Tag Archives: truck bodies

Austin Engineering eyes multiple operational benefits with Mainetec acquisition

Austin Engineering Limited says it has successfully completed the acquisition of Australia-based mining equipment manufacturer, Mainetec Pty Ltd for an initial amount of A$19.6 million ($12.3 million).

The acquisition, Austin says, provides it with numerous operational benefits, both immediately and in the long-term.

Mainetec’s premium range of “Hulk” buckets will complement Austin’s JEC-HP high performance and standard bucket ranges, as well as bolster the company’s presence on the East Coast of Australia by leveraging Mainetec’s existing strong market share in the region, it said. This is anticipated to have a cascading benefit to Austin’s Austbore Mackay repair and maintenance service business.

Beyond Australia, Mainetec’s electric rope shovel dipper bucket is a high-value product that Austin is already progressing plans to offer across the US, Canada and Chile markets, which are markets that have a high demand for large dipper buckets and where Austin already has an established presence, it says.

Additionally, Mainetec’s condition monitoring software system, ‘Mainetrack’, will be used across the Austin’s fleet to maximise productivity.

Austin CEO and Managing Director, David Singleton, said: “It is very pleasing to finalise our acquisition of Mainetec which will deliver significant and tangible value to Austin. This acquisition ticks all of the right boxes; it will complement our core product range, enhance our market presence in Australia and beyond, and is set to deliver enhanced earnings.

“I am looking forward to working with the founders of Mainetec and their workforce as we collectively strive to achieve a phase of prolonged growth.”

Duratray trialling SmartTray 4.0 tech at Chile and Australia mines

With the purpose of not only diversifying its line of products but also walking towards technological advancements that transform the way mining operations work, Duratray International is trialling its latest product, the Smart Tray 4.0, across Chile and Australia.

The main goal of all Duratray’s products has been to maximise customers’ mining performance through high technological solutions. The design of the company’s staple product, the Suspended Dump Body (SDB), offers just that by reducing carry back, increasing payload and reducing maintenance cost, the company says. However, Duratray is committed to take the truck and tray’s performance even further.

Duratray says it has developed the first Smart Tray on the market, the Smart Tray 4.0, which allows customers to make decisions in real-time via data monitoring and alerts, as well as plan maintenance based on analysis of historical data and advanced and automated analytics that can predict failures.

“We achieved this by using modern technologies such as digital sensors, cloud storage, wireless connectivity and our own platform and infrastructure that glues all the modules of the system together,” Pablo Rossi, Project Leader of the Smart Tray 4.0, says.

The Smart Tray 4.0 technologies are independent of the truck manufacturer and, as such, can be deployed on hybrid fleets, allowing the customer to access their whole fleet from a single system for a fraction of the cost, according to Duratray.

The system that supports the Smart Tray 4.0. is modular and customisable so it can be designed to support any type of mine or quarry in the world, and has the capability to integrate existing sensors on the trucks.

“The interoperability and universality of the system allows the comparison of performance across different trucks, different materials being transported, different loaders, different climates, etc, enabling us to identify and share best practices for the mining and construction industries,” Rossi added.

Currently, the Smart Tray technology is operational at mine sites in the north of Chile and Western Australia, the company concluded.

(photo courtesy of De Beers Group)

Philippi-Hagenbuch expands rear eject dump body lineup with Volvo A60H units

Philippi-Hagenbuch has expanded its rear eject engineering capabilities to include one of the largest articulated haul trucks on the market, the Volvo A60H.

These trucks feature a body volume of 43.9 cu.yd (33.6 cu.m) with a 2:1 heap ratio, making these rear ejects 50% larger than the most common rear eject bodies available, the company said.

In partnership with G.W. Van Keppel, a dealership based in Kansas City, Missouri, Philippi-Hagenbuch shipped its first two rear eject bodies for Volvo A60H trucks to a mine in Oklahoma. Each of these rear ejects features an interior width of 156 in (3.96 m) and a loading height of 148 in and is built exclusively out of high-strength, abrasion-resistant Hardox® 450 steel for exceptional life and to handle the extremes they are put under within mining environments, the company says.

“Philippi-Hagenbuch is committed to detail in design, professionally engineering their products, understanding the applications and using only the best steel,” Taylor Killion, General Sales Manager, G.W. Van Keppel, says. “This makes them a great partner to provide strong and durable haul truck solutions that help our customers maximise their efficiency.

