That Last Load into the Hauling Unit…

It is such a fulfilling experience for the loader operator to see a heap on the back of the hauling unit. This is how operators have been taught, to make sure that the hauling unit is full to capacity before it leaves the loading area. Today I want us to look deeper into this practice and see if we cannot make any changes, if needed, to this practice.

What are the advantages of a heaped load on the hauling unit? To name a few, please see below:

  • More material will be moved by the hauling unit. This actually increases productivity of the loading unit.
  • Material is moved quickly from the loading area.
  • The best match of the hauling unit body and the loading unit bucket, makes it easy to avoid overloading, and the correct size material is placed into the hauling unit body, and this increases productivity.

And the disadvantages? To name a few, please see below:

  • There is always spillage of the extra loaded material, which then calls for more support equipment to come into the equation.
  • The extra material tends to fall off the hauling unit, and this poses tire damage to the hauling unit and other road users.
  • Depending on the material that is falling and the material that the haul road is made of, there might be damage to the haul road, which then means more haul road maintenance.
  • Fuel consumption goes higher.
  • Wear on the hauling unit is accelerated.
  • We sometimes see a loader with a much bigger bucket loading the hauling units, and the result is that more overloading takes place on the hauling unit.
  • The loading time is also increased as it takes longer to dump that last load into the hauling unit.

With these few bullet points above, it shows that there is a need to get the machine operators to understand the effects of that last load onto the hauling unit. Operators need to understand the material densities, the size of the hauling unit body and the size of the loader unit bucket so that the correct size material can be loaded into the hauling unit.

While we have experts to train operators in this field, we also offer such training to operator supervisors and foremen on the correct loading of hauling units. Much discussions go into cycle times, tire wear, haul road, dumping area and loading area maintenance, etc. The time to save is now, and we all know that in construction and or in mining, the winner works on moving tonnage at the lowest cost…

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