Heavy-equipment manufacturer Bell Equipment is introducing cost-effective products to help mining and quarrying companies manage the challenges in their industries.
Bell Equipment quarry industry specialist Tyron Ravenscroft notes that, much like the mining industry, the quarrying industry is dealing with a difficult economic environment, aggravated by additional challenges, such as labour unrest, electricity- and water-supply problems, as well as increasingly stricter environment, and health and safety legislation.
The company is, thus, also introducing products that have environmental sustainability. Ravenscroft explains that a large portion of Bell Equipment’s product development is focused on meeting the global trend of reducing engine emissions, adding that the company is committed to introducing new green initiatives wherever opportunities exist. Bell articulated dump trucks (ADTs) are the market leader in low fuel consumption, enabling the company to offer the smallest environmental footprint, compared with the ADTs of competitors.
In line with this, Bell will launch its B60E 4 ×4 vehicle at quarrying expo Hillhead 2016, in Derbyshire, UK, later this month. The vehicle is powered by the latest Mercedes-Benz engine and has full articulation steering and an oscillation joint, which keeps all four wheels on the ground and fully uses available traction. This, in turn, allows for more off-road capability than any other conventional rigid truck. The B60E also has an economical drivetrain that delivers significantly lower fuel consumption than a traditional rigid truck.
The vehicle is also designed to perform well in adverse weather. Rain and excess water can greatly affect traction, and many rigid trucks do not perform well in such conditions. The B60E can continue working safely in such conditions, with no loss in production, owing to its all-wheel traction. Additionally, less ground maintenance is needed at load and dump sites, which is traditionally required to prevent rigid trucks from getting stuck, saving time and money. The company notes that, with its 55 000 kg payload, the B60E is the ideal solution when high productivity is required in adverse conditions.
Bell notes that the vehicle’s four-wheel drive system and ability, through the incorporation of an independent front and rear chassis to keep its wheels on the ground, make the B60E ideal for several specific applications. Its tighter turning circle and ability to negotiate steeper ramps are also significant advantages over its (rigid truck) counterparts . . . “It has already proven itself in a number of trials across various industries and we are looking forward to introducing it to visitors at Hillhead, alongside the rest of the evolutionary E-Series and our latest wheeled loader range,” says Bell Equipment UK MD Nick Learoyd.
Bell also introduced the B25E 6 × 4 supertruck, which provides a lower-cost-per-ton solution, in April 2015. The supertruck has a typical ADT layout and serves as an alternative to road-going tipper trucks in the construction and quarrying industries, with the same 24 000 kg payload and engine performance as the company’s standard B25E. However, it couples this with a 6 × 4 drivetrain and 20.5 R25 tyres to deliver a substantial cost saving, compared with the standard B25E, Bell notes.
Other benefits include the driven front axle, which assists steering in soft sand, and a very tight turning circle. The cab comprises a certified roll-over protection system and falling object protection system. The truck also has numerous purpose-designed safety features that assist clients in meeting increasingly stringent health and safety requirements.
In conjunction with its alliance partner – mobile crushing, screening and recycling equipment manufacturer Terex Finlay – Bell introduced the new range of Finlay dual-powered crushers and screens in August last year. These units are designed and manufactured by Finlay in Ireland, the global hub for crushing and screening.
The crushers are electrically driven, enabling users to operate the machine in two ways – from an external electricity supply source or an on-board generator. The generator enables the operator to move and use the machine where there is no electricity supply, allowing for increased flexibility and versatility in operations.
The dual-powered units offer customers considerable savings, says Bell. A crusher operating on the power grid provides customers with a cost saving of 65% to 70% depending on fuel and electricity costs, compared with the performance of other crushers. Customers with the same unit, operating off the grid (running the on-board genset), have reported a cost saving of up to 30% using the diesel engine to power the electric motors, compared with a diesel engine running the hydraulics of a standard unit.
Bell is also involved in several skills development initiatives, including providing in-service training for industrial and mechanical engineering national diploma students aligned with the relevant university of technology’s requirements. The company selects its junior technicians from these groups of trainees and also manages a two-year graduate programme for BSc mechanical engineering graduates.
Bell is further committed to internal and external training through two different programmes – apprentice training and technical (product and operator) training. Internally, the company trains a large number of apprentices to meet its operational requirements and provides earthmoving apprentice training as a service for its customers. As part of the group’s commitment to nurturing and developing scarce and critical skills, Bell is an accredited training provider and runs a trade test centre for the earthmoving qualification; the company is also an accredited workplace provider of qualifications in machining, fitting, welding, turning and fitting and turning. The company’s technical training team is available for the benefit of the Bell Customer Service Centre network and customers, and offers a range of courses – from basic to advanced diagnostics. This team also offers operator training programmes for new operators and refresher courses for seasoned operators across the whole product range.