“We were confident in PHIL’s experience and ability to take on this project and produce a custom solution that would meet this client’s objectives.”

Philippi-Hagenbuch says it has custom-engineered hundreds of rear eject bodies for a variety of makes and models of off-highway haul trucks to increase productivity, safety and stability for many operations. With Philippi-Hagenbuch rear eject bodies, operators can effectively and safely discharge material without having to stop and raise the truck bed, even when the truck is out of position, driving up a hill or under overhead barriers with low clearance. Operators control the ejector blade to push material out of the body while the tailgate mechanically lowers. Rear ejects effectively dump even the stickiest material, further improving hauling efficiency by reducing carryback, according to the company.

Josh Swank, Philippi-Hagenbuch Vice President of Sales and Marketing, said: “We have complete trust in our engineering and manufacturing capabilities, which gives us confidence to take on projects that other companies may shy away from. In the past, we have engineered even larger rear eject bodies and trailers, so we are no strangers to projects of this size. The PHIL team works closely with each client to understand their application and specific needs, while simultaneously working with the dealer to achieve their priorities and the OEM to interface our equipment with their haul truck seamlessly.

“For this new entry to the haul truck market, we have created a new standardised solution for the Volvo A60H that can be easily implemented for other clients in varying industries.”

The A60H is the largest Volvo articulated hauler with a 33.6 cu.m body volume and 55,000 kg payload capacity.

Philippi-Hagenbuch recently updated its rear eject technology to include a newly engineered single, three-stage, double acting hydraulic cylinder that is robust enough to keep its rear ejects operating in extreme cold or in equatorial warm-weather locations, the company says. This cylinder was specifically designed for horizontal movement so it will not buckle or bind when it is fully extended while operating in a variety of dynamic environments.

Schlam to supply Fortescue with new Hercules EXO truck body

Schlam says it has been awarded a multi-million-dollar supply agreement with Fortescue Metals Group Limited for both its products (Schlam Payload Solutions) and services (Schlam People Solutions) divisions.

The contract will see Schlam Payload Solutions supply Fortescue with dump bodies and buckets – including the company’s newly-released Hercules EXO – while Schlam People Solutions will provide skilled on-site mechanical and fabrication services for a minimum of three years with options to extend, it said.

The agreement solidifies Schlam’s decade-long relationship with Fortescue, the company added.

Schlam Chief Executive Officer Matt Thomas said that he expected the agreement’s value to reach over A$90 million ($62.7 million).

“Fortescue will be one of the first operators to receive the Hercules EXO since its successful trial and market release,” Thomas said. “The Hercules EXO is a 240-t-class iron ore specific dump body that is 20% lighter than the company’s already class-leading Hercules. The decreased weight gives miners a greater payload potential, while a complete redesign and innovative material selection have resulted in a 100% increase in service life.”

Thomas added: “Like Schlam, Fortescue is a proud and innovative West Australian company. This relationship strengthened when we trialled a Hercules dump body suited to their fleet of 240-t-class trucks in 2018. At the time, it was the lightest 240-t body we had manufactured and, through working with innovative partners, like Fortescue, we’ve been able to develop the next generation of payload products, including the Hercules EXO.”

To date, Schlam has supplied almost 60 Hercules bodies to Fortescue’s fleet of mining trucks and will deliver a further 50 in the next financial year alone.

The agreement brings Schlam Payload Solutions and Schlam People Solutions under the same set of terms and conditions. The latter expands Schlam’s portfolio of Tier-1 clientele, for which it supplies heavy-duty mechanics, boilermakers, auto-electricians and other skilled labour.

“The agreement will underpin our journey to introduce the latest robotic technology to transform our manufacturing processes and develop a state-of-the-art advanced manufacturing facility right here in Western Australia,” Thomas said.

Austin order book swells with mine truck body, bucket, water tank and chute contracts

Austin Engineering Ltd saw out 2021 with a bang, receiving over A$60 million ($43 million) of orders during November and December and ending the first half of its financial year with a strong order book, the company says.

At the end of November 2021, Austin’s order book was 19% higher than at the same time the previous year.

The new product orders are for over 100 truck bodies, excavator buckets, water tanks and mine chutes, in addition to repairs and maintenance works received across Austin’s operations in Asia Pacific, and North and South America.

