• Getting payload matching right

    March 26th, 2020 | by
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    Why payload matching and what’s involved in matching an excavator to a truck?

    According to David Pichanick, Global Manager Market Development & Innovation at Brisbane-based Austin Engineering, the answers 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.

    According to David Pichanick, the most efficient mining bucket, excavator and truck combination in Australia at the moment is a Liebherr R9800 three-pass loading Komatsu 930E-5 dump trucks, fitted with Austin ‘Ultima’ bodies.

    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 Engineering 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, argues Pichanick, devotes a lot of time and effort to the science of payload matching and, by extension, maximising productivity and profit for the end user. Which brings the discussion back to the Liebherr R9800 and Komatsu 930E-5 dump trucks – possibly the most efficient excavator and truck combination in Australia at the moment.

    We were asked to provide the truck bodies,” he said. “The customer didn’t want the excavator / truck combination suggested by either supplier but purchased the equipment package they believe will maximise the return – in terms of performance, availability and reliability – over the longer term. Our bodies were custom built to fit the trucks and complement the capabilities of the excavator. The load and haul tonnages they are generating confirm the buying decision.
    – David Pichanick, Global Manager


    David Pichanick, Global Manager Market Development & Innovation, Austin Engineering. From Pichanick’s point of view, this is the true proof of successful payload matching.

    P: +61 7 3723 8600

  • 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
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    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.

  • Austin EngineeringTM wins big at the Swedish Steel Prize 2019

    November 20th, 2019 | by
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    Austin EngineeringTM from Australia has won the People’s Choice Award 2019.

    The People’s Choice Award was judged by the general public, who voted for their favourite amongst all four of this year’s Swedish Steel Prize finalists. Austin EngineeringTM and their revolutionary Two-Piece Mining Excavator Bucket, has emerged victorious, with 2,315 votes – of the total votes of around 4,800. Austin EngineeringTM is recognised with this prestigious honour because they have shown proof of good engineering and innovation through the optimised use of steel.

    The Two-Piece Mining Excavator Bucket represents a significant leap in innovation for the design, maintenance and safety of excavator buckets.“It has a modular design and defined joint configuration between the upper and lower assemblies that allows for quick and efficient change-out during maintenance intervals. This clearly opens up for further bucket design innovations.
    – Swedish Steel Prize Spokesperson


    Is the only international award for ideas and products that have an impact on future steel solutions, and it attracts competitors from across the world. Austin EngineeringTM joins an exclusive club of leaders and innovators in the steel industry.


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