Productivity, innovation, and efficiency gains are what all miners are looking for in their machinery.
It’s no longer just being the biggest, but you have to be the best.
Australian Mining was lucky enough to see one of the machines that fulfil these criteria during a recent site visit to Liebherr’s Mackay facility.
The facility had on site the first of its newest trucks to hit Australian shores, the T 264 haul truck – a truck based on the manufacturer’s well-known T 282 C haul truck –which was being prepared to ship out to a coal mine soon.
The T 264 has a number of features designed to make it more productive in this current era of mining.
The electric drive truck has an impressive 2013kW engine output, driven by its Litronic Plus AC Drive system (with Liebherr adding it was one of the few OEMs that had its own in-house drive system), all powered by a Cummins QSK 60 engine, although this can be replaced with an MTU DD 16V4000 engine if the customers prefer.
It features a payload capacity of 221 tonnes, has a loading height of 6.3 metres, and an overall width of 8.6 metres.
According to Liebherr, it is also designed to operate for approximately 24 hours straight without refuelling thanks to its lower fuel consumption rate and 4920 litre fuel capacity.
The truck is not only turning potential customers’ heads; as the truck is parked in a prominent position within the Paget industrial estate even rival mining machinery manufacturers have asked if they can come on to the facility to see the T 264 face-to-face.
Utilising Big Data to help operators gain a productivity edge is a major aspect of the truck, which features 149 different diagnostic channels which gives not only the truck operators, but also dispatch, real time information on the truck’s status, fuel usage, operational patterns, and projected wear life.
This can all be accessible to the driver via an in-cab touchscreen.
Safety has also been key, with proximity and collision avoidance sensors included on the truck, and even driver fatigue monitoring capabilities an option.
The machine also stands apart in terms of maintenance.
The majority of the vehicle maintenance repair points are located underneath the vehicle at ground level, so there is no need to work at heights, removing a potential safety hazard for operators.
Also, rather than having the brake discs on the inside of the tyre, the dynamic brakes are on the outside for ease of changeover.
Liebherr went on to state it is constantly working with customers in the field to respond to the changing demand in mining, and ensuring quality in design while remaining agile.
“Liebherr is huge on testing its components before they go out, it’s about quality at every stage, for instance every drive system is tested before going out to the field.”
Even the smaller aspects of the trucks are given focus.
“We’ve developed our own ladders, and included diagnostic capabilities to monitor ladder health and ensure that it is always working correctly,” the company said.
Despite the downturn – particularly for coal, Liebherr said it remains focused on customer support in the region.
“Even though the warehouse itself is only about three years old, the older facility – and Liebherr – have been in the area for more than a decade, we were here supporting the industry before the boom, and we plan on being here for the long term.”