Delivery of new products will be to Canada, the US, Mexico, Chile, New Zealand, Indonesia and both the West and East Coast of Australia.

The increased sales activity comes as Austin continues to progress a number of initiatives across its operating regions, it said.

Austin’s new facility at Fort McMurray in Alberta, Western Canada commenced operations on December 1, 2021. Four of seven truck bodies being manufactured on site have been completed and are ready for delivery to customers in the region. Alberta has one of the largest concentrations of heavy haul trucks in the world thanks to the nearby oil sands, and the new facility is ideally placed to provide a much enhanced local level of customer support to what was previously possible, according to Austin.

Austin will undertake a A$450,000 expansion of its La Negra facility in Chile to accommodate an anticipated increased workload in the second half of its 2022 financial year. The facility has been operating at high utilisation rates for some months now and a capacity expansion is deemed necessary. Austin expects the investment to be fully paid back in the second half of the financial year.

A recent expansion of truck body, final build and assembly locations in Eastern Australia and New Zealand has led to a competitively-won new order with global gold miner OceanaGold Corp in New Zealand with deliveries to commence shortly. The order for over 20 bodies uses Austin’s recently developed modularised truck body designs developed to overcome shipping logistics issues, with final build to be undertaken close to the mine site.

In addition, Austin’s previously announced partnership with Melter in Mexico has led to further orders for a large dragline bucket and other equipment, further reinforcing the strength of this regional relationship under Austin’s “hub and spoke” strategy being rolled out globally, the company said.

Austin CEO and Managing Director, David Singleton, said: “We are pleased to see increasing momentum in sales activity across the board for both new products and repairs, and the recent uptick in orders sets Austin up for a strong sales performance in the second half of financial year 2022. With a strong order book, and strong commodity prices, our facilities are operating at high levels of throughput as we start the new year. I am particularly pleased that our recent initiatives aimed at improving cost competitiveness and driving sales have so rapidly led to an increase in orders. It gives me confidence in our approach and forward strategy.

“In addition, we will be launching some updated products in the current half with improved efficiency and safety features which, we believe, will further cement our leading position in the mining products industry.”

Austin Engineering ramps up APAC truck body expansion plans

Austin Engineering has announced what it says is a major expansion of its APAC truck body, final build and assembly locations with the establishment of six new partnerships located in Queensland, New South Wales and New Zealand.

In addition, Austin is to invest in additional sales and product support personnel in eastern Australia and New Zealand to support its expanded network.

Austin expects this new focus will give it a significant advantage in securing new customer orders and increase revenue in key locations across the Asia-Pacific region.

The company said it had successfully implemented the first stage of its global strategy to reduce operating costs across all operations, with this partnership expansion being the key next step to increase revenue through developing market share.

The partnerships are a continuation of the “hub-and-spoke” strategy being rolled out by Austin globally whereby Austin establishes a network of accredited “spokes” to support its major manufacturing centres, it explained. The partner firms are located close to key mining areas and will undertake the final assembly and customer delivery of truck bodies that are designed and partially built in Austin’s major APAC manufacturing facilities in either Perth, Australia, or Batam, Indonesia.

Austin has already established similar style partnerships and operations in North America, including a wholly-owned final assembly facility in Western Canada and a partnership with equipment manufacturer Melter in Mexico, to support its major US manufacturing centre in Casper, Wyoming.

In Austin’s 2021 financial year, truck bodies accounted for 63% of revenue in the APAC region. Under its Advanced Manufacturing strategy, Austin has completed significant design upgrades to its main line of truck bodies for its APAC markets to improve operational performance and improve shipping logistics, it said. The new hub-and-spoke partnerships will see overall shipping costs and supply chain complexities reduced, improving the performance and economics of Austin’s core offering, according to the company.

Austin CEO and Managing Director, David Singleton, said: “The reduction in operating expenses is already paying significant dividends and now our focus is moving to revenue enhancement.

“In this new phase of Austin – Austin 2.0 – we are looking at the world’s major mining regions to see how we better service our customers with market-leading products and enhanced customer support at commercially competitive rates. It is natural that we are now focusing on one of the largest truck fleets in the world, right on our doorstep in eastern Australia and New Zealand.

