Non flameproof vehicles now proven alternative

SEVENTEEN non-flameproof diesel vehicles will be operating in three Queensland underground coal mines by year-end. The achievement endorses the vision that commercial vehicles can successfully operate in the rugged underground environment.
Non flameproof vehicles now proven alternative Non flameproof vehicles now proven alternative Non flameproof vehicles now proven alternative Non flameproof vehicles now proven alternative Non flameproof vehicles now proven alternative

Abye’s Non Flameproof diesel vehicle for use in underground coal mines

Staff Reporter

Based on the Toyota Landcruiser model range, the original concept was developed by Abye Mining Vehicles and trialed at the Crinum and Moranbah North mines between 1997 and 2000.

The most recent order for six AMVs (as the vehicles are called) was placed earlier in the year by Capcoal's Southern and Central mines in central Queensland. To be used exclusively as personnel carriers, the Capcoal vehicles are quite different to what was trialed at the other mines. The new vehicles incorporate a replaceable fibreglass manpod on a standard cab chassis.

The reason for this innovation was to lower the height profile of the machine and to enable the pod to be transferred to another chassis with minimal cost. The vehicle can easily carry eight in the rear and two in the front.

Abye director, Terry O'Beirne said since the original trials the underground vehicle fleet has operated over 1 million kilometres without serious accident or catastrophe. The basic control concepts remain unchanged since the originals.

This has "shown the total ownership costs of these vehicles can be significantly less than fully flameproofed vehicles," O'Beirne said.

Mines were typically using the non-flameproof vehicle to provide rapid transit of personnel to non-hazardous working areas. Depending on mine layout, this might mean a short walk to the face or some transfer of personnel to flameproof vehicles for transit in hazardous areas.

O'Beirne said Abye was working with several NSW customers to progress a trial at a non-gassy mine in a NSW mine which would hopefully operate under some Regulatory exemptions.

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