haul roads


Cost-effective grading of haul roads plays an important role in South Africa. It’s key to the profitability of operations that involve transporting materials, from mining to agriculture.

Smooth, debris-free road surfaces enhance cycle times, increase productivity and reduce operating costs.

The importance of consistent haul road maintenance

Haul roads are especially susceptible to degradation.

The constant movement of heavily loaded trucks and a variable climate can compromise the integrity of road surfaces.

This diminishes the effectiveness of safety berms and drainage ditches. It promotes the development of potholes, ruts and gullies. Rocks and debris may also spill onto the road.

This affects the traction of vehicle tyres and increases rolling resistance.

This can result in a significant decline in productivity and an increase in production costs. It forces vehicles to move more slowly, adds to wear and tear and can compromise safety.

In operations that depend on haul roads, such as mining, the constant deployment of motor graders is required to remove loose debris and keep the roads in good condition.

Targeted maintenance of the most degraded areas of the roads is essential.

Tips for haul road maintenance

The key to an efficient road haul network lies in both proper design and on-going maintenance.

Five basic principles for creating effective haul roads:

  • vertical gradients should be constant and uniform
  • horizontal curves should have the largest possible radius to allow trucks to maintain optimal speeds
  • straight sections must be crowned, berms consistently reinforced and drainage ditches cleared and structurally maintained
  • a grade of around 8% to 10% is ideal
  • a road width of approximately three times that of your haul trucks is recommended; this prevents the vehicles from knocking over berms and scattering rocks and gradient onto the surface.

The most efficient haul roads are constructed from a blasted rock base and a durable, coarse material.

They’re also regularly maintained.

Keeping the roads smooth and comparatively free of debris limits rolling resistance and prevents delays. It can also markedly reduce truck operating costs. This is due to less wear and tear on each vehicle’s tyres, drive train and suspension.

The role of motor graders in haul road maintenance

Motor graders are integral to haul road construction and on-going maintenance.

They’re responsible for maintaining every aspect of the network, from providing constant grades, debris-free surfaces and adequate drainage to creating truck-friendly load and dump sites.

In open-cast mining, motor graders are as essential as front loaders, excavators, shovels and belt-conveyor systems.

Reconditioned motor graders: a cost-effective option in SA

For exceptionally cost-effective grading of haul roads, it pays to invest in a reliable motor grader.

At KH Plant, we specialise in restoring Caterpillar 140G, 140H and 140K motor graders and components to as-new condition. This means you can get the benefits of a new motor grader at a fraction of the cost of a new machine.

We also offer a warranty with every motor grader we supply. Contact us for more information or to discuss your needs.

Do you need expert assistance?

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

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