using graders for haul roads at mines

According to McKinsey & Company, worldwide mining operations in 2015 were as much as 28 percent less productive than they were in 2005. In South Africa, factors ranging from strikes to fluctuations in the rand and a volatile political climate have all placed additional stresses on the industry.

A result is that mining companies are continually seeking ways to boost productivity. A simple area not to overlook in this respect is the role of haul roads – and of motor graders in keeping these roads in good nick.

A reliable network of roads plays a vital role in the productivity and efficiency of any mine. A motor grader is without a doubt the most important piece of equipment for constructing, repairing and maintaining haul roads.

The importance of high-quality haul roads

Haul roads are an important component of any mining operation. They must be well constructed and maintained to prevent road deformity and degradation, which occur with frequent use.

Although proper haul road construction and maintenance is an expense, this is offset by significant improvements in efficiency and productivity.

High quality haul roads have these effects:

  • they improve overall productivity by minimising slow-downs and delays as haul trucks approach and navigate ruts, depressions, bumps or potholes
  • they increase the lifespan of haul trucks (and vastly increase the lifespan of their tyres)
  • they reduce fuel costs for hauling material
  • they improve safety for haul truck operators
  • the roads themselves require fewer repairs and less maintenance than roads that are poorly constructed.

Keeping haul roads in good condition also reduces the need for truck maintenance. Bumps, potholes, ruts and depressions all increase wear on the drive train, tyres, and frame and suspension of a haul truck, and infiltration of dust can be damaging to brakes, air filters and hydraulic lifts.

Using a motor grader to construct, repair and maintain haul roads

Drills, draglines, loaders and haul trucks are responsible for producing and transporting ore. Several other types of other equipment support the operation of these vehicles.

While wheel loaders can be used to maintain haul roads, and tractors with drag boxes can be used to maintain and repair haul roads, a motor grader can do the job more efficiently and cost effectively than these machines.

Using a motor grader to construct and maintain haul roads ensures that road surfaces remain flat and smooth with proper drainage, and that these roads are kept free of debris, puddles, potholes, depressions and ruts.

At KH Plant, we specialise in restoring Caterpillar 140G, 140H and 140K motor graders and components to as-new condition – so you can get the benefits of a new motor grader at a fraction of the cost of a new machine. Contact us for more information or to discuss your needs.

Contact us for more information