OT: Building in isolated location

Topics include, Machine Tools & Tooling, Precision Measuring, Materials and their Properties, Electrical discussions related to machine tools, setups, fixtures and jigs and other general discussion related to amateur machining.

Moderators: Harold_V, websterz, GlennW

User avatar
seal killer
Posts: 4475
Joined: Sat Aug 18, 2007 10:58 pm
Location: The Land Of Oz (Ahhh, Kansas!)

Re: OT: Building in isolated location

Post by seal killer » Sun Apr 16, 2017 8:38 pm

Pete and Bill and All--

The EX5600 is a true monster hoe (or shovel). A few bites with that baby would make the 300 foot high ridge I'm on into a pond. (I Googled it.)

--Other Bill
You are what you write.

User avatar
warmstrong1955
Posts: 3384
Joined: Thu Mar 18, 2010 2:05 pm
Location: Northern Nevada

Re: OT: Building in isolated location

Post by warmstrong1955 » Sun Apr 16, 2017 8:56 pm

They are scary big Bill!

When I was at MineXpo in Vegas in the 90's, I think they had the new most ginormous at the time EX3500 in the building. I walked up the stairs they set up to get to the cab, and when the last guy got out of the seat, I plopped down in it. Our Hitachi Service Manager was in the cab showin' off all the neat stuff and buttons whistles & bells and all....and started givin' me a bad time....
I pulled my key-ring out of my pocket, slipped my Hitachi key in the ignition switch, and said "Hey Dennis, they don't serve beer at the show anymore. I'm headin' to the 7-11 for a 6-pack....wanna come with? ".
Thought he was gonna have a heart attack! He thought I was serious....and the machine was hot!
That's as close as I've got to runnin' one that big. It was worth a dollar....actually...a beer or six. They had plenty hid out in their display!
I'd stop by and wave my Hitachi key at Dennis, and he'd find me a camouflaged cold one.

:)
Other Bill
Today's solutions are tomorrow's problems.

pete
Posts: 1696
Joined: Tue Feb 10, 2009 6:04 am

Re: OT: Building in isolated location

Post by pete » Sun Apr 16, 2017 10:57 pm

To put it in a perspective most can relate to I couldn't quite touch the top of the tracks of that 5500 as high as I could stretch. Not a hope of touching the counter weight. The bottom of it was maybe 10' - 12' off the ground. There's a hydraulic operated probe or "tree" you lower from the cab that's in front of the counter weight. It's got mulitiple quick attach fittings for each rad, each engine for oil, hydraulic, fuel etc. Our fuel truck pumped about as much as the usual fuel tanker filling up home oil tanks.Every 12 hrs he'd spend 20-25 minutes at full throttle on the pump just to top off the fuel tank.Each bucket tooth gets replaced using a hiab. Even when the teeth are worn out there still a good 80 - 100 lbs.Each boom cylinder is about 24" in diameter. $180,000 just for one rebuilt boom cylinder. If I remember correctly it was 17 ladder rungs and stairs to climb up to the cab. Once your operating it for a few days you really don't think about the size and power. They are a lot tougher to operate as smoothly as an excavator though. The bucket, stick and boom really weighs a lot and get even slightly rough on the controls and the whole machine starts bouncing. It did take me awhile to get used to having the extra foot pedal for opening and closing the bucket though.One of my buddys who also ran it was good enough he could pick up a plastic blasting cone that had fallen over and stand it upright. Those cones are maybe 18" high. But I still think in the right conditions and with two machines of equal size and power an excavator will out produce a hydraulic shovel. It's much easier to load the bucket with a hoe by pulling towards you. And that 5500 really tore up the pit floors when moving it anywhere. We had to travel for only about 10 minutes at a time then let the propel motors cool for at least 5 minutes. Just before we shut down I was loading out topsoil for reclamation of various areas. It was nothing to have the machine sink 3' - 5' while digging in that. And that's with the material heavily compacted from the haul trucks. I spent way too much time backing up and then filling the track trenches just to keep from sinking too far. We had a 4 cyl diesel up on the deck at cab level. That got used to run the lights at night. The machine came with a hiab assembley bolted to the deck at the same level for changing out heavy components of the pumps and engines but we never used it and just brought in one of the mines cranes.

LOL, I've still got a couple of Cat and Hitachi keys as well. I'd say that move deserved a few beers Bill. When we moved from copper mountain back over to the Ingerbell pit for a couple of years I moved our Dart 600C loader across the river. Maybe 8-10 miles on pretty much a single lane steep narrow logging sized road they'd built just to get that loader across. Lot's of spots I had 12" of the offside tires hanging out in air outside the road. Had a few 6' plus bull pines a little too close to get around them without maybe rubbing off some paint. Stick a bucket tooth against the trunk and just push em over. That loader didn't even spin a tire. Beer runs with any of these machines sounds like fun.

