JOHANNESBURG (miningweekly.com) – Rock drilling equipment manufacturer Mincon, in association with truck manufacturer Western Star Trucks, on Friday handed over a 35 t custom-built 4900 series Western Star truck to Booysen Bore Drilling Company.
The truck would be taken to Booysen Bore Drilling’s offices in Kuruman, in the Northern Cape, whereafter it would be transported to JSE-listed Kumba Iron Ore’s Sishen mine.
Booysen Bore Drilling owner Hennie Booysen told Mining Weekly Online that the machine would be used for drilling holes for mine dewatering.
The truck is equipped with a Schramm T685 drill rig, mounted on a six by eight chassis, and has been specified with three of the four axles on the truck being driven axles to provide traction for operating in difficult terrain.
The unit boasts an Allison RDS4500 six-speed automatic transmission, which made the 35 t mass of the vehicle easy to handle for an inexperienced driver even when running on steep inclines.
As an added safety measure the transmission has an integral hydraulic retarder, which doubles the margin of safety offered by the already powerful Jacobs Engine brake fitted to the Detroit Diesel Series 60 engine fitted to the truck.
This approach of having a dual auxiliary braking system has been adopted to ensure safety when the rig is descending steep inclines into opencast mine pits.
Offering a pullback force of around 40 metric tons, the T685 is capable of handling a string of drill pipes up to more than 1 km deep.
Heavy-duty factory-installed components and accessories are available to meet a wide range of arctic, desert and tropical conditions.
Western Star Trucks is a brand of Daimler Trucks North America, and imported by Mercedes-Benz South Africa.