Scania XT new kid on the job at Pilbara mines

By: Rob McKay

‘Extra tough’ water truck with Shermac body eyes heavier rivals

Scania XT new kid on the job at Pilbara mines
The XT carrying Shermac’s water tank


Scania’s wooing of mining interests appears to have helped make inroads on the Pilbara turf of a top tier miner.

The Swedish make’s Australian arm says two of the next generation G 450 8x4 twin steer chassis have been fitted with new, higher-capacity 40,000-litre Shermac water cart bodies for a Western Australian mining customer.

ATN understands the miner in question is Fortescue Metals and a source familiar with the development says it "puts the likes of Caterpillar and Komatsu on notice".

The tailor-made Shermac bodies are said to be more than double the capacity of those fitted to traditional road-going trucks used on mine sites and are designed to replace mine-specific road train combinations.

The new Scania XT trucks offer the customer a more cost-effective solution to the requirement for dust suppression and road building assistance on-site.

"Our customer has had experience operating a fleet of Scania trucks on-site as service vehicles, flatbeds and technical support vehicles for the past year, and they have performed well," according to Scania Australia Mining general manager Robert Taylor.

"The trucks were in service 24-hours per day, seven-days per week and have clocked up around 70,000km on-site in their first 12 months.

"They have been very reliable in service and the drivers enjoyed the comfortable and quiet Scania cab.

"When we were discussing the replacement of the customer’s existing water carts, we suggested a more flexible solution, in the form of the NGT G 450 XT 8x4 as they could handle the higher payload of 40,000-litres for a GVM of around 66-tonnes.

"The water carts are also on call 24/7 and reliability is very important to our customer. They work in an extremely harsh environment where there is a lot of dust and heat and so water cart availability is critical to the mine’s operations. The vehicles will be serviced on-site to maximise uptime."

Read about the local launch of Scania’s new XT range, here

Scania sees high-capacity water cart’s creation as underscoring its local body-building credentials.

 "Our client wanted a reliable, high-capacity vehicle that could be maintained easily and quickly and one that could do the job day-in, day-out," Taylor says.

"The new Scania XT range is designed for these conditions, and in addition to being able to source and fit a suitable body, we have been able to deliver a solution at a reduced capital cost to the client compared with their previous solution.

"One of our longer-term goals has been to be able to offer our customers the ability to replace their very high-cost capital equipment with Scania solutions that provide a greater degree of resource utilisation flexibility as well as cut their capital expenditure without compromising availability or productivity. And we are able to deliver solutions in a timelier manner as well.

"With these new XT water carts we believe we are taking another significant step towards delivering on that strategy," Robert said.

Scania quotes Jim Ray, who controls sales and sales management at mining engineering equipment supplier Shermac, says this was the first time the company had built a water cart of 40,000-litres capacity for a four-axle, road-going truck.

"Our client was looking for a new solution to its water cart requirements and wanted to combine the flexibility of a road-going truck with water capacity approaching that of heavy mining gear, in order to maximise availability and ease of maintenance," Ray says.

"Scania has shown us that it has a lot of experience working globally with mining partners, and they said they were confident that the 8x4 chassis would be suitable for this payload, having seen 66-tonne payloads used widely in tipper configurations in South American and Indonesian mine sites.

"All of our water carts are custom designed and extensively tested to ensure optimum weight distribution and performance no matter how tough the environment or challenge.

"With liquid loads you do get high dynamic forces, but our Roadserve 2000 model water cart is well baffled and on-site speeds will be low and there are few inclines, allowing the vehicles to do their jobs reliably.

"Scania also has a lower centre of gravity compared with the previous solution, which also aids stability and safety."


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