New Sandvik mining truck “safest ever built”
The leading mining equipment manufacturer’s new TH663 has more than 60 safety features designed to protect the operator, maintenance staff and the truck itself.
Sandvik Mining's Product Line Manager for Underground Trucks Scott Rowe claims the 63 tonne truck is "probably the safest ever built."
Some of the safety features include a 35 per cent larger ROPS/FOPS-certified cabin, colour coded display system warnings, front-frame suspension, anti-slip materials on all steps and surfaces, and safety rails at the top of the truck.
The company says the new-generation underground hard-rock mining truck - the first of which arrives in Australia in mid-May offers not only safety but also productivity and fuel consumption improvements over earlier-generation trucks.
An optional innovative on-board jacking system allows for rapid and safe tyre changing in the event of a flat tyre on a haulage ramp or other confined space - minimising production holdups for the rest of the mine.
Some other key features of the truck, according to Sandvik Mining are:
- Highest haulage capacity in its class and "envelope size"
- Higher ramp speeds for increased productivity
Rowe says the TH663 has been specifically matched to Sandvik Mining's LH621 underground loader, allowing a fast three-bucket loading cycle and increasing load-and-haul cycle efficiency- and further increasing overall cycle productivity.
"Innovative thinking, comprehensive research into the complete underground hard rock haulage process, along with extensive customer feedback - including Australian mine managers, operators and maintenance crews - have played a major role in the design process of this new truck," he says.
Sandvik Mining says attention has also been paid to overcoming potential service and maintenance issues.
"All daily maintenance can be done from ground level, making servicing quicker and easier while minimising risks related to climbing on the machine," Rowe says.
"We also looked at those situations that involve the most downtime for our customers," he says.
"A major issue is when a fully loaded haul truck is blocking the ramp due to a flat tyre, potentially stopping the entire operation."
The outcome was the on-board jacking system which allows for fast and safe tyre changing instead of the prolonged downtime involved in towing a loaded truck out of a confined tunnel or ramp.
"This feature is a another example of the importance Sandvik Mining places on overall uptime and its impact on production - and the fact that overall speed is not the only factor involved in higher truck productivity."
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