ITM is helping Australian mines maintain their undercarriage solutions across the country, servicing iron ore and gold mines in the west and coal operations in the east. Managing director Adrian Battley discusses the company’s presence in eastern Australia.
Regardless of the commodity being carried, Australia’s terrain can be tough on equipment. ITM has established the knowledge and facilities to maintain and repair this impact on a range of undercarriages, dozers and excavators.
While different commodities can have a varying level of impact on mining equipment, ITM managing director Adrian Battley says the key to extending equipment life is preventative maintenance.
At its east coast warehouse in Yatala, south of Brisbane, ITM has a dedicated team that supports predominantly coal mining operations, ensuring machine undercarriages stay in working condition for as long as possible.
“Our eastern seaboard customers are primarily coal producers rather than iron ore and gold like our Western Australian warehouse,” Battley tells Australian Mining.
“While it’s a different market from the west, our service does not differ a great deal, we are dedicated to keeping machines going for longer and ensuring they are less fatigued.”
ITM seeks direct feedback from both the eastern and western markets to ensure its solutions are reflective of its market’s requirements and for longer machine life.
The company takes this feedback directly to its factories and makes the necessary alterations to the equipment at the factory level.
“We listen to our customers for their experiences with wear rate and design faults on their equipment and correct those issues,” Battley says.
“ITM has made changes across shovel and dozer undercarriages to make them more durable and longer lasting.”
Undercarriage maintenance is some of the most important ongoing work over a machine’s life, as about 50 per cent of maintenance costs over the life of equipment can be attributed to the undercarriage, according to Battley.
By tending to known problem areas, ITM helps its clients to identify different environmental factors that may put their equipment under further stress.
For example, weather patterns in northern Queensland differ vastly from those at the sites ITM services in Western Australia, so the eastern and western teams have different solutions for different weather problems.
“Some of the most common failures for machines like excavators and dozers are tight or loose tracks contributing to undercarriage failures,” Battley explains.
“Tight tracks can occur particularly during wet seasons, like what our eastern clients get in central and northern Queensland and the Hunter Valley (in New South Wales) during winter.
“When you’ve got lots of rain packing into the undercarriage that stretches the track and lots of mud and dirt can get into the system which starts wearing and breaking.”
With unplanned maintenance costing mining companies in productivity and follow-up capital, ITM predicts issues on site and completes preventative repair work before failures occur to save valuable time down the track.
With the ITM Global brand’s worldwide reach and decades of experience, in addition to the local focus of the Australian branch, ITM aims to keep mining equipment rolling for longer with preventative maintenance and care.
The Australian operation may be a younger branch of the company, but it already manufactures and services undercarriages for some of the largest original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) across the market, including Liebherr, Komatsu, Hitachi and Caterpillar.
Just 40 kilometres south of Brisbane, the east coast branch offers a small but personalised service to clients in a strategic location. It is well placed for clients in key Central Queensland coal regions like the Bowen Basin and for those to the south in the Hunter Valley coalfields.
“We have our dedicated track frame rebuild centre for excavators and dozers in the same space where we can do everything from stripping equipment down to weld and crack repairs or OEM rolling stock,” Battley says.
“With our two track benches in our workshop we can complete pin and brush turns for drills and excavators and any repairs on sealed and lubricated tracks. Whatever it is our customers require we will be there for them and be flexible to their needs.”
This article also appears in the September issue of Australian Mining.