When you’re considering the purchase of a new articulated dump truck (ADT), you need confidence that the investment you’re making will help you achieve your business goals. You want to know that your ADT can quickly and efficiently haul high volumes of material over rugged terrain for long distances at the lowest possible cost of ownership.
Industry experts say that’s not too much to ask.
Today’s ADTs provide more power, productivity and stability, resulting in shorter haul cycles than previous generations. They also offer a number of off-road performance advantages over rigid frame trucks in most mining and quarry applications, said Doosan ADT Product Specialist Brian Bereika.
Bereika offers the following five factors to consider when specifying an ADT to perform mining and quarry work.
Match the machine to the task.
ADTs are commonly tasked with removing overburden – such as surface rocks and soil – in the early stages of a mine’s development. Other common chores include cleaning out holding ponds, hauling ore to crushers and hoppers, and stockpiling metals and aggregate. Articulated trucks are available in 25-ton to 40-ton class sizes and can carry up to 46-ton payloads. Since an ADT’s body is its revenue generator, size and payload are critical specifications and involve several more factors. Therefore, accurately estimating productivity before purchasing for a particular task in mining environments needs to be specific and comprehensive.
Partner with the right loader.
One of the primary goals of any ADT owner is to accomplish tasks and reduce haul cycles for maximum efficiency. One of the best ways to achieve these results is to match an ADT to its loading equipment so that neither the loader operator nor the ADT operator will have long waits between loads. Over 95 percent of ADTs are loaded by excavators, while large wheel loaders, conveyor belts or hoppers are used in many mining or quarry operations.
For most material hauling sites with good production, the industry consensus is that it typically takes between six and 10 passes to fill an average ADT with an excavator and four to six passes with a wheel loader. For maximum production, the number of passes to load should be between three and five.
Identify jobsite restrictions.
Are there any width, height or maneuverability restrictions that may impact an ADT’s ability to fully perform? Loading under a hopper, for example, will usually mean there are width and height restrictions and some larger ADTs may not physically fit in the space. Built for maximum maneuverability, ADTs are designed to adapt to uneven terrain due to a joint or hinge connecting the cab to the body, which allows the truck to flex. This feature also keeps all six wheels in constant contact with the ground while traveling over loose or compacted soil, banks, material pilings or rocks common in mining or quarry jobsites. Due to their massive size, mining and quarry projects can involve long drives on congested haul roads and operations in confined staging and dump areas. Select an ADT with a tight turning radius, which can help decrease the time it takes for operators to position the trucks for loading and unloading.
Choose tires carefully.
“Tires are always a concern in quarries and mines because of the risk of sidewall damage and lower tread life due to operation on hard packed surfaces,” said Bereika, “so choose tires carefully to minimize costs.” The right tires contribute significantly to an ADT’s tractive force, which is determined by the tread design, remaining tread life and tire inflation, along with the ground conditions at the site.
Extend ADT life with dealer support.
Finally, make sure you understand all of your ownership costs and the expected lifetime of ADT components, as they may be different from equipment you currently own. Since ADTs are used off-road and are subject to severe duty, component lifetimes may be different than typical mining equipment. This is why educated and dependable product support is critical. Before purchasing an ADT, choose a dealer that has product specialization and trained mechanics, offers great response times and has good parts stock.