AUSTRALIAN demand for the Propsetter “yieldable support system” of USA-based Strata Products Inc has been so great that the company’s Australian subsidiary has started offering locally made product.
Previously sourced entirely from the USA, the wooden supports are an alternative to conventional tailgate supports, according to Doug Adams, sales and technical manager for Strata Products Australia. He said the Propsetter provided support capacity comparable to a four-point timber chock.
The locally made product has undergone assessment testing at the University of New South Wales and meets the specifications of the USA made product.
Available for mining heights up to 3.5m and yields (in controlled circumstances) through 200-250mm of deflection, the Propsetter offers the advantage of less timber handled, quick and easy installation and improved ventilation, according to Adams. Applications include maingate, tailgate and bleeder support, cross and intersection stabilisation, and longwall shield recovery.
Adams said the locally produced product cost significantly less than existing systems used in the industry and was also cheaper than the imported version of the Propsetter.
To further enhance the appeal of the Propsetter, Strata Products is finalising development of its Prop Handler, which it said would reduce the effort required to install props, and reduce the time required for transportation and installation of the units.
The Prop Handler fits onto a conventional set of forks and consists of a modified bed that can carry 12 props at a time. The props are carried on the handler to an installation site and then each prop is placed in a simple grapple that is able to rotate and place the unit in place. Strata said the Prop handler would be available in Australia in May 2000.