haul roads maintenance

Haul road maintenance doesn’t always receive the attention it deserves.

For South African farms, quarries, mines and construction sites, the condition of haul roads has a direct impact on profitability.

Below, we offer some tips for haul road maintenance in South Africa that will help reduce operating costs and increase overall productivity.

“Good roads, more loads,” says James Miedecke, a roads and drainage specialist for mine road consultant Proof Engineers.

1. Good design

Designing your haul roads correctly in the first will help minimise issues later.

Ensure your haul roads have crowned straight sections, superelevated curves, safety berms and drainage ditches on both sides.

“A rule of thumb is that a poorly constructed road costs 10 times that of a well-constructed road just in maintenance costs alone,” says Miedecke.

2. Proper grading

Don’t skimp on grading when needed, this will ensure the road surface is always at the ideal grade.

Aim for between eight and 10% with low rolling resistance of 2% or less.

3. Keep loading and dump areas clear

Keep the floor in the load zone clear of debris and smooth.

Trucks shouldn’t be driving over loose rocks, or they can’t leave the load zone under full, continuous acceleration.

The dump zone should be smooth and easy to access in reverse for dumping.

4. Make the road the correct width

Haul roads need to be made three times the width of your widest truck.

This ensures there’s ample space for trucks going in both directions without tyres bumping into the safety berms or dropping into ditches.

5. Use the right material

It’s vital to use the right material to prepare and maintain your haul roads.

Rolling resistance is higher when the surface is too soft or moist. Tyres can also sink, which slows production and increases wear on the tyres.

“Often [mining companies] go down a track that might be a short-term gain, but it gives them a little long-term pain,” James Miedecke advises.

6. Keep the road clean

Haul roads need to be kept clear of debris, puddles, potholes, ruts and gullies.

Remove spillage promptly to keep trucks travelling at optimum speed and to prevent damage to wheels and tyres.

7. Water them just the right amount

Watering haul roads is vital for keeping down dust and improving visibility for safety.

However, overwatering can lead to a soft or moist surface that will slow down the trucks by increasing rolling resistance.

“Water will destroy your substructure of the road if it’s in the wrong places,” Miedecke says.

8. Train your operators

Motor grader operators must be properly trained on how to maintain haul roads.

Truck operators need to be educated on how their driving habits affect the need for maintenance. Operators should be taught to keep an eye on loads, speeds, tyre pressure and any debris or problems with the road surface.

How a reconditioned motor grader from KH Plant can help

Motor graders are essential for proper haul road maintenance and construction. However, investing in a new grader is a sizeable investment.

Reconditioned graders offer like-new performance at a fraction of the cost. At KH Plant, we restore Caterpillar 140G, 140H and 140K motor graders and components.

Our graders offer many of the same benefits as a new grader without the hefty price tag. We can supply a warranty with every grader we sell.

Contact us for more information on how our Caterpillar motor graders can help with haul road maintenance in South Africa.

Do you need expert assistance?

Call us now on +27 83 274 4882 or email us.

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