National Group has delivered Caterpillar equipment that’s ready to tackle challenging activities at a Blackwater mine in Queensland. Cat 775G service trucks and 24 motor graders make the list.
As featured in Australian Mining Magazine, June 2021 Edition, written by Vanessa Zhou.
The mining industry’s reputation as a well-oiled machine is backed by the amount of hire equipment that National Group has sent to Australian mines this year.
With multiple pieces of heavy earthmoving equipment sent out each month, National Group supports the continuity of Australia’s iron ore, metallurgical coal, gold, bauxite and manganese operations.
This includes the delivery of two Caterpillar 775G service trucks and one Caterpillar 24 motor grader to a Blackwater mine in Queensland.
All equipment was assembled at Hastings Deering’s factory in Brisbane, before being delivered by National Heavy Haulage to National Group’s Toowoomba yard in the Darling Downs region.
This is where the machines start to come alive. Both 60-tonne 775G service trucks were set up to deliver reliable performance and low maintenance as soon as National Group put on their service modules and completed final assembly.
The Cat 24 grader went through its final assembly stage and was mine-spec ready at National Group’s Blackwater yard.
National Group managing director Mark Ackroyd says the 775G trucks were recommended based on the mining company’s use, capacity and size requirements.
“The 775G truck builds its credibility on Caterpillar’s 40-year history in building trucks. The mining company needs this type of service trucks because they’ll be tasked to service a large portion of the mine,” Ackroyd tells Australian Mining.
“Accounting for the number of pits and haul roads, they required extra capacity within the mine. It wasn’t ordered as a replacement piece. And to avoid capital expenditures, they chose to hire the equipment from us.”
The 775G trucks are equipped with the latest Gecko service module and a reliable dispensing unit capable of carrying 42,000 litres of fuel.
They have been designed to ensure safe ergonomics to reduce driver fatigue and increase productivity.
The 775G trucks also boast an “exceptionally smooth” shifting and ride quality thanks to Caterpillar’s new planetary powershift transmission control strategy.
The strategy, called APECS, incorporates an electronic clutch pressure control that aids in torque shift management, retaining momentum through long shifts that support a 24/7 mining operation.
Mining operators are treated to seven different ways to conserve fuel as they are free to customise two fuel economy modes for the desired levels of savings.
Featuring Tier 4 final emission controls, Caterpillar has moved towards a low-carbon future by integrating a nitrogen oxide reduction system technology that produces cooler temperatures in the combustion chamber.
The Cat 24 motor grader is also favoured for its power. Suitable for applications in wide haul roads, the Cat 24 is equipped with Cat Grade Control to help operators maintain the desired cross slope.
It is powered by the Cat C27 engine to handle various working altitudes and offers 11 per cent additional weight to generate more traction and blade down pressure than the 24M motor grader.
Operators can also rely on its consistency throughout changing ambient conditions as its consistent power-to-the-ground changes its real-time engine power levels to offset the shortcomings of the cooling fan.
It validates the mining company’s choice to specifically hire the Cat 24 grader.
Most importantly, Ackroyd says safety is at the top of the mining company’s mind.
The Cat 24 grader, for example, is designed with 15 tie-off points around the engine enclosure and cab as a secure tie-off hook for operators and technicians when carrying out service operations.
It also comes with a standard rear-view camera to expand the operator’s visibility from the cab to areas behind the machine.
“Safety, reliability and quality are the three deciding factors for any mining company,” Ackroyd says. “To further help them achieve this, our skilled workforce can do maintenance for the hire equipment on site as well.”
From early discussions to assembly, delivery and maintenance, National Group is committed to providing an end-to-end solution.