“Our newly established Canadian operation is already building its first seven truck bodies from kits built in Casper, whilst our partnership in Mexico was an essential element in securing new truck body orders in that region. We look forward to similarly rapid success in Australia and New Zealand.”

Austin Engineering seals A$300 million contract with Rio Tinto

Austin Engineering Limited has signed a five-year mining products and service supply contract with Rio Tinto Services Ltd, less than a week after the two companies celebrated the manufacture of the 1,000th truck body for Rio’s iron ore division.

The contract is for the supply of dump bodies, lightweight trays for ore trucks, heavy machinery buckets, water bodies and other fabricated products. The contract also covers the provision of “Off Site Repairs” and other associated services for both Austin-supplied equipment and for other OEM supplied heavy machinery.

The contract, effective from December 16, covers supply from all of Austin’s major global facilities including those in Australia, Indonesia, North America and South America. It is an umbrella or call-off type agreement, allowing for the supply of equipment and services to multiple Rio Tinto operations around the world through individual purchase orders.

Austin estimates that the value of services under the contract over its life could be around A$300 million ($213 million), although it is dependent on individual purchase orders. The contract includes pre-agreed pricing for mining buckets and haul truck trays matching Rio’s global fleet, enabling rapid purchasing and order fulfilment. The contract also provides for annual price reviews to manage exchange rate, steel and labour rate variances and any other factors that the parties agree are relevant to pricing.

Under the contract, Austin will use its recently established “Innovation and Technology Hub” to continue to develop its products to help meet Rio Tinto’s objectives to optimise the safety, lifecycle and productivity of its global heavy machinery fleet.

Austin has supplied Rio Tinto Iron Ore (RTIO) operations with its heavy machinery consumable equipment, offsite repairs and other equipment for 33 years, initially servicing Robe River in the Pilbara. Austin delivered its first bucket to Rio Tinto 21 years ago and its first truck body 14 years ago. As mentioned, last week, the two companies held a ceremony in Perth to mark the manufacture of Austin’s 1,000th truck body for RTIO.

Austin CEO and Managing Director, David Singleton, said: “This contract extends our very successful and productive involvement with Rio Tinto for another five years. Rio Tinto is a key customer for Austin’s products and services, and I would like to thank the company for its support in helping to build a strong local manufacturing industry in Australia, and a leading business in this industry globally.

“As a result of this commitment by Rio Tinto, we have the confidence to invest in developing our Austin 2.0, strategy. As part of this, we recently announced a A$6.5 million investment in advanced manufacturing at our facilities initially in Western Australia and Indonesia that will bring new levels of quality, production capacity and flexibility. In addition, our Innovation and Technology Hub in Western Australia is focused on meeting the safety, mine site efficiency and decarbonisation goals of Rio Tinto and other customers in Australia and around the world.”

Austin Engineering, Melter celebrate new pact with Peñasquito truck bodies order

Austin Engineering has entered into an agreement with Mexico-based equipment manufacturer Melter to broaden its product delivery and service capabilities in the US and the northern region of South America.

This agreement has already delivered a significant new contract with a world-class miner, according to Austin, with Melter set to manufacture Austin-designed truck bodies for the initial supply of five lightweight Ultima bodies for Newmont’s Peñasquito gold operation in Mexico.

In addition to building truck bodies, Melter will also provide local support and maintenance assistance to Newmont, supported by Austin’s US-based teams in Casper, Wyoming.

“Newmont is the world’s largest gold miner and there is potential for further sales to this customer,” Austin said.

The Melter partnership is the latest iteration of Austin’s roll out of “hub-and-spoke” networks in the Americas to support Austin’s central US manufacturing hub in Casper.

Austin says it is establishing “spokes” closer to significant mining areas via new facilities or through partnerships and preferred supplier arrangements. The objective of this approach is to reduce the logistics cost and complexities of delivering truck bodies over large distances. As part of this strategy, in instances where transport costs are high, the Casper facility will provide designs and kits for local assembly to the end user facilities. This approach is intended to improve the competitiveness of Austin’s Casper facility and increase market share.

The hub-and-spoke initiative is part of an “advanced manufacturing strategy” being deployed by Austin following its strategic review of global operations completed in July, which identified several business optimisation and growth opportunities.

