Austin makes inroads in India with customised ULTIMA truck tray order

Austin Engineering says it has received purchase orders for four haul truck trays from a major iron ore producer in India, potentially opening up a substantial new market opportunity for its Asia Pacific business.

Austin has not sold truck trays into India before.

The truck trays in this order will be used in iron ore operations to demonstrate the benefits of the Austin design, however there is no commitment at this stage from the customer for further orders, the company said.

The customer’s full order requirement is for up to 165 trays across its various iron ore and coal mines. Iron ore truck trays are expected to have a service life of around four years before they will be required to be replaced.

The orders follow nine months of engineering work with the customer to develop a customised ULTIMA tray designed to be used without a steel wear liner and can, therefore, outperform the OEM unit in this application. The Austin tray is designed to deliver an additional circa 66,000 t/y of ore per truck with less downtime for maintenance to replace wear liners. This equates to a significant lift in overall tonnage delivered across the full operation per year, and additionally leads to a reduction in fuel and tyre usage, thereby reducing carbon emissions per tonne of ore delivered.

Austin’s Mainetrack condition monitoring software will be used to monitor the performance of all Austin trays deployed at the sites allowing wear rates to be accurately evaluated, the company said. Austin added the digital wear monitoring system to its service offering through its acquisition of Mainetec in 2022. Initially used on Mainetec’s excavator and dipper buckets, Austin has now configured it for deployment on its truck tray range.

The four trays are being manufactured in Austin’s facility in Batam, Indonesia, and are expected to be ready for delivery in the next six weeks. Austin has established a small team on the ground in India to oversee the delivery and assist with the use of the Mainetrack digital monitoring system.

The order for the four trays is expected to be completed by the end of July and will be settled ex-works Batam. The customer will organise transport from Batam to India using its own logistics system.

Austin CEO and Managing Director, David Singleton, said: “We are very excited to have this entry point into India as we continue to broaden our customer network across the Asia Pacific region. India is the world’s third largest iron ore producer, and we are pleased to have secured an order with one of the country’s major miners. It presents an important opportunity for Austin to market its customised equipment and the potential advantages it could bring the country’s iron ore sector. We also see India as a logical market expansion opportunity given our existing experience in the Australian iron ore sector.

“The Australian Government has vastly improved business access and trade opportunity with India through an elimination, reduction or phase out of tariffs, and we see a long-term future potential for Austin in this market.”