Swedish construction equipment manufacturer Volvo unveiled the world’s largest articulated dump truck (ADT) – the 60 t Volvo A60H – and the brand’s largest-ever crawler excavator – the 90 t Volvo EC950E – during a launch earlier this month in Middelburg, Mpumalanga.
The A60H and EC950E are exclusively available in Southern Africa through Babcock, the sole regional distributor for Volvo Construction Equipment in the region.
Although the two pieces of machinery were officially unveiled at trade fair bauma, in Germany, last year, the local launch was labelled as the first “operational launch”, as the South African mining industry is a key market for this machinery. The first three Volvo A60H ADTs were ordered at the bauma unveiling last year by a South African mining company, with another three having been ordered by another local mining company since then – all of which are currently being shipped to South Africa.
Babcock equipment business MD David Vaughan says Babcock is fully prepared for the roll-out of the A60H and EC950E. Volvo teams from Sweden and Korea have completed intensive sales and technical training with Babcock staff in South Africa, while Babcock has ensured that there is sufficient availability of Volvo spare parts and other related elements, such as the larger specialised tyres used on the A60H.
Tyre manufacturers Goodyear, Bridgestone and Michelin manufacture the tyres required for the A60H.
Vaughan adds that Babcock has partnered with local vendors to develop solutions for the aftermarket, such as fire suppression, automatic greasing and collision avoidance systems, for both machines.
In preparation for the roll-out, Babcock has been appointed an accredited service dealer for US transmission manufacturer Allison, thereby authorising Babcock to undertake repairs and servicing of the fully automatic Allison transmission employed in the A60H.
Vaughan notes that the A60H and EC950E are “eminently suitable” for local mining operations, as their robust drivelines are designed specifically for the challenging applications in the Southern Africa mining environment. “The A60H ADT, in particular, is perfectly suited for opencast coal mining, where short, yet extremely steep, ramps have to be negotiated to access boxcuts made through overburden . . . to expose high-grade coal.”
The A60H can deliver up to 40% more productivity than Volvo’s previous largest hauler. A key aspect of the A60H is its inherent versatility and ability to traverse challenging terrain with its 6 × 6 drivetrain and articulated steering, both of which offer greater benefits in muddy conditions and steep gradients, compared with rigid dump trucks.
Another benefit for clients with an existing fleet of Volvo ADTs is the A60H’s commonality with other Volvo ADTs, thereby eliminating the need for major retraining of operators. A60H operators will require only a short orientation course and technicians who regularly service other Volvo dump trucks will have knowledge of many of its elements.
Meanwhile, Volvo aims to market the A60H as a tandem package with the EC950E excavator, which is designed specifically to efficiently load the A60H. Featuring more than 424 kN of breakout force and 408 kN of tearout force, the excavator can handle high-capacity duties in tough applications.
The 90 t EC950E delivers enhanced fuel efficiency through a 16 ℓ engine, a new electrohydraulic control system, Volvo’s unique Eco mode and an ergonomic operator environment.
The EC950E features a wide track gauge, long track length, a retractable undercarriage and an enhanced counterweight.
Suitable for quarrying and mining applications, the EC950E can be specified with the options of a general-purpose, heavy-duty or extreme-duty bucket, all of which contain wear-resistant steel plates.
Both machines can be bought from Babcock, with customer support agreements offering preventive maintenance, total repairs and several uptime services, while the latest Volvo technology is used to monitor machine operation and status, ultimately resulting in increased profitability for customers and retention of asset value.
Babcock offers full after- market support services and facilities for Volvo construction equipment.