A fleet of Bell Equipment ADTs deployed at Afrimat’s Marble Hall Mine in Limpopo, South Africa.
The choice between rigid dump trucks (RDTs) and articulated dump trucks (ADTs) for quarry operations depends on several considerations, but the important thing, which is key to growing the operation’s bottom line, is to pick the right solution, applied in the most productive manner.
For Afrimat, one of the biggest construction materials suppliers in southern Africa, the ADT remains the favoured solution of the two. “In general we favour ADTs for a typical quarry application but we have successfully used RDTs in specific applications such as clinker dump recovery, overburden stripping and rubble reprocessing operations,” says Johan Bisschoff, Afrimat general manager of Engineering.
Johan Bisschoff, Afrimat general manager of Engineering, says in general Afrimat favours ADTs for a typical quarry application.
“There are a number of factors to consider, including fleet standardisation, referring both to haul truck and loading tool (excavator) selection. This simplifies skills, tools and facilities requirements and facilitates fleet flexibility within and across operations. Suitability for conditions in the quarry, quarry haul road conditions and hauling profile also play a part in the selection process,” he adds.
However, he argues that reliable and proven original equipment manufacturer support also plays a crucial role, “and we weigh it on the following basis: talking the talk (10%) and walking the walk (90%)”.
Speaking of the core benefits of the ADT over the RDT, Bisschoff says the ADT offers robustness, sound climbing ability and lower cost per tonne. However, RDTs have better speed and lower capital costs. “Our data and experience shows that – in a typical quarry application – ADTs outperform RDTs by a margin of 10% to 20% on a unit cost basis. RDTs in the 50t category are very prone to tyre damage in the pit and along the haul route which pushes tyre-related downtime beyond acceptable limits,” he adds.
Equipment Africa says: Choosing the right hauling system at quarries is of utmost significance. Getting to know the right solutions for the particular conditions at respective operations maximises productivity and uptime. The differences of the two types of trucks are well known and documented. As an operator, the choice to stay with a certain type of haulers and brand boils down to total ownership costs and the relationship with the provider.