• Body upgrade for haul trucks

    April 16th, 2020 | by
    Austin Ultima body read more

    A program is underway to further optimise and maximise haul fleet payloads at one of Western Australia’s major gold mines. New Ultima truck bodies by Austin EngineeringTM are being trialled on a number of the mine’s 240 tonne haulers with the potential for a fleet-wide body upgrade to continue the program that started in 2014 when Austin fitted their JECTM bodies and increased payload by more than 20 tonne per load.

    New UltimaTM Haul truck body by Austin EngineeringTM

    The new Ultima body will take the payload up to 240 tonnes per load and further maximise the haul fleet’s availability and productivity.

    The JECTM bodies were fitted to the haul fleet after the mine identified a series of production-oriented challenges – including weight of the OEM bodies, the high cost of maintaining the bodies (and subsequent non-availability of the haul truck) and non-achievement of target payloads – impacting on performance and productivity of the load-haul fleet.

    Initially 11 bodies were ordered and ultimately the mine’s load-haul fleet was retro-fitted.

    The customised bodies lifted payload capacity to 230 tonne per load – an increase of around 20 tonne per load over the OEM bodies – a direct result of the weight differential between the OEM tray and the JECTM body. Along with increased payload the body change-out improved haul fleet availability and performance as a result of less frequent unscheduled body repairs – an outcome of the replaceable floor in the JECTM body which eliminated the need for heavy, maintenance-intensive wear liner plates

    Now, with the trial progressing, the long-serving JECTM units are due to be replaced by the unique Ultima bodies which, due to further advances in the payload capacity versus body weight equation, will lift payload to 240 tonne per load and still meet all OEM dump truck specifications.

    Advanced steel and design maximising Haul Fleet PAYload, improved efficiency and reducing costs

    The Ultima haul truck body has the potential to be a significant game-changer in haul fleet operation due to the advanced steel and design technologies.

    The lighter-weight modular design, features improved structural integrity for superior impact and wear resistance, extended fatigue life and lower maintenance costs – all targeted to maximised payload, improved cycle efficiency and significantly reduce total cost of ownership.

    A unique ‘V’ profile floor, designed to actively channel the load to the centre of the tray, improves machine stability and safety. The floor design also reduces dump cycle times (empty is achieved at 3/4 tipping).

    Although the new tray is lighter and stronger than current OEM bodies – which translates to a 10-15% weight saving without sacrificing payload – the design reduces overall tray wear significantly increasing availability and improves productivity of the mine’s load-haul cycle. The miner’s expectation of the Ultima body is for 240 tonnes per load and, according to the manufacturer, when matched with the appropriate loading tool – such as the 32m3 bucket on the mine’s shovel excavator – this load figure will be consistently and efficiently achieved. Just as it did for the JECTM units, Austin will maintain a condition monitoring program for the new bodies and advise the mine on any maintenance issues.

    The miner is also using Austin truck bodies in their other operations around the world. Specialised hauler bodies have been customised to add significant value and reduce operational costs in underground mining operations.

  • Getting payload matching right

    March 26th, 2020 | by
    Getting payload matching right read more

    Why payload matching and what’s involved in matching an excavator to a truck?

    At Austin EngineeringTM, we know that the key points are efficiency, productivity and profit and understanding factors such as site conditions, load and haul equipment and production targets.

    Anecdotal research has revealed that payload matching around achieving lowest cost per tonne is not well understood within the mining industry. Irrespective of the loading tool (excavator, shovel or wheel loader), the accepted goal is to get the payload consistent over time to maximise productivity and production.

    Buying the right equipment package – loading tool and dump bodies – is vital and history has shown that the bigger the capex up front, the better the return on that investment, particularly around reliability and availability. The loading tool comes first, followed by the dump trucks. And, ironically, depending on the equipment package, that could be the start of issues of reduced load and haul productivity.

    So what makes this combination so efficient and consistent?

    Every excavator and truck manufacturer will provide researched and validated tables and graphs that show the best truck and excavator combination, of their brand, to maximise payloads. The problem arises when customers don’t buy the same brand of trucks as the excavator, or vice versa.

    For reasons of price, contracts, preference and proven performance history many mining customers will purchase an excavator from OEM ‘A’ and trucks from OEM ‘B’. And because the bodies on the trucks are not matched – as set by the manufacturer – to the loading tool, the concept of payload matching enters a grey area, productivity drops and costs around load and haul increase markedly.

    This mismatching becomes apparent on site as truck OEMs look at variations in the 10/10/20 rule to maximise payloads and the direct effect the specific gravity (SG) of the product has on loads. And although unique, these two elements have a close correlation when loads and capacities are being decided.

    The 10/10/20 rule has long been recognised as a reliable reference for truck payloads and recognises that variations occur in SG, fill factors and loading equipment however, in an attempt to optimise payload capacity truck OEMs are negotiating flexibility around the rule depending on reliable SG readings. Today, SG readings are coming from the digital technology available in the latest loading tools; technology that measures payload per pass and lets loading tool operators see if the SG is changing. A much safer system than waiting till the load is on the truck.

    Austin EngineeringTM has a vested interest in any discussions around payload matching. The company designs and manufactures custom-designed excavator buckets and truck bodies for the mining industry but as an independent OEM, they can be objective about their recommendations around payload optimisation. Austin conforms to all OEM specifications, globally.

