Gravico lightweight bodies for Namibian mine

Gravico has delivered the first of 12 lightweight bodies for Komatsu 785-5 mining trucks to a mining contractor in Namibia.

Vereeniging, South Africa based engineering company Gravico has delivered the first of 12 lightweight bodies for Komatsu 785-5 mining trucks to a mining contractor working at a mine in Namibia.

According to Gravico managing director Louw Kriel, the purpose-designed body is part of an R18-million contract with the mining contractor. “Our customers are moving away from heavy-duty OEM truck bodies towards lightweight, payload-focused bodies,” says Kriel. “The Gravico 70m³ body for this application therefore comes with a weight reduction of 35% and a payload increase of 13%, making it a more productive option for hauling on mining operations.”

Kriel says OEM bodies were designed for multiple applications and material densities, and so vehicles therefore would sometimes not reach their payload targets. “Our philosophy is that truck bodies need to be specific to the purpose and operation, so our designs are differentiated from OEM truck bodies to address our customer’s specific production needs, while maintaining or improving upon the bodies’ structural integrity, reliability and durability,” he says.

Gravico is a joint venture between the Southwest Group of the Netherlands, and the South Africa-based DCD Group – one of the country’s most established specialist manufacturers. The venture focuses on the design and production of aftermarket products for surface mining equipment. “We emphasise the reduction of owning-and-operating costs by investing heavily in research on materials, conditions and customer feedback on our applications – and integrating the results in our truck body designs,” says Kriel.

“We follow a systems approach in our design – creating value for our customers through defining a balance between payload and service life,” he adds. “This led to a body design that resists impact and wear while remaining as light as possible, based on a continuous box frame structure that we have patented.”

Equipment Africa says: The design element of lightweight bodies is vital for the success of mining fleet operators. Notably Gravico’s lightweight body concept has been developed from conceptual test models and makes extensive use of computer simulation software – to refine and optimise the products’ geometry, mass and structural integrity.

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