Shifting preferences for tippers and dump trucks
In the mining tippers segment, mostly applied to remove overburden and extracting ores and materials in stone quarries and iron ore and coal mines, demand has shifted from the 4×2 configuration to the 6×4 category and, in some cases, to 8×4 configurations, says Rajesh Kaul, Vice-President and Product Line Head – MHCV, Tata Motors. “For surface movement applications, the shift is to 8×4, 8×2, 10×2 and tip trailers (up to 55 tonne GCW). Customers engaged in construction and surface transport are looking at higher capacity tippers.”
Recently, Tata Motors launched all new high-performance, fuel-efficient 6×4 tippers with Prima and Signa cabins for surface movement.
Nowadays, buyers prefer mining tippers with 30-40 tonne payload capacity and dump trucks of 50 tonne, 60 tonne and 100 tonne capacity, says Ravindran.
“We select dump trucks on the basis of the quantum of material to be handled per month and the total material to be handled during the contract/project period,” says Suman Nair, Vice-President - Plant & Equipments, BGR Mining & Infra. That said, Nair points out that “private players engaged in subcontracts find it more cost-efficient to use 50-tonne dump trucks. Mining majors such as Coal India can use 100-tonne plus trucks.”
Large-scale operations warrant high-capacity dumpers. “At Reliance Sasan Coal Mines, India’s largest pit coal mine, we need 240-tonne dumpers to meet our annual target,” says Sanjay Kumar, General Manager, HEMM, Reliance Sasan Coal Mines. “There is a limit to how many dumpers you can operate in a mine without causing congestion and compromising safety. For the sake of safe mine operations, we opt for high-capacity machines.”
“Based on the type of material to be handled, we check that the gross weight of the dump truck falls within the permissible capacity,” adds Nair. “In choosing a bucket for the excavator, we prefer that five to six passes of the bucket should fill the dump truck. For loose material like coal, gravel, etc, we prefer box-type body tippers. For other materials like moderately blasted materials, semi-blasted rock, boulders, etc, we prefer a scoop-type body.”
“In tippers, we look for the highest possible mileage. Every other feature is secondary,” says Kumar.