First publishedin Aggregates Business Europe
Layout, production and products all have an influence on the hauling choice for many quarries. ABE takes a look at the options
In an ideal world, a quarry would be laid out, planned and equipment fleets purchased to minimise hauling, maximise productivity and to keep the costs as low as possible.
However, many quarries in Europe have been open for more than a century, leaving operators with a less than ideal legacy but it is still possible to improve hauling productivity.
Some believe that rigid dump trucks (RDTs) offer the lowest cost per tonne for hauling and that haul roads and layout should be improved to suit them with the returns outweighing the investment. Other believe that articulated dump trucks (ADTs) offer true versatility to cope with steep hauls and poor ground conditions and others prefer the 'driverless' option of conveyors.
Developments in all three options have improved their application in the quarry in recent years but does one size really fit all? When it comes to hard rock quarries, Caterpillar
quarry industry sales representative Phil Walker believes that RDTs are the best option. "When you add up all of the costs, RDTs do deliver the lowest cost per tonne," he explained. "The size of machine is a site specific choice, but the higher productivity, lower operating costs and durability of an RDT compared to an articulated truck outweigh any disadvantages." According to Walker, RDTs also offer significant safety advantages in the form of a canopy over the operator's cab and greater stability while moving around the quarry.
But when it comes to sand and gravel quarries, where the hauled loads are generally lighter than blasted rock, then ADTs are very well suited to the task.
The other trend that is helping to drive more quarries towards considering ADTs is the larger models now on offer. According to Terex global products manager articulated trucks George McNeil, the trend towards ADTs has emerged in the last five years. "There has been a general move towards increasing the size of the machines they use and opting for 35 to 40tonne ADTs, in general," he said.
Tracked conveyors add to the benefits of mobile crushing and screening equipment