National mining contractor Toll Mining Services (Toll) has demonstrated the value of a rigorous preventive maintenance program.
Toll recently achieved a significant milestone of more than 30,000 working hours on two Komatsu WA900-3 wheel loaders with no major component change-outs during that time.
The loaders are part of Toll's fleet of equipment located in the Bowen Basin and are primarily used for the loading out of coal stockpiles and other general loading and clean up tasks onsite.
Daniel Ellerton, Customer Support Sales Representative at Komatsu's Emerald branch has commended the achievement.
"Reaching 24,000 hours before doing a major component change-out would be considered exceptional, so achieving over 30,000 hours is a real credit to Toll's maintenance procedures, practices, and Toll's maintenance team," he said.
For its part, Toll has been very impressed with the longevity of the two Komatsu loaders achieving the 30,000 hours which can be accredited to a number of factors, including:
The Komatsu WA900-3 loaders have proven to be reliable machines that are relatively easy to work on
Toll's rigorous maintenance program, supported by management as well as a competent team of fitters, mechanics, and experienced operators.
Every two days the loaders (and Toll's other equipment onsite) are pulled up for a 50-hour inspection, a process which takes about 40 minutes per machine.
The equipment receives new air cleaners, are greased and checked for any unusual movement, wear, and cracks.
Toll's maintenance team also checks tyres, reverse beepers, lights, seatbelts, and warning lights. Any safety-related problems or faults identified are fixed immediately and the remainder fixed at the next service.
Toll's management and maintenance personnel are on site all the time and if they see an issue with a loader, they pull the operator up and assess any issues.
If there is a grease fault, the machine is shut down immediately; if the operator identifies any system faults, the workshop is notified immediately.
Minor components on the WA900s have been replaced over the years, primarily as preventive measures before failure. These include the engine mount dampeners, turbochargers and steering rams.
WA900 transmissions typically require replacement at approximately 16,000 hours; however in the case of its two machines, Toll has managed to successfully maintain these components until 30,000 hours.
Toll's team onsite relies on two key factors to keep the loaders running smoothly: its daily maintenance program and ensuring that the same operators are in the equipment every day where possible.
Toll's Maintenance Supervisor onsite has stated that there is a high commitment on the part of Toll's management team to keeping its equipment as well maintained as possible.
"We need to keep them maintained to ensure we get the reliability we need to keep them going 24/7," he said.