms, makes a great fit for mining applications.

The Mahindra pick-up is available in dual cab or single cab 4×4 and is standard with an Eaton speed-sensing mechanical diff lock on the rear diff. Some of the options available include specialist door trims in aluminium, canvas seat covers, and heavy-duty under body protection.

Other specialist features include tailored light packages, heady-duty spring kits, SIBS braking, limiters, alarms, snorkels and gal steel trays in various options.

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