One of the largest mining companies in Queensland, Australia, faced a major challenge. It needed to move a 3,000-ton dragline excavator from one coal mine to another, almost 100 kilometers away. ‘Walking’ there would have caused significant wear-and-tear on the machine, and not allowed the company to take advantage of scheduled rail network shutdowns required to cross critical infrastructure. Mammoet was able to provide a safe, effective solution to load, move and unload the dragline using Self-Propelled Modular Transporters (SPMTs), ensuring the company did not lose out on productivity for this vital piece of mining equipment.
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The mining company and CPB Contractors, the company responsible for the transport, wanted to explore the faster option of moving the fully-assembled dragline on SPMTs. There was just one challenge: it had never been done before in Australia. So the company turned to Mammoet.
In 2013, Mammoet had been the first company in the world to move a dragline in one piece, on SPMTs. This was in the United States and it greatly reduced travel time from over 30 days, to 12 days.
Mammoet made optimal use of the expertise within the company by flying in experienced professionals from the US to work with their colleagues from Australia and Malaysia. In advance of the transport phase, extensive route surveys were conducted. Numerous obstacles were identified, including inclines and declines of up to 10% and the crossing of seven rivers and creeks, 15 power lines, three railways and two highways. Meeting the schedule was critical since the dates were fixed for crossing power and railway lines. Waiting time aside, the team could reduce pure travel time by 44%, saving 22 days out of 50 that were scheduled.
Mammoet used 12 x 600-ton climbing jacks to jack up the dragline to a height of 2.5 meters and load it onto 140 axle lines of SPMT – meeting all route and regulatory requirements. One week before the first railway crossing the project was hit by a major delay. This was particularly concerning, as there was only one 24 hour window each month for the crossing. Local ground preparations had failed due to extreme wet weather that caused a five-day delay. Mammoet worked extra shifts to cover the remaining 20 kilometers in record-time. The railways were crossed as planned, preventing a one month delay.
Averaging five kilometers per day the team made all further infrastructure crossings according to schedule. The dragline was delivered at its destination safely, ready to resume its vital work ahead of the agreed schedule.