Operator Kestrel Coal (a Rio Tinto subsidiary) originally contracted VA Eimco in 1999 to maintain and improve the reliability of its underground diesel fleet. The contract now covers eight Eimco LHD’s and maintenance and servicing of PJB’s, MPV’s and other diesel vehicles.
The LHD’s at Kestrel now average between 2000-2500 hours per year each. The condition and standard of the machines along with the equipment availabilities is a marked improvement on what was historically achieved.
“This working together approach is possible because of the trust established between client and principal,” said Darrell Grant, senior mechanical engineer.
“We invested the necessary time to establish what each party required and we concentrated our efforts on the intent of the deal. It can only work if both parties take a long-term view. I believe it is working for us.”
The cost to Kestrel was based on a pre-arranged amount per operating hour agreed by VA Eimco and Kestrel after the equipment condition was determined. Measurement of the contract is based on an availability matrix, as well as operational improvements and safety initiatives instigated by VA Eimco personnel.
A contract coordinator, appointed by VA Eimco, works in conjunction with the mine’s maintenance planner. His role is to assist with the service and repair schedules for each LHD and any other mobile plant that may require service.
Machines don’t miss major servicing and no machine is put back into service if VA Eimco is not confident it will operate without failure, and to the agreed performance standards and measures.
“Our equipment despite its operating hours is in very good condition. The availability is high, maintenance costs are known and largely fixed (costing based on operating hours) and by having a dedicated team complete the major maintenance our service windows are kept to a minimum,” Grant said.
Article adapted with permission from VA Eimco’s Australian newsletter.