Reducing lug wear once and for all
Earthworks contractor, Blackwell, supplies all the mining equipment at House of Water, one of the last remaining surface coal mines in the UK. The company wanted to use a Caterpillar 777G off-highway truck because of its efficient hauling capability and travel speed.
After many hours of operation in the abrasive conditions of a granite quarry, the truck had suffered significant wear in its suspension lug mountings and hoist mountings, and required maintenance work.
Because of the design of the Caterpillar 777G, line boring would have required removal and storage of the rear wheels. As each wheel weighs 4 tonnes, it is a manually intensive and risky job.
Furthermore, line boring is a costly, disruptive and time-consuming process that had been an integral part of Blackwell’s business for decades due to the use of regular straight pins. At a modern mine, every minute of lost production costs money, so to keep production going, replacement machines were brought in, which increases complications and expenses. When Expander System approached the company with an alternative, they were happy to try it.
During the installation of the new pins, the heavy rear wheels of Blackwell’s 777G could stay in place, which alone saved several hours.
“With the Expander System, downtime was reduced from days to just a few hours,” says Blackwell Plant Manager, David Lancashire. “While it’s too early to judge the long-term savings, the system has already given us impressive savings in both time and money.”
The Expander System also increases the lifecycle of the joint up to 50,000 hours. After a positive start with the system, Blackwell recently used it on a wheeled loader and are looking to increase its use as a repair option on their extensive fleet.
Customer: BLACKWELL, PART OF HARGREAVES SERVICES PLC
Solution: EXPANDER SYSTEM
Business: EARTHWORKS CONTRACTORS
Project: HOUSE OF WATER COAL MINE, SCOTLAND
Challenge: REDUCING DOWNTIME DURING MAINTENANCE
Application: TRUCK SUSPENSION LEG MOUNTINGS AND HOIST MOUNTINGS
Time saved: DOWNTIME REDUCED FROM DAYS TO A FEW HOURS