    The company has invested heavily in advanced software to match loading tools to truck bodies and devotes a lot of time and effort to the science of payload matching and, by extension, maximising productivity and profit for the end user.


    Contact us at Austin Engineering. 

    P: +61 7 3723 8600
    E: enquiry@austineng.com.au

  • Mammoth Mining Partnership for Africa

    February 9th, 2020 | by
    AE ETT Signing read more
    RICHARDS BAY, South Africa – 31 January 2020

    Mining industry equipment supply companies Austin EngineeringTM, suppliers of customised equipment to large global mining clients, mining contractors and original equipment manufacturers, and ETT, manufacturers of open-pit mine support equipment and specialised mobile industrial equipment, signed the beginning of momentous partnership agreement which see them jointly marketing, selling and supporting their products through one company across Africa.

    The joining of the two southern hemisphere industry mining equipment powerhouses follows months of discussion and planning to ensure that customers serviced by both companies remain the focus and that product quality and after sales service support are stronger than ever.

    Austin EngineeringTM, an Australian Stock Exchange listed company with headquarters in Brisbane, has more than 50 years’ global experience in engineering and manufacturing equipment for the mining industry with operations in Australia, Asia, North and South America, and now South Africa. In a cutting-edge environment where “design matters®”, Austin’s customised dump truck bodies, buckets, water tanks, tyre handlers and other ancillary products provide compelling productivity gains for its clients in the mining industry.

    The importance of this partnership for Africa is that Austin now have a solid and reliable platform through which customers can be offered a world-class product supported by world-class service.”
    – Austin EngineeringTM Managing Director, Peter Forsyth

    Austin do not currently have a presence in Africa. ETT, a privately owned South African company based in Richards Bay, with product already distributed in more than 20 countries around the world, celebrates 25 years of engineering excellence this year.

    With the customer’s uptime and seamless operational equipment solutions top of mind, ETT’s specialised support equipment for the mining industry improves productivity and safety. ETT’s range of equipment, including Water Trucks, Diesel Lube Trucks, Recovery Gooseneck and their infamous Lowbed Off-Road Trailers, are designed and manufactured to suit global OEM specifications and can also be customised to suit certain applications

    ETT’s manufacturing and innovative record as well as our strong presence and product supply into Africa is one of the key reasons why this partnership was formed. We are confident that the industry is ready for a partnership like this that will provide the widest range of mining attachments and support products in the world.”
    – ETT Managing Director, Andre McDuling

    The official launch of the partnership will be announced in due course, but plans are well underway to finalising further legal requirements.

    Both companies are present at this week’s Mining Indaba in Cape Town or can be contacted through their respective websites.

    To find out more about Austin EngineeringTM, visit https://www.austineng.com

    To find out more about ETT, visit https://ett.com

  • Austin wins in Sweden

    November 27th, 2019 | by
    Austin wins in Sweden read more
    Austin EngineeringTM has placed second overall and also awarded the Peoples’ Choice Award at the prestigious 2019 Swedish Steel Awards for its unique two-piece excavator bucket.

    First awarded in 1999, the Swedish Steel Prize is an international award for companies, institutions and individuals in the steel industry. For 20 years it has been recognising and rewarding those that have developed a method or product that fully utilises the potential of high-strength, wear resistant and other premium steels. The 2019 competition attracted 64 entries from 23 countries around the globe.

    An independent professional jury assesses the entries by considering their applicability, profitability, environmental benefits, performance, innovation and creativity.

    Two-piece excavator bucket model
    Austin EngineeringTM has taken a significant leap in innovation for the design and maintenance of excavator buckets. With a modular approach, they have developed an innovative concept that combines low weight with optimal use of the complete product before scrapping. The solution utilises the characteristics of high strength and wear resistant steel and has extremely low barriers for implementation.
    – According to the jury

    The two-piece bucket was developed and manufactured in Australia by Austin EngineeringTM from a concept design by Supply Chain Manager Johnny Greer, following a request from a customer for a safer, linerless bucket.

    Austin at Swedish Steel Awards

    The new bucket features a reusable upper section and a consumable lower segment designed for quick and safe bucket change-outs during scheduled maintenance intervals. The reusable upper section has been designed to maintain overall structural integrity of the assembly for a predetermined service life through multiple change-outs of the lower, consumable, section. 

    Baseline service life for the upper section service is anticipated to be in the vicinity of 30,000 hours; approximately 4-5 years based on industry expectations of conventional one-piece buckets of similar size and capacities.  This could reduce total cost of ownership of the bucket by 25-30 percent.

    The two-piece bucket is a game changer,” said managing director Peter Forsyth “and shows the mining industry around the world that we, as a company, have the skills and technology to design, develop and produce world class equipment.

    Austin wins 2019 Swedish Steel Awards

    Austin EngineeringTM was up against some exceptional technology in this year’s competition from world leader steel fabricators including Kampang from Brazil for its feeder modules for axial grain harvesters used in soybean farming, metal solar roofs that produce electricity by Roofit Solar from Estonia, and the Shape Corporation from the US for its robust manufacturing process for 3D shaped tubes.


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