User avatar
warmstrong1955
Posts: 3384
Joined: Thu Mar 18, 2010 2:05 pm
Location: Northern Nevada

Re: OT: Building in isolated location

Post by warmstrong1955 » Mon Apr 17, 2017 8:48 am

I don't think a lot of people realize just how big some of this equipment is. That's why MinExpo was so much fun. Manufacturers bring in their newest & best stuff to show off, and there's always some that are bigger than they were at the previous show. Several years ago, Liebherr had, at the time the largest haul-truck ever built. It was 310 ton. Now, 400 ton trucks are common, and the biggest in the world is 496 ton. :shock: For those who like to look at big toys, it's worth a trip. In 2012, Cat had an EMD locomotive on display. It was not long after they bought EMD. I think I posted a pic of it here.

Dart! There's a name I haven't heard in a while. The prez of the company I worked for in Portland worked for Dart. He left when Paccar sold them to Unit Rig.
600 was a big beast in it's day. They just keep getting bigger.

I have a couple key rings, loaded with all kinds of equipment keys. Probably dated at this point! :)

Other Bill
Today's solutions are tomorrow's problems.

pete
Posts: 1696
Joined: Tue Feb 10, 2009 6:04 am

Re: OT: Building in isolated location

Post by pete » Mon Apr 17, 2017 2:10 pm

I've run across a few expos of that type on YouTube. Liebherr is pretty common in those. I've yet to operate anything they've built though. At the time I was operating that 600 Newmont were running 10 yr old 100 ton Unit Rigs so that Dart was a good match. Only a 12 yrd rock bucket so pretty small by todays standards. And I haven't heard that Dart name for a very long time either. Not even sure there still in business now. I did really like there offset cab, but it did take awhile to get used to how tippy it made the machine feel. Nice large and well laid out cab even against the Cat 992. It was a pretty good machine but Cat builds a lot better and tougher machine for a hell of a lot more money.

Personaly I thought it was a bad decision but Kemess for whatever reason decided crushing rock for winter sanding on the haul roads wasn't worth it. They'd stockpile any fine blasted waste rock and have the haul trucks spread that and use D10 Cats when the drivers weren't that good at spreading to thin out the load and 16 sized Cat graders to fine tune it. The first haul truck I loaded up there was a 260 ton Euc beefed up with spill boards to take 300 tons. Normally they'd use our big loader but it was down. So I used a 980 loader to do it. There was a stack of old haul truck tires the trucks backed up against and a ramp for the loader and you drove the whole machine into the back of the haul truck and started at the front of the box and worked backwards until it was full. Takes a long time to put 300 tons on a truck with a 980. Normal out in the world construction sites a 980 is still a fair sized machine for those who don't know. There was 3'-4' clearance on each side of that loader and the side walls of the truck box. Our rope shovels could throw a full load on those trucks in 4 passes.

Yeah dated keys, I'm not sure Cat even uses those stamped flat master keys anymore. The 16H graders used them in the engine compartment and had the more modern ignition type key in the cab. And the last numbers I heard for those real large haul truck tires were over 60k per tire. Common mining practice is to add spill boards to most new trucks and they expect every load to be spilling off the sides and rear when the trucks considered loaded. So my guess is there usually packing 550 tons plus on those 496 ton sized trucks with rock. Probably another 350-400 tons or more for the bare truck weight, so they'd be getting real close to a 1,000 tons GVW. I've driven up to those 300 ton Eucs and if you don't look over to the right and see the width you don't really notice how big they are while driving them. But I've seen a few pickups get flattened by haul trucks and it doesn't leave much that can be recognised. :-)

User avatar
warmstrong1955
Posts: 3384
Joined: Thu Mar 18, 2010 2:05 pm
Location: Northern Nevada

Re: OT: Building in isolated location

Post by warmstrong1955 » Mon Apr 17, 2017 4:12 pm

Unit Rig bought Dart from Paccar, and then not long after, it was Tyrannosaurus Terex bought Unit Rig.....late 80's I think.
What a soap opera the equipment world is......hard to tell who is what and what bought who. Can't beat 'em....buy 'em!
Like the tyrannosaurus....both Dart & Unit Rig are extinct.

Yeah....park a 980 next to a 992 or 994, and ya gotta go 'ahhhhhh....isn't that little guy cute cute ?'

I have a newer Cat key too. Probably Alaska specific, like most of my Hitachi keys. More like a car key, with the plastic handle & all. I have the ol' flat Cole Hersee Cat key too. My CJ5 used the same key for the battery ISO switch.

