HAULMAX AND CATERPILLAR PROVIDE RELIABLE SUPPORT FOR MAYFIELD

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.

Technology provides greater safety

With these trucks, Mayfield uses Product Link ™ with VisionLink® software that enables monitoring of the trucks from the office. In addition to providing standard data, it also provides alerts to any alarms or instances where the trucks could be damaged through improper operation. It sends an email alert so incorrect operation can be stopped. 

Other technological developments on the trucks are the extra braking capacity and traction control. This provides greater operator confidence when hauling full loads and traveling downhill, especially in wet, slippery conditions. By having the two differentials on the truck, you have eight wheels driving the truck. That provides extra control for the operator. 

Purchase method

The company uses a mixture of finance options when purchasing new equipment including Cat Financial. “Typically when we buy a new machine, we'll either do it on an operating lease or just a fixed lease over a fixed term,” King said. 

King prefers a rent-to-purchase option over a six-month period, followed by purchase after six months, should the job continue. For long-term contracts, the equipment is purchased outright at the start of the contract using Cat Financial or another financial instrument.

“Cat Financial is good to work with,” said King. “We have a local representative that comes and meets with us in our office. The process and the documentation were not complicated and having the representative come to the office made it a lot easier. We’ve also had the opportunity to meet with the Australian Cat finance managers down in Melbourne and they were very approachable.

“The true benefit of using Cat Financial over other bank lenders is that they understand the business and the equipment’s resale value. So if you are asking for a finance product with a residual, they understand there is value in that equipment. The products they offer are flexible. We were able to go over the terms and they suited the contracts we were winning at the time. Be it a two- or three-year contract, they are willing to tailor the finance to suit our needs.” 

Operator feedback

“The operators are very happy with the performance of the trucks. In particular, they like being able to continue working during the wet season and also the ride and comfort traveling over the longer distances. At the end of the shift, even though they may have only carried a dozen loads, it's a long day. But with the 3900s, they still have a bit of energy about them and they're happy with what they've done for the day,” said King. 

These machines are engineered with access to the engine bay in mind.  When you lift the hood, there are sturdy service platforms for the technicians to stand on to access the engine and other components. They're able to drop the oils and refill the tanks from ground level. King’s technicians like the service accessibility. 

 

Training

When Mayfield first purchased the trucks, Caterpillar and Haulmax helped develop training and assessment manuals and provided a trainer who spent time with the head safety and training manager to ensure Mayfield’s team knew all the functions of the truck.

Westrac and the Haulmax factory representative spent about five days with Mayfield’s training manager and he then passed the information on to, and helped assess, all their operators. Westrac and Haulmax also assisted with developing the maintenance training packages and ongoing tips for the maintenance team regarding what to look for on the truck to help ensure high availability. 

Dealer support

“A real benefit to us using the Haulmax product is that our Cat dealer Westrac has a large facility less than one hour from where the majority of our jobs are,” said King. “Nine times out of 10 any part we need it's already in stock in the branch and it's just a matter of getting a courier to bring it out to us.”

“We plan bigger jobs like the engine rebuilds in advance. We've never had an issue in regards to parts availability. Westrac has always had the parts and the machines come back to work on time.”

King said that they have performed all the servicing and maintenance themselves since they purchased the trucks. A factory representative trained their maintenance technicians and also assisted in developing service sheets that detailed all necessary service intervals and what to keep an eye out for regarding any potential issues. 

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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