Tag Archives: LR3

New ML5 lifts MacLean’s elevated work platform to new heights

MacLean is adding to its elevated work platform product suite with the launch of a new mining vehicle: the ML5 Multi-Lift.

The latest in the line of MacLean 5 Series, next-generation mining vehicles is now commercially available for mining customers around the globe as the first unit, a battery electric model, gets ready to ship from the MacLean production facility in Collingwood, Ontario, to its eventual destination and deployment in Australia.

IM heard all about this development at the IMARC show in Sydney in early November 2022, meeting MacLean Engineering’s Dan Stern, Senior Product Manager, and Peter Black, Technical Sales Manager.

The newest addition to the MacLean utility vehicle (UTV) product line was initially designed as a safe and purpose-built alternative to the use of integrated tool carriers (ITs) in underground operations across Australia. This specific application context – mine services installation and repair work from a certified elevated work platform with a 6.5-m working height and a 4.5-t payload – was the foundation of the ML5’s engineered design for safety, productivity and versatility. And these design principles deliver a value proposition that is relevant to underground mines around the globe and particularly in Australia.

The ML5’s safety and versatility dividends are embedded in the unit’s OEM design from the ground up. The slew boom range of motion delivers best-in-class coverage, along with in-basket operator controls and remote drive. The boom’s hydraulic and mechanical linkages are also doubled-up for contingency, to increase operator safety, MacLean explained. And a quick hitch design allows for easy switch-out between multiple baskets, as well as the use of forks or a jib boom for material handling and general underground construction.

“MacLean product design has always been about safety and productivity, and this new ML5 Multi-Lift continues in that tradition of solving a specific problem underground in a way that engineers in the protection of the worker in the real, underground environment, while also enhancing productivity on the specific application,” Bryson Lehman, Product Marketing Manager, Elevated Work Platforms, said. “Safety is our veins – Innovation in our DNA isn’t just a slogan, it’s the how and the why of MacLean product development.”

Maarten van Koppen, MacLean Vice President of Product Management, added: “We’re also excited to launch this new product because of how it complements our Elevated Work Platform product suite – the SL2 and SL3 Scissor Lifts, and the LR3 Boom Lift for high reach and heavy load mine services applications,. We are now able to offer a range of mine services installation and repair solutions to mines around the world, depending on their haulage ramp and drift sizes, the size and weight of the infrastructure being installed or repaired, and the working height. This is MacLean Application Intelligence in a nutshell – engineered solutions for the actual job underground.”

Jari Tuorila, General Manager, Australasia, for MacLean, said: “We can’t wait to see this first unit arrive in Australia in Q2. This continues the MacLean tradition of designing mobile equipment solutions for one particular part of the underground mining world, which are then taken around the globe to solve similar problems at different operations – each mine site is unique, but safety and productivity requirements are universal.”

MacLean sees big future for LR3 utility vehicle in Australia

A fifth LR3 Boom Lift unit is soon to be delivered into Freemantle port in Western Australia, and MacLean Engineering is banking on there being plenty more of its heavy load/high reach utility vehicles reaching Australia’s underground mines soon.

The LR3 has been manufactured by MacLean to solve a number of elevated work platform needs at high-back mines across the world.

In addition to the heavy load/high reach features – which sees the LR3 able to provide lifting capacity of up to 10,000 pounds (4.5 tonnes) from the ground up to 8 m – the utility vehicle has articulated steering for tight cornering, a radio remote drive system and is equipped with a Mercedes 906 engine with 150 kW rated output. It also has +\-15 degree boom swing and +/- 30 degree deck swing ranges, providing flexibility in tunnel headings of 5 m or more.

The machines are also equipped with an auxiliary hydrostatic drive system that, when working in parallel with the regular drive system, allows the unit to advance or retreat while the basket is in the air, increasing productivity.

George Fisher, part of the Mount Isa Mines complex, received one of the units back in February and has been using it to access heavy-weight ventilation fans at height underground at the mine. Such a task previously carried extra risk, according to Stephen Thomas, Account Manager for MacLean in eastern Australia.

“[Australian underground operators] were using an IT (integrated tool) unit to put the D Shackle or daisy chain on, and were standing on the handrail as they needed the extra height,” he told IM. Another option was to fill an LHD bucket with sand, ask a worker to climb in and get the LHD operator to lift them up to access these fans.

Neither sounds safe, but John Botelho, Product Manager for Utility Vehicles at MacLean, said these practices were accepted because no other option existed.

That is, until recently.

The LR3 is fully compliant with the new elevated work platform standards across Australia and is certified to lift and access the weighty ventilation fans that previously caused problems for underground operators.

The vehicle is built for more than this, with the LR3 able to carry out water pipe installation, drilling, and electrical services underground thanks to the ability to interchange cassettes with other MacLean vehicles. This means existing customers can get the most out of the unit’s heavy load/high reach capabilities by detaching cassettes from, say, a scissor truck and reattaching it to the LR3.

“It’s a multi-purpose unit with the main target being the twin fan installation and that reach just provides us with all sorts of other flexibility to do so all sorts of smaller jobs,” Botelho told IM.

Even though it is early days for the LR3 – MacLean only announced the launch of the LR3 in February last year – it has already had an interesting start to life.

The first unit ever manufactured is working at Glencore’s Bracemac zinc-copper-silver operation in northern Quebec (pictured in operation), the second is with contractor Barminco – and is now operating at AngloGold Ashanti’s Sunrise Dam operation – while the third and fourth are operating in northern Manitoba and southern Mongolia (Oyu Tolgoi), respectively.

A fifth is due to be delivered to Freemantle port next month and Thomas is confident of soon confirming a buyer.

Such is the company’s confidence in the product and the market demand for it – especially from Australia’s underground mining sector – that MacLean is building the units ahead of orders.

“The units are being built to an Australia specification and shipped to accommodate shipping times over that distance,” Botelho said, explaining the units spend a month on the water being transported from Canada to Australia.

Some of North America’s larger heading underground mines, plus some operations in Europe, are also registering an interest in the LR3, the company said.