From humble beginnings
Dale Elphinstone’s relationship with Caterpillar began in 1966 at the age of 15 as an apprentice with Victorian and Tasmanian Cat Dealer, William Adams. Following his trade qualification came employment as a Field Service Mechanic across Tasmanian and King Island mine sites, and for a period of two years, with Canadian Cat Dealer, Finning.
Since modifying Cat surface mining equipment to suit underground applications out of his Fathers shed on their Mooreville Road, Burnie farm in 1975, the Elphinstone name has been synonymous with underground mining.
The Elphinstone Story
Dale B Elphinstone Pty Ltd established
Dale Elphinstone began modifying Caterpillar equipment to suit underground hard rock mining applications out of his Fathers shed on their Mooreville Road, Burnie (Tasmania) farm in 1975. The Elphinstone name was destined to become synonymous with underground mining.
First underground export sales to USA
First export sale to Henderson Mine in the USA by Elphinstone of a purpose design and built R2600 LHD.
Sale of first Elphinstone designed and manufactured R2800 LHD
Sale of first fully designed and manufactured, purpose built R2800 Load Haul Dump (LHD). Machine no.1 was delivered to a customer in Australia and painted white. The machine is still operational and has returned to Burnie to be part of Dale Elphinstone’s collection.
Establishment of Caterpillar Elphinstone Pty Ltd
Establishment of Caterpillar Elphinstone Pty Ltd, a joint venture between Caterpillar Inc and Elphinstone Pty Ltd.
1000th machine delivered
The 1000th machine originally designed by Elphinstone was sold by Caterpillar.
Elphinstone Pty Ltd is established
The Elphinstone Group purchases Service Vehicle Solutions (SVS) and Southern Prospect and combines these with Haulmax to for Elphinstone Pty Ltd. Elphinstone Pty Ltd takes back the Burnie manufacturing facilities and the “Elphinstone” brand from Caterpillar. Development of a new range of specialized underground hard rock support vehicles starts and the manufacturing facilities are repurposed to build these.
Purchase of Underground Grader IP from Groundforce
Elphinstone purchases the underground grader IP of Groundforce to add road maintenance solutions to the growing portfolio of Elphinstone underground hard rock mining products.
End of an era – The last Railmax RMT15F is sold
The first Elphinstone Railmax rail maintenance excavator, the RMT14D was released in 2011. It transformed the rail maintenance industry allowing work to be performed safely under live powerlines and on live parallel tracks. In 2017 the Railmax RMT15F was released, featuring significant control system upgrades to the previous RMT14D version, increasing the machine’s capability, safety and productivity. Signifying the end of an era for Elphinstone Railmax Rail Maintenance Solutions, the last Railmax RMT15F excavator was shipped to BHP at Port Hedland, Western Australia on May 23, 2023.
WR810 model numbers updated to E10
The WR810 model number was phased out in January 2024 and replaced with the E10 model number. The ‘E’ represents the Elphinstone name and the ’10’ indicates the nominal capacity in metric tonnes (depending on configuration). The Elphinstone E10 series of underground support vehicles continues to feature a high level of interchangeability of parts and components between machines.
New E15 base platform released
In January 2024, Elphinstone released the new E15 15-tonne base platform. The first machine to be released was the E15 Agitator 7m³ (pictured). Future models in the range include an E15 Delivery (nominal 15-tonne capacity and 8.8tm crane), E15 Flat Deck (nominal 16-tonne capacity), E15 Water Tank (nominal 13,000L capacity), and E15 Fuel & Lube (Diesel, Lubricants, Grease, Coolant, DEF, Water & Air).
First E15 Agitators dispatched to Ernest Henry Mine
Elphinstone dispatched the first E15 Agitators to Evolution Mining’s Ernest Henry Mine north of Cloncurry in Queensland. A standout feature on both machines were the pink and blue 7m3 agitator bowls with breast and prostate cancer awareness decals signifying Evolution Mining’s investment in cancer research.