Moving more for less
As quarries and mines seek to improve their cost per tonne (t), SANY ’s wide-body dump truck concept – which has already taken root in China and several African markets – allows operations to load more for less. Having introduced the first 60-t model in 2018, the company is launching a new offering, the 70-t SKT105S. By Munesu Shoko.
The productivity of any quarry largely hinges on the efficiency of its load and haul system. Yet, loading and hauling run-of-mine material represents a significant component of the total cost of operation. If properly implemented, however, a load and haul optimisation programme can identify significant opportunities for operational improvement.
To help quarries and mines boost their productivity at a lower cost of operation, SANY Southern Africa first introduced its wide-body dump truck concept in 2018, with the launch of its 60-t model, the SKT90S. Since its debut, the truck has been hard at work in more than 20 countries, including leading mining destinations in southern Africa, such as the DRC, South Africa, Zambia and Zimbabwe.
Following the success of the first model, SANY is launching a larger offering, the SKT105S wide-body dump truck. The new 70-t truck, explains Thabo Lerumo, operation manager of Sany Rental at SANY Southern Africa, is an upgrade of the existing SKT90S.
Built after two years of research and development, the SKT105S comes with a range of feature upgrades. One of the major talking points is the hydro-pneumatic suspensions are applied on both front and rear axles.
With leaf spring, the ride comfort is not as great because of the inter-leaf friction between each leaf. Over time, the springs tend to lose shape and can sag. When the sag is uneven, it can alter the cross weight of the vehicle which can affect the handling slightly. This can also change the axle-to-mount angle.
According to Lerumo, the hydro-pneumatic suspension system improves comfort and productivity. The suspension features sound shock-absorbing and damping capabilities to improve the load application and prolong the lifetime of the frame.
“Comfort, productivity and profitability are among the most important qualities customers request from their machines today,” he says. “The comfort of the suspension system is critical in meeting the vehicle’s daily permissible vibration exposure to the driver. The less vibration the driver feels, the more comfortable the ride is and, therefore, the longer the driver is allowed to work.”
Why wide-body dump truck?
The wide-body dump truck’s value proposition is the ability to move more tonnage at a fraction of the cost of running a comparable articulated dump truck (ADT) or rigid dump truck (RDT).
“To provide context, the SKT105S comes at less capital cost and rental rate than a 40-t ADT. However, the SKT105S wide-body dump truck has a 70-t loading capacity, almost double that of the 40-t ADT, yet its fuel consumption is much lower than that of the ADT. This is a compelling value proposition for mines and quarries seeking to increase their production at lower operating costs,” says Lerumo.
However, Lerumo is quick to point out that the wide-body concept is not necessarily suited for all project conditions. Given that it adopts the same design approach as the traditional RDT, it therefore thrives on well-maintained roads.
From a running cost point of view, the SKT105S is a better cost-effective solution than the larger, conventional dump trucks. For example, the truck uses the same type of tyres (16.00R25) as construction-type tipper trucks, which cost far less than those of a comparable ADT or RDT. The tyres are also readily available from various retailers.
|Loading capacity||70 t|
|Torque||2 300 Nm|
|Transmission||Allison 4800RS_PR (Automatic)|
Availability and support
Another major advantage of going the SANY wide-body dump truck route is that the company always keeps enough stock. This is critical, especially given the current long lead times that customers have to put up with when buying their mission-critical equipment.
“One of the main advantages of keeping high stock levels is that we can ensure that fulfilment times are always met within the timeframe that customers want their machines. This is mostly beneficial for the contract mining fraternity, where customers often need their machines immediately to execute urgent contractual needs,” he says.
The high inventory levels are complemented by recent investments in SANY Southern Africa’s operations to better support dealers across the region. The company commissioned a 40 000 m² machine storage yard in Boksburg, South Africa, in 2020. Lerumo tells Quarrying Africa that the company also keeps a huge stockholding of about R90-million’s worth of parts, which is set to be increased to R270-million in the next year.
In addition, SANY offers a wide range of equipment from one stable, from excavators and wheel loaders to graders and rollers, making the company a one-stop shop for earthmoving and haul road maintenance tasks on site. This allows customers to have a single point of contact for all their load and haul equipment needs.
“The SKT105S is also available for outright purchase or rental. Our rental facility gives customers the opportunity to evaluate the truck before they commit to outright purchasing. In fact, two customers just confirmed the delivery of the first batch of SKT105S trucks,” concludes Lerumo.