04 Oct 2016

Australian dump truck supplier "Unit Rig" manufactured two of the largest rubber tyred dump trucks ever built in Australia at the time, with bottom dump hoppers manufactured from BISALLOY® steel.

A total of 148 tonnes of quenched and tempered steel from the Bisalloy Steels Wollongong manufacturing plant was supplied for the construction of each of the hoppers.

The "Unit Rig" hoppers, to be used at Queensland's Curragh coal mine, are each capable of hauling a massive 245 tonnes of coal in one load.

The BD-270 units are the first in the world to be delivered with the Lectra Haul MT-3600 as the tractor.

Forward Engineers Pty Ltd, of Western Australia, were integral to ensuring the success of the BD-270 as the company has specialised teams dedicated to servicing the needs of many of the major dump truck manufacturers. This experience meant the highest quality body was  manufactured and delivered on time.

All BISALLOY® steel was supplied and precision cut by Steelmark Eagle & Globe, Perth, which was able to flow deliveries according to the build schedule.

The hoppers were computer-designed by "Unit Rig" and measure 16m long, 6.5m wide and 3m high. The BISALLOY® steel plate was used in thicknesses from 5mm to 25mm. Each hopper weighs just 70 tonnes.

The requirements for the Curragh mine were an 18km cycle with 7 per cent grades and the "Unit Rig" bottom dump offers a top speed of up to 63km/h.  BISALLOY® steel was used to make the trailers lightweight while providing better structural strength. Lower strength steels would have required thicker and heavier plate, thus decreasing the payload, adding to the costs of hauling while empty and increasing maintenance requirements on the mechanical components.

There also is great potential for BISALLOY® steel to be used in the next evolutionary step for dump trucks; two-or-three-trailer road trains capable of hauling loads of up to 560 tonnes along distances of up to 100km.

Such road trains will weigh in at 800 tonnes (loaded) measuring 50m long, 7m wide and 6.25m high. The world's most powerful prime mover, a 240-tonne dump truck cab and chassis with an 1865 K.W. (2500 H.P.) engine will haul the hoppers.

The giant road train is seen as a cost effective way of bringing on stream smaller satellite ore bodies in remote flat terrain mining centres.

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