Australia is one of the leading nations as far as mining goes, as we have a wealth of natural resources that are used to build structures and equipment. This is a specialist industry that uses an array of heavy equipment types in order to extract precious natural resources that are found in the ground; with mining also comes a level of environmental responsibility, with mining companies paying huge fines if they do not comply with strict environment laws.
Here are some of the types of heavy equipment used in the mining sector.
- Excavator – A caterpillar tracked vehicle that has a large pivoting arm onto which is attached a digging bucket. This machine can dig down to a depth of 6m and can go just about anywhere; of course, they come in a range of sizes, from mini to extra-large. Such a machine can dig out a swimming pool in a few hours and you will see many if you visit mining sites.
- Bulldozer – Also known as a dozer, this is a tracked vehicle with a blade on the front to push earth forward. They are used to cut paths into wooded areas and generally move earth; a dozer is designed to work 24/7, which is standard in the mining industry.
- Dump truck – The mining industry would grind to a halt without dump trucks; check out the range of John Deere articulated dump trucks that can move serious amounts of material. A mining operation would typically have a huge fleet of dump trucks that work round the clock, with perhaps a few spare trucks in case of breakdown. Sizes range from small to mega huge, depending on the size of the mining project and they are kept working through 3 shifts per day.
- Grader – A 6-wheeled vehicle that has a steel blade underneath that grades the ground level; the blade is fully adjustable and a good operator can quickly shape the land to the required level. The blade is located just in front of the cab and is slightly slanted at an angle to allow soil to be pushed to one side. Designed to work endlessly, a motor grader prepares the ground before road-building, shaping and contouring as required.
- Backhoe – An extremely versatile piece of kit, a backhoe is really two machines in one; a hydraulic arm at the rear is for excavating and there are numerous end attachments for digging trenches and holes, plus a hammer-jack to break up concrete. On the front, a large bucket is perfect for loading up vehicles, which is also hydraulically operated. Here is some useful information on the different types of fork lift available.
- Conveyor belt – If you want to move earth, setting up a conveyor belt is the most economical way there is! Long belts feed earth to other belts and a network can take earth directly to a sorting facility that might be a few miles away.
The mining industry would not be able to operate without such machinery and equipment must be correctly maintained according to the manufacturer’s specifications.