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First Extra Tough Australian Scania XT heads to work

The first Extra Tough Scania New Truck Generation XT mining chassis have arrived in Australia, complete with industry-leading side curtain roll-over airbag protection.

Two Scania NTG G 450 8x4 twin steer chassis have been fitted with new, higher-capacity 40,000-litre Shermac water cart bodies for a Western Australian mining customer operating in the Pilbara.

The tailor-made Shermac bodies are more than double the capacity of those fitted to traditional road-going trucks used on mine sites. They are designed to replace mine-specific road train combinations. The new Scania XT trucks offer the customer a more cost-effective solution to the requirement for dust suppression and road building assistance on-site.

“Our customer has had experience operating a fleet of Scania trucks on-site as service vehicles, flatbeds and technical support vehicles for the past year, and they have performed well,” according to Robert Taylor, General Manager, Mining at Scania Australia.

“The trucks were in service 24-hours per day, 7-days per week and have clocked up around 70,000 km on-site in their first 12 months. They have been very reliable in service and the drivers enjoyed the comfortable and quiet Scania cab,” he said.

“When we were discussing the replacement of the customer’s existing water carts, we suggested a more flexible solution, in the form of the NTG 450 XT 8x4 as they could handle the higher payload of 40,000-litres for a GVM of around 66-tonnes,” Robert said.

“The water carts are also on call 24/7 and reliability is very important to our customer. They work in an extremely harsh environment where there is a lot of dust and heat and so water cart availability is critical to the mine’s operations. The vehicles will be serviced on-site to maximise uptime.” Robert said.

“Creating this new high-capacity water cart underscores Scania’s ability to configure a vehicle exactly to a client’s needs.

“Our client wanted a reliable, high-capacity vehicle that could be maintained easily and quickly and one that could do the job day-in, day-out. The new Scania XT range is designed for these conditions, and in addition to being able to source and fit a suitable body, we have been able to deliver a solution at a reduced capital cost to the client compared with their previous solution,” Robert said.

“One of our longer-term goals has been to be able to offer our customers the ability to replace their very high-cost capital equipment with Scania solutions that provide a greater degree of resource utilisation flexibility as well as cut their capital expenditure without compromising availability or productivity. And we are able to deliver solutions in a timelier manner as well.

“With these new XT water carts we believe we are taking another significant step towards delivering on that strategy,” Robert said.

Jim Ray, who controls sales and sales management at mining engineering equipment supplier Shermac, said this was the first time the company had built a water cart of 40,000-litres capacity for a four-axle, road-going truck.

“Our client was looking for a new solution to its water cart requirements and wanted to combine the flexibility of a road-going truck with water capacity approaching that of heavy mining gear, in order to maximise availability and ease of maintenance,” Jim said.

“Scania has shown us that it has a lot of experience working globally with mining partners, and they said they were confident that the 8x4 chassis would be suitable for this payload, having seen 66-tonne payloads used widely in tipper configurations in South American and Indonesian mine sites.

“All of our water carts are custom designed and extensively tested to ensure optimum weight distribution and performance no matter how tough the environment or challenge,” Jim said.

“With liquid loads you do get high dynamic forces, but our Roadserve 2000 model water cart is well baffled and on-site speeds will be low and there are few inclines, allowing the vehicles to do their jobs reliably. Scania also has a lower centre of gravity compared with the previous solution, which also aids stability and safety,” he said.

The Scania NTG XT range has been designed for challenging operating conditions and comes with a 150 mm protruding steel front bumper bar that protects the vehicle against significant frontal knocks. With protective grilles for the LED headlights, a fold-down bumper-mounted step to allow safe access for windscreen cleaning on-site, and a 40-tonne capacity tow point, the XT specification is well suited to the life of hard knocks expected on mine sites. Additionally, Scania has added extra tough door mirror covers for the XT, as they are often very vulnerable to accidental damage.

Within the NTG cabs, all drivers are seated more comfortably in new seats, positioned closer to the screen and door for enhanced visibility, while repositioned A-pillars and mirrors provide an even safer and more panoramic view out front and to the side.

The G 450 B8x4HZ chassis selected by the customer has a 5950 mm axle distance, and two 12-tonne front axles and two 21-tonne rear drive axles for a GVM of 66-tonnes. The 450 hp 13.0-litre six-cylinder in-line engine drives through a Scania Opticruise automated gearchange and GRSO935R transmission, with specific Off-Road mode built into the management system. The latest and highest output Scania hydraulic Retarder system is fitted to provide safe and seamless braking, preserving the service brake linings on the drum brakes, which are backed by ABS.

Steel leaf spring suspension all-round provides a robust solution for the on-site driving environment, backed up by a heavy-duty mechanical suspension for the cab to chassis connections. A new electrically powered cab tilting mechanism is OH&S friendly, as well.

Within the low roof day cab, the Scania XT is fitted with a steering-wheel mounted airbag as well as driver and passenger side curtain airbags designed to protect occupants in the event of a rollover and elevating Scania above its rivals in the provision of potentially life-saving safety equipment, making the Scania XT the world’s safest truck for extra-tough working environments.