An innovative asymmetrical design for haul trucks

Siobhan Doyle

Haul truck expert custom engineers an asymmetrical hard rock body for underground hauling environments.

An off-highway haul truck customisation expert has expanded its custom engineering portfolio of HiVol hard rock bodies to include asymmetrical bodies that are optimised for underground environments. Philippi-Hagenbuch manufactured and delivered the inaugural four bodies for articulated John Deere 260E haul trucks working in an underground limestone mine in Kansas City, Missouri. The design maximises each truck’s hauling capacity while allowing for safer, more efficient loading to account for environmental constraints, such as clearance and visibility.

“We recognise that every mine is different, so it’s always been a focus to address our clients’ needs with custom-engineered and manufactured solutions,” says Josh Swank at Philippi-Hagenbuch. “In a dark underground space, these custom-engineered bodies make a significant difference in terms of increasing the safety and efficiency of the loading process.”

Each hard rock body for the underground limestone mine has a total volumetric capacity of 23.9yd3, an increase over the 19.6 OEM body capacity. The custom design features a hoisted, low-side body in which the passenger side is taller than the driver’s, to factor in loading conditions such as the loader itself, mine height, loading direction and cycle time. This asymmetry gives clearance for the loader on the driver’s side and allows the passenger side to act as a backboard to catch material as it is loaded, avoiding unnecessary spillage.

To ensure an equal distribution of weight and improve stability, Philippi-Hagenbuch engineered the bodies with a floor that is elongated on the driver’s side and shortened on the passenger side. Widening the body lowers the centre of gravity, making the truck more stable and increasing operator safety. Engineers addressed the unique size of the offset body by customising a cylinder mount with shortened OEM cylinders to meet clearance specifications and ensure the body of the truck did not hit the ceiling in the underground mine when dumping.

“Although the cylinder mount required engineering, we did not have to design a brand-new cylinder for it,” Swank continues. “Our philosophy is to use as many OEM body-mounting components as possible so that it’s easier for clients to replace wear parts, minimising maintenance and downtime.”

The company builds each body exclusively with high-strength, abrasion-resistant Hardox 450 steel for robust durability to handle extreme mining environments. Additionally, the bodies come equipped with a custom engineered Autogate tailgate to maximise capacity and prevent spillage from the back of the truck. These tailgates are uniquely designed to match the asymmetrical shape of the custom body and the natural angle of repose of the material being hauled.

This design, although engineered for a specific mining operation, offers potential benefits for a wide range of operations with underground haul trucks.






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