There is nothing ornamental about the dump truck bodies, designed for the harsh mining environment; it’s a question of functionality, their contribution to productivity on mine sites. This is at least what can be deduced from developments which have unfolded over the past decade in both haul truck research and development.
In terms of functionality, there are a number of elements which are driving the choice of dump truck bodies, mainly high performance, and lower operating costs and low noise levels.
- Low operational costs and high productivity
A case study of high performance is demonstrated in a truck body from VR Steel, one of the prominent manufacturers of dump truck bodies and suppliers to mines in South Africa and beyond. According to VR Steel MD, John van Reenen, the dump trucks bodies in demanding conditions produce high operator loading impact levels and achieve consistent payload results when tested over six-months. This is over and above reduced spills, lower maintenance and longer asset life.
Highlighting the features, he says: “Our truck body has a new ridge back floor, which provides improved load distribution on the chassis. The ridge continues into a long canopy, which better accommodates poorly distributed loads. The load body shell features an integral wear package design, the I-Beam skeletal design improves overall durability, and the ultra-long top rail is designed to withstand heavy impact from factors such as rockfalls during loading.” The VR body can be adapted to any make or model of truck.
Ultimately, the benefit is increase in productivity and reduced operating costs.
2. Noise management
In most mining jurisdictions globally, authorities are vigilant on noise levels, produced by mobile mining equipment. For instance in Australia, where some mines are required to institute a noise-management plan and to calibrate and monitor acoustic sound levels.
Dump truck bodies are one of the sources of noise on mines, Most of the noise produced during loading, which can be a nuisance to the surrounding communities. Manufacturers are addressing this challenge, thankfully.
Recent tests have proved a significant reduction in decibels. This was demonstrated at the Moolarben Coal Complex in Australia in 2012. While a standard truck dump body produced sound levels ranging from 132 dB to 146 dB, a dump body from Duratray truck body noise ranged from 127 dB to 139 dB, reflecting a significant reduction.
The revolution continues
Perusing through press statements of big brands in the game, a familiar pattern is apparent: the revolution continues. the OEMs are in pursuit of dump tracks which increase the mining productivity chain and enable a mine to comply with safety and environment legislation specific to different mining regions.