Modern Mining: Featured News

With the launch of a complete range of Volvo-branded rigid haulers, Babcock, the highly successful Southern African dealer for Volvo Construction Equipment (Volvo CE), believes it is now well-placed to broaden its customer base even further. “We’ve always been strong in mining but the new rigid haulers will definitely give us additional traction at the heavier end of the mining market,” says David Vaughan, MD of Babcock’s Equipment business.

Vaughan adds that the introduction of the new haulers comes just a year after Babcock launched two other ground-breaking Volvo machines – the 60-ton (55-tonne) capacity A60H articulated dump truck, the biggest in the world, and the 90-tonne EC950E crawler excavator, the biggest excavator that Volvo CE has ever produced. Both machines have done extremely well in the market, particularly the A60H. “We’ve now delivered nearly 30 of the A60Hs which is an amazing achievement given the size of the articulated dump truck market in our region,” he points out.

   All service points on the R100E are strategically grouped and easily accessed.

As Modern Mining explained in an article in last month’s issue, the Volvo rigid hauler range was launched at Volvo CE’s Motherwell facility in Scotland in April, with the event being attended by about 160 dealers from around the world. Most of the focus was on the Volvo R100E, a 100-ton (95-tonne) capacity machine that gives Volvo a presence in one of the most popular – but, at the same time, most competitive – segments of the rigid hauler market. Rigid trucks of this capacity serve as the workhorses of open-pit mines in every mining region of the world.

“We’re delighted to be able to compete in this market under the Volvo brand name,” states Vaughan. “The name is synonymous with high-quality, performance, durability and aftermarket care and will undoubtedly give us an immediate advantage with many potential customers. But, of course, the name alone is not enough. The R100E has to offer market-leading capabilities if it is to be competitive against the current trucks dominating the market – and we’re confident that this is exactly what it does. It’s a machine which has been designed around customers’ needs and which has been thoroughly tested over the roughly three-year period it has been in development.”

Interestingly, South Africa is one of two countries – the other is Sweden – selected for intensive on-site trialling of the R100E, with an advanced prototype having now been in service at Manungu coal mine in the Witbank coalfield for over a year as part of a 3 000-hour ‘hot weather’ test programme. The unit is being operated by Trollope Mining Services, a long-standing client of Babcock, which has been impressed by its performance, with one of its managers at Manungu noting that it is capable of carrying an extra bucket pass compared to other 100-ton haulers in use at the site.

The R100E is the flagship of a four-model line-up of Volvo rigid haulers. The other three machines are the 45-ton R45D, the 60-ton R60D and the 72-ton R70D, which constitute the D-Series. The four machines replace the TR-Series rigid haulers of Terex Trucks, which have now been discontinued (although they will continue to be fully supported by Terex Trucks and Volvo CE and their global network of dealers).

Says Vaughan: “Going forward, the rigid haulers will all be available through Volvo CE and its dealers while the existing Terex Trucks articulated dump trucks will continue under the Terex Trucks branding and will remain the responsibility of Terex Trucks, which was fully acquired by the Volvo CE Group in 2014 and now operates as a division of Volvo CE. All the trucks – whether rigid or articulated – are manufactured at the Motherwell facility. In Southern Africa, Babcock is the official dealer for both Volvo CE and Terex Trucks, so owners of TR-Series rigid trucks need have no concerns about continuing support. They will be dealing with exactly the same people they always have.”

Elaborating on the R100E, Vaughan says it is an entirely different truck from the TR100 which it replaces. “It is a brand-new machine from the ground up with a striking design, a deeper body, an extremely fuel-efficient engine and one of the best cabs in the business,” he states. “Moreover, it is not over-complicated in terms of its electronics even though it has a full range of intelligent monitoring systems. This was part of the design brief based on feedback from customers. It is, of course, a premium product carrying the Volvo name but we will nevertheless be very price competitive against our main competitors.”

Powered by a 785 kW Cummins engine and incorporating an Allison H8610 ORS transmission, the R100E – which has a top speed of 50 km/h and offers a gross torque of 4 631 Nm – is built for all surface mining and quarrying applications where operational costs are critical. Customers can expect to spend less per haul with the R100E, which is equipped with a 60,4 m3 capacity V-shaped body for optimum load retention and minimal material carry-back. The speedy body-tipping system ensures fast cycle times for an all-round efficient performance.

A significant investment was spent in frame and body rigorous testing, which included applying 60 000 hours’ worth of chassis fatigue loads. With a body manufactured from high impact and high abrasion-resistant 400-HBW-hard steel, the R100E rigid hauler is designed to cope well with the arduous conditions typically encountered in mining.

Volvo CE believes the ROPS/FOPS-certified operator cab of the R100E is industry leading. From the operator seat, located on the left side of the cab, the operator can observe the job site and surrounding areas through the large glass area and a low rake windscreen. Good visibility is complemented by a 360 deg surround view system provided by Volvo Smart View. The system uses multiple ultra-wide-angle exterior-mounted cameras to produce a bird’s-eye-view of the vehicle and surrounding work area via the on-board display.

The R100E’s designers have gone to great lengths to ensure that maintenance can be carried out quickly and easily. All service points are strategically grouped and located within reach from the ground and service platform to provide quick, easy and safe machine maintenance or adjustments, while the direct rim-mounted wheel design promotes safe and quick installation and removal. Inside the cab, the operator can access top-level diagnostic data using the operator-friendly dashboard for fast analysis and solutions.

While the R100E is an all-new design, its sister D-Series machines are based on the existing and well-proven TR-Series. Essentially, they represent the result of an in-depth engineering review of the TR-Series range, ensuring that the machines meet the standards of Volvo products in their target markets and segments. Included in the many improvements are greater visibility and enhanced safety systems.

Babcock will be backing the new rigid haulers with the high-quality aftermarket service for which it is well-known, which is delivered through its extensive branch network. “We really do put huge effort into looking after our customers,” says Vaughan. “Proof of this is that we’ve just won Volvo CE’s ‘Best Dealer Volvo Services Award’ for the EMEA (Europe, Middle East and Africa) region. The main measuring tool for this award is an independent survey which is undertaken by a specialist company appointed by Volvo CE which rates Volvo CE dealers against competitor companies in their respective areas in terms of aftermarket service. We top scored in our region, beating our competitors in every category.”

All the Volvo rigid haulers are now available for order and the first machines, including the R100E, could be seen in South Africa by year-end, says Vaughan. “We believe they are coming on stream at just the right time,” he says. “Demand for rigid dump trucks has been depressed over the past several years but there are indications that the market is starting to turn around. With the Volvo-branded rigid haulers now in our portfolio, we are definitely very well-placed to take advantage of any upturn. We’ve done incredibly well with Volvo’s articulated haulers since taking over the Volvo CE dealership in 2000 and we expect to repeat this success with the rigid haulers.”

Contact Modern Mining

Title: Editor
Name: Arthur Tassell
Email: mining@crown.co.za
Phone: +27 11 622-4770
Fax: +27 11 615-6108

Title: Advertising Manager
Name: Bennie Venter
Email: benniev@crown.co.za
Phone: +27 11 622-4770
Fax: +27 11 615-6108

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