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

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