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Drake Trailers completes major mods for Moolarben Coal

When Moolarben Coal Operations were looking for the most efficient way to move plant and equipment around their 110 square kilometre mine site in the Western Coalfields of NSW, they examined all the options and came up with the ideal solution. They would use one of their CAT 777 Dump Trucks to tow a custom-engineered, heavy haulage trailer.

The only problem was getting both the heavy haulage trailer built and the CAT 777 modified. As the country’s leading custom-built trailer experts, Drake Trailers was the obvious choice to perform the tasks.

Investing in a long-term energy asset

The Moolarben Coal Complex comprises of:

  • four approved open cut mining areas (OC1 to OC4)
  • three approved underground mining areas (UG1, UG2 and UG4)
  • mining-related infrastructure (including coal processing and transport facilities)

Operated by Moolarben Coal Operations Pty Ltd (MCO), the project is a joint venture between Moolarben Coal Mines Pty Ltd (owned by Yancoal Australia), Sojitz Moolarben Resources Pty Ltd and a consortium of Korean power companies.

Current coal resources for both the open-cut and underground operations are estimated to total some 1.2 billion tonnes.

A core component of the Moolarben Coal Complex is the Coal Handling and Preparation Plant (CHPP) with a capacity of 13.5 million tonnes. Parent company, Yancoal, is currently planning to increase the capacity of the CHPP to cater for underground coal production, when it comes on-stream.

Maximising value

The mine operators identified efficient transport infrastructure as being key to cost savings on a site as large as the Moolarben Coal Complex. Part of this challenge has been solved by using the established railway loop and train loading facilities that are linked directly to Newcastle’s port. Another measure has been to look at reducing the cost of transporting bulk earthmoving and mining equipment around the site, which is where the Drake Trailers 4X8 Mine Site Transporter will be put to work.

The Drake Trailers Mine Site Transporter has been designed for the harshest environments. Features include:

  • 8 degree bi-fold ramps for loading blast hole drills
  • hydraulic load sharing raise and lower suspension
  • 45,000lbs hydraulic winch c/w radio remote
  • deluge system for servicing, cleaning and dousing
  • LED lighting
  • spotter and guide platform
  • self-draining dump valves in air tanks
  • removable hand railing bolsters
  • access ladders and hand rails on both sides

Using a Minesite Transporter dramatically reduces wear and tear to the undercarriage of equipment, extends the life of your fleet and reduces unscheduled maintenance issues. Using a Mine Site Transporter also reduces fuel consumption across the mining fleet.

The nuts and bolts of the modification

Customising heavy haulage trailers is something Drake Trailers has been doing since 1958. Our focus on strength and robust engineering means that whatever modifications we make, the structural integrity of a Drake Trailer will not be compromised.

In this case, the Drake Trailers team was also required to convert the CAT 777 Dump Truck – widely acknowledged as the benchmark of safe, productive mine site haulage – to become a Prime Mover. This modification represented a first for us, involving retro-fitting a hitch and jack knife stop assembly complete with:

  • hydraulic driven compressor
  • jack knife proximity switches
  • mud guards
  • work platforms

Every Mine Site Transporter that leaves the Drake Trailers manufacturing facility comes complete with on-site training and commissioning, as well as spare parts manuals, schematics, and load/speed charts.

The Drake Trailers team is available to help with product support at any time, providing advice regarding load planning, turning circle radius, swept path analysis and a range of other engineering services.

For more information about how we can modify and customise any of our mine ready heavy haulage trailers to drive productivity for your business, contact us today.

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