Austin’s Casper base has been further supported by the lease of a 23,000 sq.ft (2,137 sq.m) manufacturing site at Fort McMurray in Alberta from which Austin is able to better service its customers in the remote regions of western Canada though better product delivery logistics, shorter travel times, and local service and maintenance teams.

Austin CEO and Managing Director, David Singleton, said: “We are very pleased to have formed a partnership with Melter, which enables Austin to grow its service offering in a market where we don’t currently have manufacturing capabilities. Our partnership with Melter allows Austin to competitively deliver on its contract to supply Austin-designed truck bodies to Newmont’s Peñasquito operations and we look forward to growing our partnership in the future.

“We are continuing to review other potential spoke locations to support our Casper facility and delivering on our US strategy to improve our equipment delivery logistics and reduce overall transport costs, especially into remote areas, making our product offering more cost competitive.”

Melter Chief Executive Officer, Carlos Uribe, said: “We are pleased to develop our strong relationship with Austin Engineering, one of the leading OEMs in the global mining industry, as their regional supplier to build and support their truck bodies and other equipment on and off mine sites in Mexico including at Newmont.

“Over the last 30-plus years Melter has built a completely integrated manufacturing system for high-spec metal-mechanic components, as well as a highly committed and qualified 800 people strong team aimed at delivering the highest client satisfaction in the USMCA market; we are honoured to be able to use our capabilities to deliver Austin’s mining products both locally and potentially overseas.”

Austin to supply NRW Civil & Mining with 16 ULTIMA truck bodies

Austin Engineering says it has secured a A$7 million ($5 million) agreement to supply 16 locally-made truck bodies to Australia-based mining contractor NRW Civil & Mining, a unit of NRW Holdings.

Austin and NRW marked the award with a steel plate cutting ceremony for the first of the ULTIMA truck bodies to be manufactured on site at Austin’s Kewdale facility, which is co-located with the company’s new corporate headquarters in Western Australia.

In addition to representatives from Austin, the ceremony was attended by NRW CEO, Jules Pemberton, and other NRW representatives, along with Chamber of Minerals and Energy Western Australia Chief Executive Officer, Paul Everingham.

NRW is an arm of Australian diversified contract services provider NRW Holdings, which services the resources and infrastructure sectors in Australia. Its services include civil construction, bulk earthworks, road and rail construction and concrete installation, contract mining and drill and blast services.

NRW has ordered 16 ULTIMA high performance truck bodies and two 6060 Face Shovel buckets from Austin, which will be manufactured at Austin’s Kewdale site over the coming months.

Austin’s Kewdale facility is one of two of the company’s major manufacturing sites in the Asia Pacific region, the other being in Indonesia. The company is investing A$6.5 million to implement advanced manufacturing processes and capabilities at these sites, including increased automation and the use of custom jigs, fixtures, workstations and a standardised manufacturing approach to building product.

The Kewdale facility will receive the first manufacturing upgrade, which will benefit customers, such as NRW, and enhance the company’s supply of Western Australian-made dump truck bodies and other hauling and loading products, Austin says.

Austin Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director, David Singleton, said: “We are extremely pleased to sign this contract with NRW, one of Australia’s leading mining contractors. The contract adds to a solid order book for Austin. Our recent strategic review demonstrated the opportunity to upgrade our manufacturing facilities to increase production efficiency while enhancing product quality and operator safety. We are the leading designer of truck bodies in the world, and intend to be the most efficient too.”

Austin wins three-year truck body/bucket support contract from KGHM Sierra Gorda mine

Austin Engineering says it has strengthened its partnership with KGHM’s Sierra Gorda Mining (SGM) by securing a three-year truck body and bucket support contract with the operation in Chile.

Austin said: “Winning the competitive contract exemplifies the high level of confidence SGM has in Austin as their long-term partner of choice to support such critical mining assets.

“Our ongoing transformation from Austin 1.0 to 2.0 and the efficiencies being delivered as a result, was key to improving our South American team, to not only compete, but win such a long-term contract.”

Austin Engineering recently concluded a strategic review of its business that identified opportunities to cut “significant costs from the business while increasing output through adopting more advanced manufacturing techniques”, Austin CEO and Managing Director, David Singleton, said.

The Sierra Gorda copper-molybdenum mine is in the Atacama Desert, in the Antofagasta region, of Chile. It is located at an altitude of around 1,700 m and has a minimum annual average daily ore processing figure of 130,000 t.