A TELEHANDLER IN AN OPEN-CAST COAL MINE
We are at the Grootegeluk Coal Mine north of Pretoria, in the midst of the extensive Waterberg Coalfield, under the dazzling South African sun.
In a lunar landscape of black rocks, the yellow livery of a Dieci Hercules 120.10 telehandler stands out all the more sharply.
The Grootegeluk Coal Mine has around 3200 employees and spans an area of 1200 hectares. In 2019 it produced 30 million tonnes of coal, predominantly coking coal, which the colliery exports to leading international metallurgy companies.
Grootegeluk is an open-cast mine, where large excavators attack the coal vein from the sides of a vast pit measuring over 120 metres deep.
Huge trucks carry the excavated material to belt conveyors that incessantly feed large crushers, where the coal is refined.
As each stratum is mined, the pit is further enlarged in pursuit of the coal seam and equipment must be transferred from the depleted parts to the newly excavated parts.
This laborious and perpetual operation is carried out by a Hercules 120.10 telehandler, which was supplied to Grootegeluk by Dieci Equipment Africa.
The numerous heavy and bulky conveyor modules can extend as far as three kilometres in length and
must be constantly lifted, relocated and aligned to form new conveyor lines.
Chosen above all for its characteristics of power, speed and maneuverability on uneven terrain, as well as for its 12,000 kg load capacity, the Hercules manages to carry out this activity with maximum efficiency, lifting, transporting and repositioning the modules. The inching pedal also enables the vehicle to drive forward in a minutely controlled manner.
This telehandler was conceived and designed for heavy-duty work, so it stands to reason that in a coal mine like Grootegeluk, there are infinite opportunities to prove its strengths:
- transporting and lifting heavy materials (as high as 9.50 metres),
- maintaining infrastructure and equipment,
- handling pneumatic cylinders (with special accessories),
- changing wheels on the gargantuan mining trucks.