Dump truck ticks all the boxes

In any major capital equipment purchase, there is a range of factors to consider, including operational suitability, fit to existing plant and production design, safety and performance factors and financial considerations.

When Melbourne based independent hard rock quarry operator Northern Quarries began sourcing a new 60 tonne haul truck, it started a process which involved many months of detailed evaluation before it chose a Terex TR60 dump truck, one of the first in Australia.

Northern Quarries? Pat Kerr said getting the fine detail right is vital for an investment, which not only has a significant impact on business, but also must deliver in its application. ?There?s so many things we analyse and then we narrow the choices down,? Pat Kerr said. ?To begin our process, we?ll look at everything from low-houred used equipment as well as new and check out the difference between the two.

?A major part of the research is ensuring availability of the machine. It doesn?t then take a genius to figure out that we should be leaning toward a new machine if the financial impost is manageable so we can access the warranty and other benefits and look to reduce our costs over the term of the life of the truck.?

Northern Quarries also acknowledge a Sand & Stone magazine article (of the Victorian Construction Material Processors Association [CMPA]), which helpfully explained capital acquisition as a partnership between the purchaser and supplier.

?We have our methodology in everything we purchase and we used it in conjunction with the CMPA article, as well as things like the suppliers? risk assessments, health and safety impacts and even issues like machine handover, maintenance training and driver induction and training,? Pat Kerr explained.

?It is a time consuming and complex procedure and it can take months. Everyone who has supplied us with equipment knows that it takes time and that we ask for a lot of detail, but that is a reflection of where we are as a company. We need to make sure every ?i? is dotted and every ?t? is crossed.?

Within Northern Quarries? thoroughness, there remains a simple business proposition ? they?re after the best machine at the lowest financial impact ? and one that will give the longest return on investment.

Supplied by Victorian/Tasmanian distributor Victorian Construction Equipment (VCE), the TR60 fitted the bill. Featuring a drivetrain that fitted comfortably with Northern Quarries, it has a Cummins QSK19-C700 522kW (700hp) Tier 3 emission engine that is coupled to an Allison M6610AR automatic transmission. This is familiar componentry to this third generation quarrying company.

?We certainly want something that is reliable and while this is one of the first TR60s around, we were comfortable with the drive line, particularly the Cummins engine and the Allison transmission which we are basically running in our existing trucks,? quarry manager Wayne Deken said.

?We are also impressed with the operator?s cabin which is spacious and includes a full size additional seat for training. It has plenty of room for us to fit a reversing camera and radio unit while the operator?s seat also has a four point harness seatbelt.?

The commitment of Northern Quarries to achieving the right specification includes a range of modifications, including fitment of an Australian Standards approved ROPS to further heighten safety performance. Before it left the factory the tyre specification was changed to a brand and pattern of Northern Quarries? selection and extra lining plates were added to the body in preparation for the hard rock haulage task.

Working in conjunction with VCE, modifications were made to the access steps and handrails to fit Northern Quarries? rigorous safety criteria. ?We also modified access to the fuel tank by fitting hand rails and a fold out step so refuelling is easier for the operators,? Wayne Deken said.

The engine was further guarded to reduce nip points, while a range of lights, warning alarms, isolation switches, cameras and decals detailing oil and fluid grades were added.

?Terex also provided ?hand over induction training? for all our operators over two days,? Wayne said. ?We also had the opportunity to make a short video of the programme with Terex?s trainer for future reference.?

While it is early days in what is expected to be a long life span, the TR60 is making its mark at the outer Melbourne quarry. Working daily 10 hour shifts and matched well to the company?s WA600-6 loader, the TR60?s body has a unique horizontal floor for improved fill and discharge performance and features a large target area for ease of loading.

The TR60?s low loading height offers Northern Quarries increased flexibility as it allows the option of loading with a sales loader as well as the face loader.

The one-piece longitudinal ?V? floor offers improved rigidity but also a low centre of gravity for better stability and ride comfort. Featuring a uniform depth from front to rear, the TR60 body provides a better match for wider bucket front end loaders than typical wedge shaped bodies.

?We haven?t analysed its fuel economy as yet,? Wayne Deken said, ?but it is running the same capacity 19 litre engine as our 40 tonne truck and we expect it to offer a per tonne fuel saving compared to that older style truck.?

Wayne was also impressed with the TR60?s dual mode retardation system that allows retardation from either the transmission or rear wheel multiple oil-cooled disc brakes. ?It is certainly a feature we have been impressed with. It is used for maintaining ground speed so you don?t overspeed the engine when it is loaded on downhill grades. You can select either retarder according to the driving conditions.?

For operators, the ride comfort is paramount. Shifts are made all the more manageable as a result of the operating cab. The independent front wheel suspension ensures excellent driveability, while the independent steering unit delivers uniform touch, regardless of speed, and combines to offer an impressive 9.5 metre turning radius.

?The operators are also very happy with it. It is a very good ride and is certainly a lot smoother than our older vehicles,? Wayne Deken said. ?We?re highly satisfied at the moment.?

While it is early days in what is planned to be a long haul, Northern Quarries? TR60 is ticking all the boxes.

Source: Victorian Construction Equipment Pty Ltd/Industri Communications

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