UEA maintenance and operations staff were crucial to the success of the T1655 trial. With over 100,000 hours operating and maintaining the smaller T1255 surface mining machine UEA was instrumental in providing Vermeer Manufacturing with real time information and troubleshooting for the giant prototype.
UEA successfully commissioned and operated the T1655 for over 3500 hours before the machine was sent back to Perth to undergo modifications and improvements. UEA maintains detailed operating and maintenance records which are used to schedule maintenance and major rebuilds in order to reduce downtime, extend machine life and increase productivity. These records were pivotal to the T1655 surface mining trial providing Vermeer Manufacturing with valuable information.
Some modifications to the T1655 that will assist with maintenance, reduce downtime and extend machine life in a real time operating environment include:
- Removal of vacuum based dust suppression in favour of a water based system.
- Changing location of flushing filters to a more ergonomic and service friendly position.
- Modifying pump room layout of hydraulic hoses, and removing hoses from possible damage areas (near track frame opening).
- Removal of rear (drum) access ladder, due to continual damage.
- Creating an access point to the hose room from the engine bay to allow breakdown repairs when the cab is in the lowered position.
- Re-routing of GPS cables to reduce rub throughs.
- Modifications to grease pot drain, to prevent waste grease build up on machine frame.
With experience operating both the Vermeer T1255 and T1655 UEA is in a good position to compare the two. Both are suitable for selective mining of thin seam ore bodies to minimise dilution, and both are very effective for removing bulk volumes where drill and blast is unsuitable due to environmental and infrastructure constraints.
“It really comes down to the size of the job. The T1255 works well in civil and small mining applications but for large mining applications the T1655 is the way to go” says UEA Civil & Mining Director, Dominic Hallam.
Image caption: A Vermeer T1655 surface mining machine being prepared for site.