Six repeat orders for WR820 Agitator 10m3

Elphinstone is proactive when listening to the ‘Voice of Customer’ (VOC) to ensure our products meet their requirements. The best voice of customer feedback is a repeat order, and Elphinstone is excited to deliver a sixth feature-packed WR820 10m3 Agitator to a much-valued long term customer through WesTrac. This machine will join three other WR820 10m3 Agitators already operating at the same mine in NSW.

The Agitator features front suspension, air-ride seat, ergonomic controls, excellent visibility from the air-conditioned ROPS/FOPS cabin, which combine to provide the confidence to operate the machine at speeds equalling the production fleet. An inbuilt brake retarder delivers superior braking performance when hauling downhill.

Optional features include a ground level fast fill non-pressurised fuel system with a machine isolation sensor in the fuel receiver cap. The system is environmentally friendly, allowing safe and accurate rapid filling by eliminating overfill spillage from the tank. The machine will not start and a warning light will alert the operator if the fuel receiver cap is not fitted correctly. Other optional features fitted include manual hand pump for chemicals to be added directly to the bowl and a camera mounted on the rails located on the right hand side of the machine for improved operator visibility.

WR810 Tier 4 Underground Series

WR810 Tier 4 machines hit the market in Canada

It says a lot about Elphinstone’s reputation when a dealer halfway around the world orders its machines off the plan.

But that’s exactly what happened when Toromont (Authorised Caterpillar and Elphinstone Dealer) in Ontario, Canada, learned about Elphinstone’s WR810 Tier 4 Underground Support Vehicles.

Toromont secured two of these brand-new machines – one with a flat deck and crane, the other with water sprays and water cannon – for its dealership in Sudbury, Ontario, and they have just been delivered. A third WR810 will be on its way next year.

Designed and manufactured in Burnie, the WR810 is a highly configurable, 10-tonne nominal base platform, comprising a scissor-lift, agitator (6m3), fuel and lube truck, delivery with crane and innovative water cannon.

“This is a machine built to thrive in the harshest underground hard-rock mining environments,” says Larry Widdifield, Sales & Product Support Representative for Elphinstone in North America. “In terms of operator comfort, speed and productivity, the WR810 is hard to beat.”

A 30-year relationship

Among Ontario’s mining community, the Elphinstone name has long been synonymous with quality and innovation. This eastern region is the site of some of the world’s most productive mines, containing vast quantities of nickel, platinum and palladium, and Elphinstone machines have been underground here since 1990.

Larry was involved right from the start, and has some fascinating tales about the early days of the North American business.

“I was working for a company called Crothers – which was later bought by Toromont – when we heard about Elphinstone’s products, and flew to Tasmania to see them,” recalls Larry. “Bob Calvert, and one of the dealers took us out to one of the mines and said, ‘Here, have fun, I’ll see you at the end of the shift,’ and just kinda dumped us there. But we were in great hands, because the customer just loved his machine, and we ordered one.”

That machine – an R1500 loader, serial number 106 – marked the start of Elphinstone’s incursion into Canada, and the beginning of Larry’s relationship with Elphinstone. A year later, he’d left Toromont to become Elphinstone’s first employee for Canada, the US and Mexico.

“Dale gave me a credit card and said, ‘I hope you like travelling – I want you to see what you can do to start the business here.’ Pretty soon, we were delivering 100 machines a year across North America.”

Leading on productivity

Elphinstone’s success came from the quality of its loaders and the company’s ability to address customer requirements with good solutions, says Larry.

“One of the key factors was machine productivity,” he says. “We were faster and more reliable than anybody, and we prioritised operator comfort in our cabs – they were so comfortable, operators were eating their lunch in there instead of going to the lunch room. Managers couldn’t believe the uptake of acceptance by the operators.”

Larry predicts that the WR810 will be just as popular with operators and owners. The operator station is designed to seat three people in comfort with exceptional visibility, which is ideal for training purposes as well as allowing the complete crew to travel collectively, rather than deploying an additional light vehicle for personnel transport.

Meanwhile, the oscillating hitch provides superior operator comfort, four-wheel ground contact and reduced wear on the hitch and steering components.

