Tag Archives: truck bodies

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.

Austin Engineering’s strategic review identifies innovation, technology opportunities

Austin Engineering Ltd has completed a previously announced strategic review of its global business, with the first two phases of this review funding a third that will fuel innovation and technology development.

Austin initiated the strategic review in May 2021 in parallel with the decision to relocate its headquarters from Brisbane to Perth, in Australia. This move was carried out to, Austin says, bring the company’s central management closer to Austin’s major mining customers and its largest APAC manufacturing centres in Perth and Indonesia.

The strategic review aimed to identify opportunities to improve business efficiency and to align with the future needs of Austin’s mining industry customers. Ultimately, the review identified what Austin needs to do and where it needs to invest to be at the forefront of the industry, to grow earnings and, thereby, unlock value for its shareholders, it said.

Austin’s loading and hauling products are designed to meet the specific needs of its mining industry customers around the world. Its products are designed to help mining companies increase operational efficiency, improve site safety and help meet their environmental and decarbonisation targets. This is crucial as the mining industry works towards dramatically reducing emissions in the coming years, Austin said.

The strategic review outcomes are structured in three phases, representing short-, medium- and longer-term measures to create company value across Austin’s operations in Australia, North America, Indonesia and South America.

As Phase 1, Austin has already rebased the indirect support structures throughout the business and enters the new 2022 financial year (to June 30, 2022) with a leaner structure. By the end of June, about 50% of the “people cost reductions” identified in the review were completed, with 85% due for completion by the end of August, it said.

In addition to the rapid closure of its previous head office in Brisbane, Queensland, Austin has consolidated its separate businesses located in Mackay, Queensland, into Austin’s wholly-owned subsidiary, AUSTBORE. The consolidation enables a stronger focus on new product delivery and support in Queensland and reduces the focus on general repair and maintenance services, which have not been delivering “adequate earnings”, Austin said.

Austin will continue to deliver its own product offerings to the east coast of Australia from its manufacturing facilities in Perth and Batam, while continuing to offer support directly in Mackay through its existing team, it said.

Phase 2 will see Austin develop its major manufacturing sites, commencing in Perth, Australia.

“Austin has identified significant manufacturing opportunities to reduce waste and improve production efficiency and product consistency through the adoption of flow production and automation,” Austin said. “This will provide significant benefits for Austin’s major product ranges, in particular truck bodies, while remaining agile in bespoke designs and delivering unique capabilities for its customers.”

It is likely that the production system will be adopted in Batam to build bodies faster, use less factory space and improve product quality, according to Austin.

Initial project investment for Perth is underway with a final investment decision by the Austin Board planned within the next quarter.

In the US, Austin is reviewing its delivery logistics to improve overall “cost competitiveness”, the company said.

It explained: “Large truck bodies are difficult and expensive to move around the disparate mining centres of Canada, USA and Central America. Further detail around the changes being considered for North America will be announced when sufficient certainty has been achieved in the current review. Under consideration is an increasing presence in western Canada to service the oil sands region more effectively.”

Phase 3 is looking at putting technology and innovation at the forefront of a significantly expanded Austin product range.

The company explained: “Out of the review, Austin has established a new customer-focused, innovation and technology group that reports directly to the CEO. The team will interface directly with Austin’s major customers and will use innovation- and technology-led solutions in an agile implementation environment to meet customers’ needs for product capability and performance. Austin has already reviewed its technology pipeline with some of its major customers, with new developments already underway. Further details on these developments will be made available at the appropriate time.”

In the longer term, Austin says it seeks to increase its product offering, through a mix of in-house design, partnering with aligned businesses and M&A activity.

Cost savings to the business generated in Phases 1 and 2 are expected to provide funding for innovation and technology development, as well as enhancing earnings, it said.

Austin CEO and Managing Director, David Singleton, said: “The strategic review process has provided a chance for Austin to make some big decisions about what we most need to focus on for organic and inorganic growth of the company. Through this process, we will cut significant costs from the business while increasing output through adopting more advanced manufacturing techniques. Importantly, we are firmly concentrating our efforts to meet the needs of our mining customers into the future. Austin’s products will support our clients as they target net zero emissions, improve productivity and ensure ever safer operations.”

Austin Engineering lauds APAC performance as it heads for FY21 guidance hit

Austin Engineering Ltd is on track to hit its earning guidance after securing new orders for more than 100 products, including truck bodies, water tanks and buckets totalling more than A$35 million ($26 million) in revenue over the past few weeks.

This order flow supports previously announced earning guidance of an underlying net profit after tax in excess of A$9 million for its 2021 financial year (to June 30, 2021), which remains in place, Austin said.
Recent confirmed notable purchase orders received include:

  • Seventy-eight truck bodies for a large global miner in the Pilbara region of Western Australia for delivery throughout the balance of the current and next Australia financial years;
  • Twelve truck bodies for a large global mining contractor for delivery into Queensland, Australia – manufactured in Austin’s Indonesian facility;
  • Eight truck bodies for a large global gold miner in Western Australia; and
  • Three stairway access water tanks for a large global miner in Queensland, Australia – manufactured in Austin’s Indonesian facility.

Austin’s order book and committed work is now in excess of 70% of expected revenues, in line with this time in 2019, it said.

The Asia-Pacific region is outperforming expectations with key workshops in Perth and Indonesia well positioned to remain close to capacity for the balance of the financial year and beyond, the company added.

The economic environment in North and South America is less supportive than contemplated at the start of the financial year, Austin said.

“The continued backdrop of the US election and ongoing COVID-19 position in the USA appears to have impacted customer confidence in deploying capital in the short term,” it added. “Austin expects an improvement to this position, post January 2021, with annual budgets of US customers replenished on a calendar year basis, along with a completed Presidential transition. Ahead of this, Austin is currently quoting on a large volume of work in North America with decisions expected early in the third quarter (March quarter) of this financial year.”

Business conditions in South America have been similarly impacted by COVID-19, which has delayed several tender decisions for long-term supply contracts for both new equipment and repair and maintenance in Chile, Austin said. “Austin is well positioned for a number of opportunities but has seen short term softness due to the deferment of decisions,” it added.

Austin Managing Director, Peter Forsyth, said: “The Asia-Pacific region is performing exceptionally well at the moment with a strong line of sight to keeping our two large facilities in Perth and Indonesia close to capacity, and I am very happy with the level of orders and further opportunities in this region. Offsetting this strength, the Americas are currently facing challenging operating environments, and this is a product of the broader economies in those regions. I am heartened by the scale of opportunities in the US, Canada and Chile and we remain confident that the tide will begin to turn early in the New Year in these regions.”

In other innovation-focused developments, Austin said it was recently asked to provide a solution for a Canadian customer that had two key requirements when sourcing truck bodies for their operation: first, to achieve the maximum payload possible; and second, to ensure that the truck bodies would not require any maintenance before replacement.

Austin designed an ultra-light weight body that offered a substantial payload increase on previous designs with sufficient structural integrity to remain maintenance free for a shortened design life of less than two years, it said. This solution will enable the customer to achieve a lower cost per tonne and provides Austin with a more regular replacement cycle of equipment in this mine.