Elphinstone launches new E15 hard rock support vehicle

Elphinstone has introduced its new E15 model to the Elphinstone Underground Hard Rock Support Vehicle range. The low-profile E15 it says is a welcome addition to the existing range of E10 (formerly WR810) support vehicles, with both base platforms sharing a high level of interchangeability of parts and components.

The significance of the model number is the letter ‘E’ represents Elphinstone, and the numeral ’15’ indicates the nominal capacity in metric tonnes (depending on the configuration).

The first machines to be released include the E15 Agitator 7m3 (pictured), E15 Delivery (nominal 15 t capacity and 8.8 tm crane), E15 Flat Deck (nominal 16 t capacity), E15 Water Tank (nominal 13,000 L capacity), and E15 Fuel & Lube (diesel, lubricants, grease, coolant, DEF, water & air). Additional models will be released in the future.

Headlining the E15 series is the Agitator 7 m3, built to thrive in harsh underground hard rock mining conditions, providing outstanding ride and handling with excellent manoeuvrability and turning circle, says Elphinstone. At 2.4 m high, the front-mounted operator cabin features three-person seating, climate-controlled air conditioning, ergonomic central driving position with a clear 180-degree view, and dial controller for the retarder, speed and implement controls. Operator comfort and convenience is further enhanced with an air-cooled compartment for lunch box storage, cupholders and smartphone charging ports.

The combination of the A-frame front axle suspension, oscillating hitch and air-suspended seats, deliver a high level of machine comfort to the operator and passengers. The oscillating hitch ensures 4-wheel ground contact and reduced wear on the hitch and steering components. Nitrogen charged hydraulic suspension cylinders and A-frame provide superior front axle ride quality over rough terrain.

Common to both the E15 and E10 range, the engine front frame can accommodate optional Cat C7.1 Tier 3 or Tier 4 Final engine arrangements featuring Caterpillar’s breakthrough ACERT™ Technology to meet exhaust emission reduction standards.

The engine’s efficient fuel delivery combined with air management and electronic control lead to high productivity and exceptional service life. An optional full-flow DPF may be fitted in place of the standard muffler and catalytic converter on Tier 3 models.

All engine and machine isolation functions are conveniently located on one panel accessible from ground level on the left-hand side. All service points such as tanks, filters, lubrication points and compartment drains are conveniently located at ground level for servicing.

The monitoring system and alarm strategy provides a 3-tier warning and shutdown functionality alerting the operator of any abnormalities and automatically limits the machine’s functions. Onboard advanced machine diagnostics provide the operator and maintenance staff valuable information which simplifies machine servicing. All the application modules pin and or bolt to the common rear frame, including the 7 m3 agitator bowl. With 16.00R20 tyres, heavy-duty axles and different weight distribution, the machine has greater carrying capacity.

An optional feature of the E15 are the front and rear hydraulic jacks. The front jacks operate with a ‘park’ function to enable the operator to safely exit the cabin with the engine operating. The rear jacks are used to level or lift the machine for discharge. All jacks can lift the machine off the ground for changing tyres.

Fitted as standard to the rear frame is a high-capacity electromagnetic retarder which provides superior braking performance on grade, and diagnostic capabilities with alarm and fault conditions reported back to the 12-in touch screen operator display.

The integrated Retarder Control System (iRCS) combines both the control and power functions into a single unit. The innovative electronic design significantly reduces the retarder’s energy consumption, preserving electric circuits.

The E15 also features ‘speed control’ whereby the operator can set the maximum speed on grade and the machine uses the retarder and the inertia of the powertrain to maintain the speed. When on flat ground the operator can accelerate over the maximum set speed, but when the accelerator pedal is released, the machine speed will revert back to the original maximum speed setting.

Downtime during service and maintenance is reduced markedly on the E15 due to clever engineering and design features, incorporated with service personnel in mind.

Quick change air filters and 500-hour oil service intervals reduce downtime and keep machines in operation longer for greater productivity. A centralised onboard service centre includes fast fill, evacuation, and fluid sample points for analysis.

The 24 V electrical system features colour-coded wiring circuits with individual circuit breakers. The wiring is sealed to prevent dirt and moisture and enveloped in fire-resistant material. The onboard diagnostic system checks all critical machine functions for faults, with all data recorded for analysis.

Operator safety is a high priority in mining machine operations. Integrated into the E15 and E10 operator station is an ISO 3471:2008 standard ROPS and ISO 3449:2005 standard FOPS that offers protection to the operator.

Other safety features include fuel water separators made of non-flammable material, firewalls and heatshields, machine interlocks, centralised isolation points (engine disconnect switch, starter isolation switch, jump-start receptacle and fire system activation, if fitted), and an optional integrated fire suppression system.

As an authorised Caterpillar OEM, all machine sales, technical assistance and access to spare parts are available and supported through Elphinstone and the global Cat dealer network.