This May, Caterpillar produced its 5,000th 793 large mining truck, a milestone Caterpillar data shows is unequaled by any other 250-ton (227-tonne) truck. This truck, which represents the fifth generation of the 793, is already on its way to a customer in Australia, where the world’s largest population of 793s works to produce iron ore, copper, coal, gold and other minerals.
The 793 entered production in 1991, at a time when other manufacturers dominated the market, according to Sudanshu Singh, Caterpillar global product manager for large mining trucks. Today, it is the most popular Cat® mining truck model, credited with helping customers achieve higher production and lower costs while also helping them reduce safety incidents.
“The success of the 793 supports our belief that it is the most productive and cost-effective mining truck in a wide range of applications,” said Singh. “The 793's success is a direct result of collaboration with customers, Cat dealers and cross-functional teams within the Caterpillar organization — who have worked to optimize the performance of Cat trucks in a wide range of applications.”
Jean Savage, Caterpillar vice president for Surface Mining and Technology, agrees. “The 793 is the core of Cat mining vehicles,” she said. “It has been an integral part of making Caterpillar the leading supplier of surface mining equipment.”
There are thousands of 793s working all over the world, many of which achieve 100,000 service hours or more. A 793 built in 1992 is still working today and has achieved over 173,000 service hours. The truck’s owners say they have a goal of 300,000 hours before the machine is retired. Singh said the very first 793 ever produced is still in service more than 27 years later.
The 793 has earned its reputation as an efficient, reliable machine that is safe to operate and easy to maintain, Singh said, attributing its success not just to its design, but to the employees who manufacture them at the Caterpillar plant in Decatur, Illinois, USA.
“It’s not just about engineering,” he said. “It takes massive teamwork and collaboration to achieve something like this.”
Singh and Savage met directly with Decatur employees at the plant during an event commemorating this production milestone. They congratulated the plant’s employees on their success before touring the production facility and seeing a 793 currently being built on the factory floor.
“Producing 5,000 of these trucks is an amazing accomplishment; it’s like putting a man on the moon for us,” Singh said. “It says a lot about the people who work here.”
In addition to its proven success as a manned vehicle, the 793 is the flagship truck for Cat Command for hauling. Part of the Cat MineStar™ suite of technology offerings, Cat Command for hauling automates the entire hauling cycle, removing the need for an onboard operator and making mine sites safer and more productive than ever before. The latest model of the truck, the 793F, is manufactured to be autonomy-ready.
The results are impressive. “BHP currently has an autonomous haulage fleet that has reduced their safety incidents by 80 percent,” said Savage. “And it has increased their mine’s productivity by 20 percent.”
More than 120 autonomous 793 trucks are currently in operation. Most are working in Western Australia, but autonomous haulage fleets are gaining popularity in North and South America, as well. To date, autonomous Cat trucks have safely hauled more than 800 million tons of ore since the first such truck entered service about five ago.