Optimising Haul Roads for Mining and Construction
Construction companies might be tempted to delay spending money and labour on optimising haul roads – but in the long run, a poorly maintained or utilised haul road will end up costing money.
Good haul road practices
Haul roads are essential for mining and many construction operations. To haul material from one area to another, a stable and accessible road is needed.
The layout and planning of haul roads is important. You don’t want these roads taking unnecessarily long or inefficient routes.
Once haul roads are in place, it’s also important to check their condition regularly.
When checking the condition of a haul road, look out for the following:
the road must be free of puddles, potholes, ruts and gullies
passing room should be adequate
corner radius must allow safe operation at high speed
no spillage or debris should be on the road
there should be no rubber deposits on tight, rocky turns
high braking force shouldn’t be necessary on corners.
Also check that, given the condition of the road, expected road speeds can be achieved and maintained safely.
Haul road maintenance
Without constant maintenance, haul roads quickly develop potholes, corrugation and accumulate debris. Proper haul road maintenance equals saving money on truck maintenance. Tyres, wheels and suspension can all take damage from potholes, debris or unnecessarily long routes.
For example, haul road truck tyres are exceptionally expensive, so it makes sense to get as many hours out of them as possible. Through thorough and regular haul road maintenance, a coal mine in the US was able to increase the life of their truck tyres from 5000 hours to more than 11,000 hours.
Managing truck speeds
How trucks use a haul road can be just as important as the condition of the road. Optimising routes and truck speeds can save money by increasing productivity. GPS data from the trucks can be used to predict and streamline traffic flow.
For example, some mining sites have experimented with having trucks slow down at intersections rather than come to a complete stop. This saves time, fuel and lessens wear and tear on their trucks’ brakes. Proximity awareness technology was also used to ensure the safety of the truck operators.
Here are just some of the ways that efficiency on haul roads can be affected:
inexperienced truck operators
unnecessary stopping at intersection points
reduced speed while following other trucks
bad road conditions
Graders for haul road maintenance
A grader is essential for haul road maintenance. It’s used for maintaining the drainage system, clearing debris and spills and maintaining a smooth road surface.
Grading haul roads is particularly important during the rainy season to eliminate ruts and puddles. This helps prevent haul trucks from churning up the road surface by making it less slippery.
If the road surface becomes corrugated or develops potholes, it may be necessary to loosen the existing surface and reshape it. As long as the surface is thick enough, it can be ripped with a grader’s tynes and then reshaped and compacted.
6Y2805 Cutting Edge and End Bit Application: Grader Color: Customer Required Certification: ISO9001:2008 Part number: 6Y2805 Material: Boron steel, manganese steel and high carbon Type: Grader Spare Parts Part name: Grader blades and overlays Hardness: HRC 25-52 Optimising Haul Roads
8E5529 Grader Blade Application: Grader Color: Customer Required Certification: ISO9001:2008 Part number: 8E5529 Material: Boron steel, manganese steel and high carbon Type: Grader Spare Parts Part name: Grader blades and overlays Hardness: HRC 25-52 Optimising Haul Roads
7D9999 Grader Blades Overlays Application: Grader Color: Customer Required Certification: ISO9001:2008 Part number: 7D9999 Material: Boron steel, manganese steel and high carbon Type: Grader Spare Parts Part name: Grader blades and overlays Hardness: HRC 25-52 Optimising Haul Roads