Revived Elphinstone intros first underground truck

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Elphinstone agitator truck in tunnel The Elphinstone name will return to the underground mining sector Elphinstone agitator truck in tunnel

Elphinstone has showcased the WR820 Underground Agitator Truck, the first model in its revived Elphinstone-branded mining lineup.

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In the first half of 2015, Caterpillar announced it would be relocating its specialised hard-rock machinery manufacturing operations from Burnie, Tasmania, to a plant in Thailand.

The decision had a major impact on employment in the Burnie area but as one door closed, another opened. An agreement was reached between Cat and Burnie mining magnate Dale Elphinstone’s Haulmax brand for the latter to rebrand itself as Elphinstone and begin manufacturing off-highway haul trucks from the Burnie manufacturing plant again, saving many of the Cat jobs.

Dale Elphinstone started his eponymous company in Burnie over 40 years ago, manufacturing articulated dump trucks and haulers for the mining industry. An extended period of success followed, and Elphinstone became a recognised name in the industry. This led to an eventual buyout by Cat, who replaced the Elphinstone trademark with its own.

The WR820 agitator truck shown at the recent MINExpo 2016 is the first new model to bear the Elphinstone name in over 15 years. The truck is equipped with a 237kW Cat C11 ACERT diesel engine configured to Tier 3 emissions standards, with the truck weighing in at just over 38 tonnes.

The re-launch of the Elphinstone brand will also see a significant investment in the refurbishment of buildings previously leased to Caterpillar, to ensure a state-of-the-art manufacturing platform from which to service global demand.

Elphinstone says the decision to revive the name in Burnie wasn’t just sentimental, as the group had been looking to get back into the mining industry for some time.

"Burnie is not only the birthplace of Elphinstone, one of the world’s market-leading underground mining equipment brands," Elphinstone managing director Kelly Elphinstone says.

"But also offers a wealth of specialised design, engineering and manufacturing knowledge via an exceptionally capable supply chain that has evolved over its 40 plus year association with the mining industry...and we’re just lucky enough to call it home."

The company remains an authorised Caterpillar Original Equipment Manufacturer, and all Elphinstone products are sold and supported via the global Cat dealer network.

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