The immense cost of equipment downtime in the mining industry means that maintaining your machines is crucial for success. Depending on the product, just one hour of downtime for a dump truck can easily cost more than $1000. And that’s assuming that the dump truck isn’t creating a bottleneck impacting other equipment and processes.
Here are some industry best practices for maximizing uptime in your mining operation.
Proactively maintaining your machine’s engine and systems at routine intervals and utilizing scheduled downtime to do so means that your equipment will be up and running when it needs to be. Routine maintenance includes such items as:
When the cost of just one hour of downtime is so high, an investment in on-site maintenance can save a lot of money, particularly when the site is in a hard-to-reach location. Whether hiring a maintenance staff in-house or outsourcing to an expert maintenance company, having a team on-site to maintain vehicles and address unforeseen issues will help maximize uptime by both cutting out transportation time, and is integrated with your process and having in-depth knowledge of your equipment and mining conditions.
Training operators and on-site maintenance staff to listen for feedback from your equipment will help them identify issues sooner. Listening to your equipment will often tell you what needs to be fixed, and allow your team to more quickly perform root cause analysis of issues. Some sounds to listen for include:
Maintaining collaborative relationships with your dealers and distributors can benefit both parties by ensuring that mutually beneficial contracts are in place. For example, having a close relationship with your dealers means having knowledgeable support for equipment, a quick turnaround on replacement parts, and an optimal contract for service. Depending on your operation, this could mean on-site maintenance support, pay-per-service, or cost-per-hour contracts.
Tracking key indicators of vehicle performance can maximize uptime and prolong the life and efficiency of your equipment. There are a few systems that should be closely monitored and tracked.
Tracking fuel usage over time and corresponding hourly usage rates is a key indicator of engine health and performance. It can also help you identify and correct issues early.
Similarly, tracking coolant pressure and temperature can be a key indicator of engine health, and taking care of any issues will prolong engine life and reduce downtime related to breakdowns.
Monitoring tire pressure with the Doran 3600TR(™) Tire Pressure Monitoring System will reduce the risk of long downtime events such as blowouts, as well as generally help your vehicles last longer and drive smoother.
Doran 3600TR(™) TPMS is easy to use with its in-cab display, making monitoring a breeze. Give us a call or send us a message – we'll provide a solution to decrease downtime and make your equipment more profitable year after year.