Tag Archives: Pia Sundberg

Sandvik upgrades Toro TH320, TH330 underground mining trucks

Sandvik has upgraded its Toro TH320 20-t and Toro TH330 (pictured) 30-t trucks to, it says, reduce customers’ costs of ownership and improve productivity.

With a hardy structure, compact size and fit-for-purpose components, the trucks are built to be robust and reliable and tailored to meet productivity targets in challenging underground environments, according to the company.

Both upgraded trucks come with a 235 kW Tier 3 Volvo Penta engine with catalytic purifier and muffler, delivering long engine lifetime in underground mining conditions. The 8 litre engine has a  high-tech injection system that contributes to an efficient combustion and low fuel consumption, Sandvik says. Furthermore, it is calibrated for use in high-altitude conditions without sacrificing performance or reliability.

The heavy-duty and efficient aluminium cooler has “outstanding” corrosion resistance and is easy to clean, helping to reduce total cost of ownership, Sandvik says. To minimise brake and transmission overheating and brake wear as well as to provide better control of downhill speed, the trucks can be equipped with an optional engine brake.

Sandvik has equipped the trucks with new heavy-duty axles using limited slip differential to maintain traction, which are expected to have an extended lifetime compared with the previous models.

“We have really worked to improve availability and reliability and reduce the time needed for servicing or maintenance,” Pia Sundberg, Product Line Manager, Trucks, at Sandvik Mining and Rock Solutions, says. “For fast ramp speeds when hauling ore, we have equipped these trucks with a new transmission with automatic gear shifting and torque converter lock-up.”

To increase uptime, Sandvik has also made upgrades to enable easy and fast maintenance. The trucks are designed for daily ground-level maintenance. When accessing the top of the equipment is required, the entirely new access system on the front of the truck provides a steady grip, including three-point contact high-contrast handles and anti-slip steps. The proven hydraulic system of the truck is simple and reliable, contributing to ease of maintenance and lower total cost of ownership.

Sandvik trialling Stage V engine technology at Boliden’s Tara mine

Sandvik is continuing its sustainability drive, announcing that it is trialling its first Stage V compliant underground truck at the Boliden-owned Tara zinc mine in Ireland.

The company, in December 2019, launched its first Stage V compliant underground LHDs for hard-rock mining applications following extensive testing. Back then, it said its newest intelligent loaders, the Sandvik LH517i and Sandvik LH621i, would receive the Stage V treatment in early 2020.

Now, Sandvik’s flagship truck, the TH663i, equipped with brand new Stage V Volvo Penta engine technology, is undergoing an extensive field trial period at Tara, allowing the company to obtain first-hand customer feedback on its technical and operational performance. Sandvik said this was “an integral part of Sandvik’s way of working and customer-focused mindset”.

The Stage V engine in the 63 t truck is expected to deliver lower emissions, contributing to reduced mine ventilation rates.

“Designed to fit seamlessly together with the truck and to perform specifically in underground use, the engine system includes built-in fire prevention solutions, increased wiring protection with shrink mesh wiring harness and electric hardware that is specifically designed for demanding conditions, with corrosion, heat and water resistance,” it said. “The new Stage V, requiring ultra-low sulphur fuel and low-ash engine oil to operate, will be an optional engine for the TH663i.”

To reduce particle emissions in the lower Stages/Tiers, standard engines on both the TH663i and TH551i trucks can be equipped with a diesel particulate filter (DPF), according to Sandvik. The company explained: “Based on studies conducted, the optional sintered metal DPF reduces particle mass by approximately 99%. From a reliability and maintenance viewpoint, the DPF is well protected but still designed for easy cleaning to reduce downtime and operating costs. The DPF is also available as retrofit kit.”

Pia Sundberg, Product Line Manager for Trucks at Sandvik Mining and Rock Technology, says thorough field tests are valuable to both the OEM and customer: “We want to allow enough time for sufficient testing of new technology, since it is of benefit to both sides.

“Possible hiccups that can often occur when developing something new are identified prior to the product being fully commercialised, which enables us to serve our customers better in the long run.

“Based on the feedback that we receive, we are still able to do some modifications if necessary and thereby make sure that the TH663i meets expectations when it is released to the market with the latest engine technology at a later stage. Of course, there is also some additional new technology on the test truck that we are testing at the same time.”

The TH663i also benefits from the recent improvements in Sandvik’s AutoMine® offering, as AutoMine for Trucks now enables autonomous truck haulage not only underground but also on the surface.

Sandvik said interesting glimpses into the company’s future truck offering have also been seen in Australia, where the Artisan Z50 battery truck from Sandvik carried out an extensive tour in early 2020 and gathered customer feedback for the new upcoming battery generation.

The company has also recently deployed a Z50 into Barrick Gold’s Turquoise Ridge underground gold mine, in Nevada.