A fleet of Volvo Construction Equipment (Volvo CE) articulated haulers have been busy at work in underground gold mines in Western Australia. Local distributor CJD Equipment and Volvo CE have worked with Australian gold producer Red 5 to build these machines to mine specifications in order for the haulers to work underground. The Volvo A45G articulated haulers have helped Red 5 to increase its productivity while reducing fuel consumption and maintenance costs.
Red 5 operates the Darlot and King of the Hills gold mines 900km northeast of Perth, in the Eastern Goldfields region. Since the acquisition of these mines, Red 5 has ramped up production across the operations to more than 100,000 ounces (or almost 3000kg) of gold per annum.
Part of this success can be attributed to the fleet of articulated haulers that were acquired in 2018. Red 5 credits them with boosting productivity and slashing fuel consumption by more than 50 per cent. Maintenance costs have been significantly reduced, and the mean time to repair has enormously improved. Hauler availability on-site is at an all-time high.
Typically not an underground machine, the A45G trucks underwent modifications to fit mine specifications. Australian distributor for Volvo Construction Equipment, CJD Equipment built these A45G artic haulers with the following additions:
- A diesel particulate filter exhaust.
- Flame-resistant fuel lines.
- Ceramic-coated exhaust components and insulation.
- AFFF fire suppression.
- Heavy-duty steel plates fitted to the front bumper for protection.
- Electrical corrosion protection to harness.
- LED lighting.
- Live oil sample points.
- Fluid evacuation points.
- Normal mine site fit-out, including isolators, E-stops, wheel chocks, hand rails.
After the haulers had worked more than 16,500 fleet hours, CJD Equipment received encouraging feedback from its WA Goldfields client.
“These trucks have been a game-changer for our operations,” said Geoff Hart, the maintenance superintendent at Darlot Gold Mine. “There was some hesitation initially within the group, as we were doing something different from the rest of the industry, but one year on and I would have no hesitation in recommending a fleet of Volvo articulated haulers.”
Hart says switching from the dedicated underground haulers the site was previously running to the Volvo A45G articulated haulers has dramatically reduced maintenance costs and hugely improved average repair time. With an anticipated tyre life of about 4500 hours, tyre costs are expected to be significantly reduced compared with the previous fleet.
The mine has also seen improved speed on grade thanks to the haulers’ tailgates, which have helped to keep the decline free from debris.
“Volvo’s A45Gs tick all of the boxes – reduced capital cost, reduced maintenance cost, increased productivity, and the drivers love them,” Hart said.
With a rated load capacity of 41 tonnes, the A45G hauler is designed for higher productivity while reducing overall fuel consumption, so customers can move more for less. An optional on-board weighing system, which boosts fuel efficiency and reduces machine wear by guaranteeing an optimal load every cycle, can be installed on the hauler.
With the on-board weighing system, average payloads are sitting at about 97.5 per cent. The hauler’s other features include the Volvo drivetrain, automatic traction control, all-terrain bogie and hydro-mechanical steering.
Red 5’s fleet of Volvo machines include the three A45G articulated haulers, one L260H wheel loader and several Volvo integrated tool carriers from CJD Equipment. Thanks to a strong and lasting relationship, Red 5 relies on CJD team for support, repairs and additional work.
Source: CJD Equipment