An innovative haul truck body the BTB has entered the Australian market after proving itself in the toughest mines of Chile with a unique mix of advanced capabilities and leading design.
Luis Rojas knows trays and what is required from them in the harshest mining environments around the world.
After eight years as commercial general manager at Duratray, Rojas started on a journey as director of Rokris International, joining his business partner Enrique Elgueta in 2013 to distribute innovative products for the mining and oil & gas industry.
A standout Rokris product that has grown in popularity during this time is the Bolted Truck Body (BTB), a haul truck body that the company is now introducing to the Australian market.
The BTB has already been successful in South America, with the product now distributed in Canada, South Africa, Brazil and Mongolia.
BTB has proven itself in some of the largest mines in the world in these jurisdictions over the past five years, especially in the Tier 1 mines of Chile.
“It’s worked in some of the harshest copper mines in Chile, so the benefits of the tray have already been proven,” Rojas says.
With the likes of Chile’s mines under its belt, Rokris’ sights are now set on Australia where the company is convinced the BTB can overcome many of the shortcomings that other trays suffer from.
Haul truck trays are often criticised for being too heavy, which cuts into operational efficiency and profits.
“In the business of mining, payload is everything,” Rojas says. “If you have a haul truck that is supposed to carry 220 tonnes, but is fitted with a heavy tray, you can carry much less product which means loss profit.”
The BTB is a lighter solution as opposed to other conventional trays. Rojas reinforces the benefits that using a lighter tray like the BTB can offer.
“If you can carry 14 tonnes more on a tray that works seven days a week over two, 12 hour shifts a day over a year, that’s a lot of extra tonnage that translates into profits,” Rojas says.
Another benefit of the BTB tray lies in its transportability. Traditional trays are welded before delivery, making transportation of the oversized equipment challenging and costly through sea freight and inland.
Rokris, however, has taken a different approach with the BTB to avoid this expensive downside of transportation.
“You have to take other trays from point A to point B as is,” Rojas says. “You need an escort, a low haul truck, travel when there’s no traffic in the morning and even police to get you out of town. Just in moving, it a significant cost for mines.”
The BTB, on the other hand, is transported in six pieces, which fits into two or three containers depending or the tray size. It is than fully assembled on site using bolts, eliminating the need for welding.
Rojas says there are huge savings for mine operators with this method. “We can use these containers to transport the tray anywhere, on land or by sea freight. We then put the pieces together on site which takes a day, costing mines less,” Rojas says.
The savings are amplified when international shipments are considered, Rojas continues.
“As opposed to very high cost for a tray on a ship, we just use the same containers,” Rojas says.
The six-piece design of the tray is also a bonus during the maintenance process, as parts are easily replaced on-site if required, without taking the tray out to workshops.
In any tray, Rojas says, the most damaged part of the tray is the back tail. This can easily be replaced on site on the truck whilst mounted if needed.
For other bodies, the replacement process involves a cumbersome week and a half process that usually takes place off-site.
Rojas says welding and working on steel cost mining companies significantly because they have to weld metal on to the tray.
“With our product, you don’t have to take the tray off the truck. You just un-bolt the back tail, get a forklift, and bolt a replacement back in. It takes a day and you’re done at very little cost,” Rojas says.
“It’s basically a Lego where you just bolt it in and out again and that will save thousands of dollars on transport and maintenance.”
Conventional trays have corners where material builds up to five to 10 tonnes of carry back. To solve this, the BTB boasts a unique rounded ‘S’ shape.
“The BTB is designed not to have any edges so nothing can build. Everything that is loaded gets unloaded,” Rojas says.
“Because of the design, you don’t miss out on tonnes of payload while also limiting spillage.”
The BTB trays are also specifically designed for individual mine requirements, depending on mine operations requirements and needs.
“The tray is adjusted to the load, whether it is iron ore or coal or any other material,” Rojas says. “We can strengthen the material according to material abrasion and densities.”
“The BTB has been developed with technology that is engineered to withstand these harsh applications while still using a light solution.”
In a saturated market of haul truck bodies, it is difficult for any particular model to stand out.
Yet, Rojas believes the BTB stands out as a proven tray that is capable of withstanding the harshest conditions of the global mining industry.
“I know the industry well and with my background in premium trays, I know the ones that work and the ones that don’t worldwide,” Rojas says.
“I understand the business and I’ve sold many products to the industry before, but I’ve never seen anything like this.”
The BTB’s unique design, which eliminates waste and carry-back, and includes a light body, transportability and ease of maintenance, makes it a haul truck body worthy of any mine site.