Komatsu Mining Truck Drifting
Mining operations require a different breed of truck. When the max payload is one of the determining factors of whether or not a mine stays open – it breaks down to simple math that the biggest hauler wins.
However, with a bigger hauler like the Komatsu HD150, the computer control units used to run it make it less like a traditional truck and more like running a program.
This comes in handy when conditions get very treacherous.When the clay pan on the way to a mine becomes too slippery to maintain traction, the Komatsu’s integrated control units take over for the driver to ensure its brought to a proper halt.
Most mining trucks built by Komatsu, CAT, Hitachi, Bycyrus and Liebherr come with automated control programs to keep these massive haulers in line. At a certain point, when two or
Most mining trucks built by Komatsu, CAT, Hitachi, Bycyrus and Liebherr come with automated control programs to keep these massive haulers in line. At a certain point, when two or more engines are combined with eight or more brakes – the human pilot is the biggest point of weakness in the system.
In the class of 150+ metric ton off-road mining trucks, it’s the Komatsu HD1500-7 up against the CAT 785C. While Liebherr T 264 is a great producer of off-road mining trucks, their starting haul load is 250 tonnes. Their lightest vehicle can carry a payload equivalent of a Komatsu HD1500-7 with a full payload.
In terms of drive train and maximum horsepower output (2,700 hp), it certainly goes toe-to-toe with all the major producers and for super large scale operations – Liebherr has carved itself out a chunk of the market. In the class of light weight, formidable off-road mining trucks – it truly does come down to two commensurate manufacturers. Komatsu and CAT, while offering their product line to nearly any mining operation in the world, definitely have carved out slices of territory for themselves. Komatsus are build and produced in Japan with smaller manufacturing plants located across the world. Their main operating area, though, is the desolate reaches of the Australian outback and parts of Africa.
Max Power Output: 1,400 hp
Drive System: K-ATOMiCS automated control
Max Speed: 40 mph
Max Power Output: 1,450 hp
Drive System: Cat® 3512B EUI twin turbocharged
Max Speed: 35 mph
Computer Automated Control Systems Save the Day
Because conditions mining situations are very demanding on vehicles, no operation can afford a major mishap. That’s why Komatsu especially designed their North American line with K-ATOMiCS traction control.
This electronically controlled all clutch modulation system serves to correct and steer the gear changes necessary to push traction to its fullest. When dealing with a 232,000 pound truck loaded down with another 250,000 pounds of ore – there is no room for error. Additionally, the ARSC (Automatic Retard Speed Control) is extremely responsive to the driver in terms of independently accelerating each wheel. This comes in extremely handy on really tough uphill or downhill driving in slippery conditions.
The reason why lightweight off-road mining trucks are absolutely essential is because not all mines require the same amount of ore to become profitable. Additionally, the more treacherous the conditions and poorly graded roads demand something with a bit more versatility than the gargantuan behemoths produced by Liebherr and Hitachi. That’s not to say they don’t have a definitive role in mining operations!
Fuel Requirements Play a Huge Role
When mining operation managers first decide which off-road mining trucks they are bringing onto the site – fuel considerations and payload are two of the biggest concerns. Often times, mines happen to be located some distance away from major fuel resupply points. Depending on the mineral and geography of the area, it comes down to which truck can run the longest on the least amount of fuel. For the Komatsu HD1500-7, it consumes roughly 560 gallons of fuel in one tank. At a burn rate estimated between a gallon a minute to a gallon and a half – a full tank should give this truck a run time of around 9 hours. That’s one full shift of driving, hauling, and moving ore. When fuel has to be brought in by rail or by transport truck – that’s the budgeted load for 54 days of operation from one cargo container of rail transported fuel.
Not to mention, with the bigger off-road haulers – unconventional means are required to even get those behemoths onto the work site. In North America, there are tight restrictions on weight and size. So bigger vehicles like the CAT 797F or Liebherr’s T 264 class of off-road mining trucks is a logistic nightmare to get to location. In other countries, however, such restrictions can be overlooked.