Euclid was gobbled up by Hitachi. Early 90's, when I was in Alaska. I think they since phased out the Euclid name, just as Volvo phased out the Michigan name. Best thing...they phased out the obscene green! Terex still has some of it.....ugly.....

This pic is from the Ray mine in Arizona, 2010. Hard to tell, but that used to be a 1/2 pickup.
I knew the one killed in the pickup....amazingly enough....they other one survived. Both Mechanics.
Ray, 2010.jpg
Glad I pretty much stayed in the underworld dweller type mining world.... :(
Not near so dangerous as that on the earth mining.

Other Bill
Today's solutions are tomorrow's problems.

pete
Posts: 1696
Joined: Tue Feb 10, 2009 6:04 am

Re: OT: Building in isolated location

Post by pete » Mon Apr 17, 2017 7:07 pm

Geeze Bill that's a lousy way to lose someone you know. I've worked open pit off and on for almost 25 yrs. There's been a few serious injurys but no deaths. But everyone of the pickups I've seen flattened were either a mechanics or electritions pickup. In the early 1980s I went on holidays, the very next day a real fool for a haul truck driver fired his up at shift start, threw it in reverse and proceeded to shove the back of his box right into the cab of my truck. The steering wheel crushed the drivers seat right down until it was forced onto the floor. Had I been there I very much doubt hearing the back up warning horn that I would even have looked up from the usual shift start paperwork. Those warning horns are so common you really don't think much about them. At best I'd likely be crippled for life after they got me cut out of the truck. Just random dumb luck I wasn't in my truck nor was anyone else.

Anyone who's never worked in mining might wonder how something like Bills picture could even happen. All of these haul trucks have a real poor field of view out the front and right hand side. Add in boredom and too many who seem to be a bit over confident in what there doing and it happens real easy. We finally made it policy for the mechanics or anyone else to radio the equipment operator and get a definate response he was stopped with the brakes locked. The equipment couldn't move again until the mechanic etc radioed that he was clear.

Possibly it's in use at other mines although I've never heard of it, but I've always thought all the light duty pickups ect should have short range transponders on them. Get within 50'-100' of any equipment and a light and warning beeper starts in the equipments cab. It's not 100% failsafe, but I think it would help. Any mine I've worked at all the light duty pickups had what we called buggy whips on them. Maybe 12' long with a flag and small light on the end just so they were easier to see. But those can and do get missed as well.

Yeah I've got the exact same set of Cat and Hitachi keys myself. I'm not totally sure but I thought they were all the same for any area. I know my Cat ignition key opens any Cat padlock and works in any ignition switch I've tried them on. And I sure agree about that obscene clown green.:-) Even brand new and shiny they still look ugly. Can't remember what state it was in but there was one construction company I saw who had all there equipment repainted in a light pinkish purple color. That was way worse than the the Euc green for sure.

Guess it makes sense why we haven't heard the Dart name used in a long time. Thanks for the updates.

Chris Smith
Posts: 8
Joined: Tue Sep 23, 2008 9:44 pm
Location: Tucson, AZ

Re: OT: Building in isolated location

Post by Chris Smith » Mon Apr 17, 2017 8:04 pm

I think most of our pancake pickups were the result of geologists in their own little world. They would park right behind the haul truck waiting to back up to the muck pile, the geologist would jump out and climb the pile changing cut offs and looking at rock. The haul truck driver starts backing up, the shovel is loading the other side so the operator can not see what is about to happen, the pick up is thus flattened in the blink of an eye. Even with back up TV there are areas the driver can not see. No deaths. This was at Pima, Esperanza and Serrita (sp) in Arizona.

Chris

pete
Posts: 1696
Joined: Tue Feb 10, 2009 6:04 am

Re: OT: Building in isolated location

Post by pete » Mon Apr 17, 2017 8:32 pm

There's more miners here than I'd thought Chris. Yeah there's always some who for various reasons get themslves into where they shouldn't be. Makes you wonder what there thinking sometimes. Usually any new pit engineers or geologist's spent a couple of years with someone who had some experience around the equipment so we didn't have many problems with them. We also had a few new guys start that for whatever reason just couldn't drive the haul trucks well enough they could be trusted. They got shipped off to the mill and got promoted to chief hose operator. :-)

User avatar
warmstrong1955
Posts: 3384
Joined: Thu Mar 18, 2010 2:05 pm
Location: Northern Nevada

Re: OT: Building in isolated location

Post by warmstrong1955 » Mon Apr 17, 2017 8:48 pm

Yeah....it was an ugly one. A bad miscommunication. The mechanics got done fixing the truck, the truck driver did his pre-op check, and dispatch turned him loose to go....not knowing or checking where the mechanics were. Like you say....you can't see diddly around you up in the cab of one of those things, but they turned him loose. There was another truck driver who saw him hitting the pickup, and hollered at him on the radio to stop, but too late.

