BELAZ, a serious contender in the dump truck space, designs its equipment to meet Australian mine specifications. Australian Mining speaks with BELAZ to grasp the scope of design behind its machines.
Belarus-based original equipment manufacturer (OEM), BELAZ, has stood up to the challenge of meeting Australia’s strict mining requirements.
Its line up of 90–450 tonne dump trucks help mining operators ensure that no one is hurt at work – a big feat given the advancement and data focus of Australia’s mining sector compared with the rest of the world.
“BELAZ understands that the Australia’s mining industry is a world leader in safety protocols,” BELAZ Australia national sales manager Shane Dinsdale, who has 25 years mining experience, says.
“It has the highest standard when it comes to lost time injuries and tracking the precursor events that may lead to an injury.”
Australian mining operators are heavily reliant on data to calculate near-miss incidents – their recurrence means that one day an actual lost time injury will be realised.
Given BELAZ’s specific understanding of the Australian market, the company includes advanced analytics and data recovery systems in its range of dump trucks to serve as a useful indicator for senior executives and HSE personnel.
They capture all data from the operating dump truck, which can be displayed in an array of interfaces used by a mining operator.
“A lot of top mining players are shifting their operations to centralised operational hubs. These hubs are in metropolitan cities and have dedicated teams who look after the health of the equipment,” Dinsdale says.
“They monitor the trucks in real time as they’re being driven to ensure haulage targets and safety targets are complied with.”
BELAZ dump trucks are also equipped with a diagonal staircase, hydraulic or electronic access ladder and a third emergency egress ladder, in view of Australia’s ISO standards.
According to Dinsdale, BELAZ has been working to incorporate Australian standards in its equipment.
“A lot of these specifications are merely options for the rest of the world, but Australia is very reactive to accidents,” Dinsdale says.
“If someone has a serious accident, it would stimulate change in the company and/or industry.”
Many up-and-coming international suppliers are having a problem trying to understand the Australian mine standards set up by the sector’s biggest players, but its seriousness is why BELAZ completed these modifications on its equipment, Dinsdale says.
With safety at the core of BELAZ dump trucks, the equipment is fitted with ISO and AS compliant features.
BELAZ has also developed a cost-effective model that reduces operational and upfront costs for mining companies, while offering dump trucks that are comparable with, if not better than, what mining operators currently have on mine sites.
“We offer more affordable dump trucks with the same features you’d expect on a modern dump truck,” Dinsdale says.
“The haulage needs of Australian mining companies centre around the availability and reliability of dump trucks, and we are serious contenders in those two areas.”
Despite being an emerging player in the Australian market, BELAZ is competing in the same haul truck space as the country’s dominant OEMs.
BELAZ is able to supply the same engine options and componentry that one would expect in an electric dump truck developed by a major OEM.
The company also developed the world’s biggest twin-engine electric-drive mining dump trucks, the BELAZ 75710, which is capable of hauling 450 tonnes of materials in one load.
BELAZ now intends to unveil its 90-tonne electric dump truck and autonomous haulage system in October, demonstrating that it’s at the forefront of autonomous technology.
In fact, a fleet of BELAZ 136-tonne autonomous dump trucks are up and running at SUEK-Khakassia’s Chernogorsky open pit coal mine in Russia.
But the small details don’t evade BELAZ – the company incorporates full suspension seats and modern ergonomics to sustain a 12-hour shift that’s common to non-autonomous mining operators.
Its dashboard layout also displays all of the instruments within the cabin to ensure operator comfort.
“We fill a gap in the industry thanks to our understanding of how important technology and safety are to Australia’s mining sector. We improve our design by meeting those Australian-specific and mine site requirements,” Dinsdale concludes.
This article also appears in the October edition of Australian Mining.