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Digger Man

Digger Man Blog

by Nick Drew  |  Sat 23 Mar 2013

Our man down under gets up close and personal with big mining kit

Regular readers of my blog at its previous host, will recall the adventures of Englishman Michael Bullock, who is currently living the dream on a working holiday in Western Australia. Michael has once again sent in some great shots of big equipment being delivered to the Rio Tinto iron ore mining site.

Our man down under gets up close and personal with big mining kit
Whilst Michael was working on the new tailings dam project at Rio Tintoís Marandoo site, the site teams welfare cabins and offices, were set out adjacent to a large lay down area and truck park close to the gatehouse. In this area, large transporterís carrying heavy equipment, used to park up on route to the mines, awaiting clearance to proceed. Rio Tinto has recently launched a massive iron ore expansion phase at all its operations across the Pilbara region, and to cope with this expansion vast amounts of heavy mining kit is being purchased and delivered to the mines. Michael has been lucky enough to see some of this new kit being delivered, like this new Cat 793F rigid dumptruck with Michael stood by the wheel for scale! Michael said they donít hang about in getting these machines ready for work, once everything is assembled and safety checks have been carried out, they are put straight into service on the jobsite. Here we see one of the 793Fís in action discharging its 250 ton payload. These large trucks are powered by a Cat C175-16 engine, which has a rated power output of 2,650hp. They can attain a top speed fully loaded of 37.3 mph which is impressive to say the least. During his lunch breaks, Michael was able to wander around the truck park and take some great photos of the arriving kit. During a chat with the ďtruckiesĒ and some Rio Tinto staff, Michael discovered that there are 28 x Cat 793F trucks on order, 4 x Komatsu PC4000ís (two of which will be in face shovel configuration) and around 8 x Cat D11T dozers (maybe even more, with site rumours suggesting that 15 of them could be a more realistic total!). Here is one of the D11Tís parked up in the holding area. With the components of the big Komatsu PC4000ís coming in on the trucks before assembly, it was another great chance to get some before and after shots. In this one, we see Michael stood by one of the track assemblies .† And here we see one of the PC4000ís upper structures on a massive low loader trailer, Michael described the area up there as deserted, and with very wide roads already in place it means the trucks can bring the kit up in pretty big lumps! And here we have the finished item, as one of Michaels work mates poses by one of the earlier arrivals on site. An impressive piece of kit, the Komatsu PC4000 is powered by Komatsuís own 16 cylinder SDA16V160 turbocharged and aftercooled engine. It has a rated power output of 1875 hp, and has a bucket capacity of 29 cubic yards. In this great shot we see three of the assembled Komatsu PC4000ís, with one in backhoe configuration, flanked by two in face shovel mode. Also of note, and probably spotted by sharp eyed readers in the background, are two more machines, a Liebherr R994 and a Hitachi EX2500. Lastly in this batch, another couple of Cat D11Tís arrive on site fully assembled and ready to go. Michael said that during his time up there he personally witnessed the delivery of 8 x Cat 793F trucks, 3 Komatsu PC4000 excavators and 4 Cat D11T dozers. We thank Michael for his latest batch of photos and look forward to more in the coming months  

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