Cameras are being used quite a bit more. We had them on our 40D Toro trucks underground for backing up. A lot of places you had to. They came equipped with mirrors. Ever see how long a mirror lasts underground? Worked well....just had to clean the lens cover a lot, and replace it often.
We built some electric 8 yard LHD's, with proxy switches. Wasn't a people problem, was a preventative measure to keep from running over the machines own trailing cable. Too close to the cable, you'd get a light, then a horn, and then the brakes came on. Worked quite well. Don't know why that wouldn't work for people & pickups as well.

Is that Euc green....or yuck green? :) I used to go Echo Bay's Lupin Mine in Canada. They painted each model a different color. I don't know why, but the Miller buggies, basic underground transportation, were painted a pinky-purple color. It was referred to as Muckledee-pewk-pink. They changed it later....I think by popular demand.

Geologists....are nerds.... just rock nerds. ;) I've heard of a few of their pickups being flattened too. Most though that I know of....mechanics & electricians. I know your neighborhood...we used to contract Sierrita Mining & Ranching to build our diamond drill roads at Marble Peak. (Mt. Lemmon) I lived in Oracle at the time.

The late great Magma Copper in San Manuel, had an electrician kill his own truck. A slag pot from the smelter wouldn't dump, and they hollered for help on the radio. He zipped out there to get 'er fixed before the slag set up in the pot. Rule was....electricians did not dump the pot, the loci driver did. Guess he never heard the rule.
I think that stuff is about 2000 F or better....and he dumped left, when he shoulda dumped right...under his pickup. Thing was about 8" tall when it was over. :) Didn't take long....

Whoa...we are off on a tangent huh... :roll:

:)
Bill
Today's solutions are tomorrow's problems.

pete
Posts: 1696
Joined: Tue Feb 10, 2009 6:04 am

Re: OT: Building in isolated location

Post by pete » Mon Apr 17, 2017 10:38 pm

Just about every mining accident I've seen was usualy more from a fluke combination of circumstances that you'd think were more than unlikely to happen. Real bad communication and procedures for dispatch to do something like that. I'd guess the standard procedures got a full overhaul after that accident. No it doesn't help that mechanic but it might help save someone in the future. I'd still be pretty upset for the rest of my life if I killed someone with any equipment I was in control of even if it wasn't my fault.

That proxy switch is a real good idea. I've seen a few shovel and blast hole drill operators back up over there own trailing cable. Almost done it a few times myself. And I've come way to close to getting run over in graders by a few drivers not paying enough attention. Yeah were way OT but all these stories might help Sealkiller and maybe some others think about what can happen even with a lot smaller equipment.

User avatar
seal killer
Posts: 4475
Joined: Sat Aug 18, 2007 10:58 pm
Location: The Land Of Oz (Ahhh, Kansas!)

Re: OT: Building in isolated location

Post by seal killer » Tue Apr 18, 2017 8:39 am

Pete and Bill and Chris and All--

It is difficult for "civilians" to realize just how massive some of these machines are. I am always amazed when I see a picture of a big one, such as some you have discussed. The safety issues involved are orders of magnitude more important than anything I've encountered. But, yes, Pete, the stories you guys have discussed DO make me think about safety more than I have and that is vital.

I was pulling felled timber out of a pile with a heavy chain using the Komatsu. I had two ground guys doing hookup for me. One of them said "Go" and I backed up, pulling a big pine with me. The root ball stayed where it was and the top of the pine whipped around contacting one of the ground guys. Fortunately, it was at that moment that I saw what was going on and stopped. It scared me (and him!). Now I make sure I work with either no ground guys (THAT is a lot of work since I have to get off the machine and do my own hookup) or one ground guy.

About those twin 16 cylinder Cummins diesels on the shovel. The only "experience" I have with big power like that is in rail locomotives. Long, long ago, I spent ten years on the Sante Fe. I believe the largest road units we had were 3600 (maybe 3300?) horse, single diesel engines. But, the UP had some BIG ones; back to back 16 cylinder engines on a long wheelbase engine. I have seen a couple of these babies pull a 20,000+ coal train out of town and they were a beautiful sight to behold! (Back in those days, before radio controlled units, it took a LOT of skill to get something that heavy moving without tearing the train in two.)

The problem with the big UP units was that they tended to go on the ground around a curve that shorter engines routinely navigate. Not good.

--Bill
You are what you write.

Post Reply