WR810 Tier 4 Water Cannon

In terms of functionality, the WR810 Tier 4 Water Cannon is a dual application machine, providing both production and support capabilities. “It’s pretty unique,” says Larry.

As a production machine, the water cannon uses high pressure water to blast and wash valuable ore fines from difficult to access areas of the mine. A wireless controller and base station allows the operator to position the 8m telescopic boom for high-pressure blasting of material blockages from a safe remote location.

As a support machine, the high pressure water cannon is used to unblock open stopes by blasting the fines and smaller rocks away, and dislodging the remaining material. Water Spray valves mounted at the rear and sides of the tank suppress dust from the haul roads improving the operating conditions and resulting in improved health and safety.

WR810 Tier 4 Delivery with crane

With a payload of 11,130 kilograms, the WR810 Delivery with crane ensures parts, components and maintenance personnel are transported safely throughout the mine.

The fully integrated Hiab X-HiDuo 092 ‘optimal performance’ loader crane features a rated lifting capacity of 8.8 tonne metre (TM) and a 7.7-metre outreach, providing a reliable solution for day-to-day heavy lifting.

“Our plan is to have these machines in operation in early 2022,” says Larry, adding that there’s already considerable customer interest in these new assets. “The market over here is huge and once these machines get rolling I can see considerable demand for them.”

Haulmax 3900 Service Truck

Elphinstone Haulmax 3900 and SVA partnership exceeds expectations

Designed and manufactured in Tasmania, the Elphinstone Haulmax 3900 is a culmination of over 25 years of experience and research into extended mine haulage applications.

Designed to operate on cycles of approximately 50km, the narrow width design of the Haulmax 3900 allows it to work effectively on roads 15 metres in width. The low centre of gravity and dual rear axle configuration is ideal for extended distance hauls in soft and slippery conditions.

Haulmax 3900 customers are operators with extended distance haulage requirements outside the range of traditional haul trucks. Based on tyre performance indices, the Haulmax design maximises vehicle payloads over longer distances.

The Cat mechanical drive power train and power shift transmission provides unmatched operating efficiency and control on steep grades, in poor underfoot conditions and on haul roads with high rolling resistance.

Pairing the Caterpillar seven-speed planetary power shift transmission with the C27 diesel engine with ACERT Technology, delivers constant power over a wide range of operating speeds.

The lock-up torque converter combines maximum rimpull and cushioned shifting of torque converter drive with the efficiency and performance of direct drive. The lock-up torque converter engages at approximately 8 km/h (5 mph), delivering more power to the wheels.

Other value-add features include excellent traction and stability, operator comfort and safety, serviceability, reliability, and an assured increase in productivity.

These features and more contribute markedly to a reduction in Cost Per Tonne (CPT) and Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) for the customer.

Elphinstone’s focus has always been to deliver customers a total haulage solution based on their specific haul requirements. Hence the 3900 can be optioned with different truck bodies to account for a variety of material applications.

Elphinstone first collaborated with Support Vehicles Australia (SVA) service modules in 2012 to produce a Haulmax 3900 service truck for a valued customer in Western Australia. The unit has since exceeded 50,000 hours in operation and still going strong.

Such was the success of the collaboration; the customer has since purchased an additional eighteen units stationed at numerous sites throughout Australia.

SVA worked closely with Elphinstone to design and manufacture the FSM70 service module to integrate seamlessly with the existing Haulmax chassis. The unique SVA hydraulic drive system is isolated from the Haulmax’s hydraulic system.

The module design and manufacturing processes consider the actual working conditions of the mining applications the Haulmax 3900 service truck will be operating in.

An engineering analysis of the Haulmax chassis’ axle loadings throughout a range of grades ensures weight distribution is kept within the safe working limits specified by Elphinstone.

The selection of the highest quality manufacturing materials and components ensure SVA modules provide safety to the operator and longevity to both the module and the Haulmax 3900.

Elphinstone’s most recent Haulmax service truck order was the 30th truck fitted with an SVA service module, and the 61st Haulmax delivered within Australia.

Elphinstone has delivered over 114 Haulmax trucks via the global Caterpillar Dealer Network to customers in Australia, New Zealand, Canada, Africa and South America. The numerous applications include a dump truck, service truck, water truck or tow tractor for a lowboy trailer.