Metals industry equipment and service company South African Mining &Smelting Solutions (SAMSS) has launched its range of underground mining utility vehicles in the South African market.
SAMSS, which is a subsidiary of multinational foundry industry equipment manufacturer Dango & Dienenthal, showcased an underground tanker and a dual-lift vehicle to clients at its factory in Ekurhuleni.
Dango & Dienenthal Southern Africa CEO Hannes Goosen says the company tested the vehicles over four years in Russia, where they were designed, built and tested by SAMSS technical director JP van der Linde.
Goosen adds that SAMSS’s vehicles have already met local mining safety standards, including roll-over protection, falling objects protection, automatic stop in the event of a loss of hydraulic pressure, as well as emergency stop systems, including those that are activated when a vehicle loses power while on an incline.
The company will introduce the complete range of the SAMSS Transvers underground utility vehicles, which includes personnel transport, vacuum, mixers and explosives transport vehicles, onto the South African market.
Additionally, SAMSS is designing low-profile versions of these vehicles. The company has secured 90 orders internationally and aims to complete the design of the low-profile vehicles within the next year.
The company provides services and support throughout Africa through the Dango and Dienentha network, as well as its partners’ networks.
The SAMSS vehicles are made by Dango & Dienenthal aluminium and mining equipment subsidiary Hencon in Russia and the Netherlands. SAMSS hopes to gain sufficient orders from the African mining market to establish a factory in South Africa to produce the vehicles, says Goosen.
The vehicles use hydrostatic drive systems, which means that there are no gears, gearboxes or drive shafts. This removes the problem of disproportionate wear on the lower gears of hydrodynamic drive mining vehicles – ss well as associated maintenance – and means that the vehicles have high availability, measured at between 90% and 95% during the trials in Russia.
Each vehicle’s Deutz diesel engine drives a hydraulic pump and hydraulic motor in a closed-loop system for each of the two drive shafts. The vehicles can navigate slopes of up to 20° and water up to 1 m deep.
“The design makes the vehicle fuel efficient, even when subjected to changes in speed, with about 30% efficiency gain, compared with conventional hydrodynamic-drive vehicles operating under similar conditions,” says Van der Linde.
Properly maintaining the hydraulic fluid filters and ensuring oils are clean will result in the vehicles operating effectively for many years, he emphasises.
The vehicles are available in left- or right-hand-drive formats, adds Goosen.
“The global shift to electric vehicles should spur the development of new mines in Africa, and the expansion of existing mines. This is the market we aim to serve, and we also expect to gain orders from local mines. owing to the quality, performance and reliability of these vehicles.”