Sandvik introduces world-first LH518B electric loader

The LH518B battery powered loader. Image: Sandvik.

Sandvik has launched the battery-powered LH518B loader, an 18-tonne machine equipped with Artisan Vehicles’ electric battery system for lower emissions without compromising on power.

The LH518B features Sandvik’s quick and easy battery system AutoSwap to change batteries with minimum manual handling in just six minutes.

This process can be completed in the passing bay or re-muck bay without the need for overhead cranes or external infrastructure, with the new AutoConnect feature making battery changes even easier by automatically connecting and disconnecting the battery pack to the machine.

Except for unplugging and plugging in the charger, the operator doesn’t even need to leave the cabin to change batteries, saving time, decreasing effort and minimising risk during the swapping process.

The LH518B was designed by Sandvik with the mentality of “rethink the machine, not the mine” and boasts exceptional capacity for its size.

The independent front and rear drivetrains enables high payload capacity while keeping the overall height low to suit the underground mine environment, with the loader able to fit in a 4.5 by 4.5 metre tunnel carrying 18-tonne loads.

With no torque converter, transmission or engine to rev up, the LH518B is an agile machine that is also armed with three 2000-nanometre permanent magnet motors for improved productivity.

“For the customers, when the original equipment manufacturer rethinks the machine, it means that the mine doesn’t need to rethink its whole infrastructure,” Sandvik stated.

“The LH518B has been designed ground-up entirely around the loader’s Artisan battery system and electric driveline to best utilise the possibilities that battery technology brings.

“It was not enough to replace some components or redesign only a part of the equipment; the designers were compelled to rethink the whole machine.”

Sandvik is currently expanding its BEV loader and truck offerings as it prepares to enter new market areas, which will occur in phases model by model.

As the new battery loaders and trucks enter the market, the company will be available to provide full product support and aftermarket services for its customers.

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