Built for the Long Haul

Haulmax 3900 Trucks Are A Cost-Efficient Choice for Longer Hauls

 

As coal mine operations expand, haul distances to coal wash facilities can lengthen from two or three kilometers to upwards of 10 km. That’s when Mayfield Equipment PTY LTD, of Singleton, NSW, Australia, likes to specify Haulmax 3900 trucks, with their proven ability to operate off-road in soft underfoot and nearly all weather conditions.

The 3900 trucks have provided a significant competitive advantage to Mayfield according to Paul King, general manager. “These trucks have given us an edge against our competitors regarding what we can offer the client on fixed costs per ton, particularly when hauling lightweight material such as coal, or top soil when we're performing mine site rehabilitation.”

“Their rigid, eight-meter long by 4.9 meter bodies enable them to be loaded in two passes right at the coal face using a large-mouth loader bucket, without any rehandling. Large wheel loaders with wide, seven meter, 40 ton coal buckets load into these trucks easily. They can centralize load placement in the bed.”

“Their low running cost per hour gives us that edge when bidding a job, particularly over longer distances like five kilometers or beyond. Plus, we’re able to achieve higher utilization due to the trucks’ ability to operate uninterrupted in all weather conditions, especially in areas where there's a lot of rain, and without concerns about tires overheating.”

Mayfield primarily performs mining contracting work but also engages in contract civil work, top soil removal, dam building, plus any other major earthmoving required on mine sites. In addition, they do blast hole drilling, contract coal haulage, load and haul mine site rehabilitation as part of their mining services; plus some design and consulting work. 

The company operates primarily in Hunter Valley, NSW, and have previously worked in the Gunnedah and Mudgee Regions. Their work force is just under 100 employees including supervisors, operators and maintenance people. Their fleet consists of blast hole drills, large excavators up to 230 t, Cat® dump trucks, dozers, graders, and of course the fleet of the Haulmax trucks. 

“In our work area,” said King, “95 percent of our clients are coal mines. In the Hunter Valley, 80 percent of the product is thermal coal for export from the Port of Newcastle. Last year they exported 171 million tons, making it one of the largest ports in the world.”

 

Mayfield Equipment in Australia relies on a fleet of Haulmax 3900 trucks to deliver cost efficiency for longer hauls on mine sites. These trucks are built with a proven Cat® power train as well as other components.

3900s solid performers 

“Currently we have six 3900 Haulmax trucks in our fleet,” said King, “and we’re bidding on two other jobs at the moment and looking to expand the fleet. We’ve had the six trucks for a bit over three years now and the fleet is over 100,000 hours with each truck having logged about 17,000 hours.”

The 3900’s proven power train is designed and built by Caterpillar and includes the powerful, reliable C27 engine, Cat power shift transmission, Cat oil-cooled brakes and Automatic Retarder Control. Haulmax is part of the Elphinstone Group and is an established Caterpillar OEM.                                                                                                               

With its 10 tires compared to a standard dump truck’s six, plus its two rear axles, the 3900 has eight wheels driving the truck. King said, “When it's wet, we're usually able to continue operating. Of course, for safety reasons, we still drive to suit the conditions. We typically drive at about 70 percent of our normal speed when it's wet underfoot. At times you still do need to park up during very heavy rain but compared to other mining trucks available on the market, we're able to operate in most conditions.” 

“Availability so far has been above 90 percent. By operating 21R 35 radial tires, the trucks are getting more than 5,000 hours per unit. That is almost doubling our tire life and halving their cost.” 

Where the trucks really shine

King stated, “We typically do three to four large tenders per year for bulk handing of material be it coal, waste, top soil. When bidding a job I'll look at the haul distances and average cycle times that are required. For anything over about a 4 km, one-way cycle, such as coal mines, I'll consider using the Haulmax truck in my bid.”

“When I calculate the cost per ton of coal or per cubic meter of top soil versus a standard rear dump truck, the Haulmax units really come into their own once you get into those longer haul distances because of their faster cycle times.”

Benefits of working with Westrac, Haulmax and Caterpillar

“Working with companies such as Caterpillar and Westrac bring with it reliability,” said King. “We all know Caterpillar has a good product. It's well accepted in the mining industry as being a reliable product. It helps with the resale value when you've got a Cat machine. The service and backup and product/application knowledge are excellent. Haulmax is also a very professional organization. I've been dealing with them now for almost five years and our relationship is excellent.” 

 

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