Bluefield preview: JH Fletcher and Jadco

A NEW underground coal diesel tractor from JH Fletcher and steel products from Jadco will be on show at this month’s Bluefield Coal Show.
Bluefield preview: JH Fletcher and Jadco Bluefield preview: JH Fletcher and Jadco Bluefield preview: JH Fletcher and Jadco Bluefield preview: JH Fletcher and Jadco Bluefield preview: JH Fletcher and Jadco

Greg Rowan, senior inspector of mines, Queensland Government Natural
Resources & Mines

Staff Reporter

JH Fletcher’s large diesel tractor, designed to haul longwall shields and supplies, will be on display at the Bluefield Coal Show 2009 in front of the Armory.

Designed and built by the mobile underground mining equipment manufacturer, the unit includes a Mercedes diesel engine, Kessler axles, Clark transmission and features the new Fletchbus control system.

The first 3800-Series custom tractor was designed by Fletcher for an Illinois customer, and has now become a fully-fledged product line. The company has built 17 units, with six more on order.

The tractors are used to efficiently transport materials, supplies and equipment into the mines.

Each unit features a fifth wheel and pintle hitch arrangement, powerful diesel engine, four-wheel drive, pressurized and enclosed cab, and the added maneuverability of an articulated chassis.

The five tractors in the Illinois order were 68 inches high. All were 10ft wide and 25ft, 3in long, with ground clearance of 12in.

By the second order, two machines for a West Virginia mine, the machine height had been lowered to 60in. Not long after, Fletcher delivered a unit which was 46in high to a customer in Virginia.

Fletcher has been working on various attachments for these machines, and recently added battery lifting arms for a customer in the western US.

“The Fletcher objective is always to evolve to meet our customers’ needs,” coal products sales manager Ben Hardman said.

“We maximize horsepower and towing requirements, but match them to size restrictions.”

Visit the Fletcher booth to view the new tractor close up.


Pennsylvania-based abrasive steel service center and fabricator Jadco Manufacturing, a staple at the Bluefield Coal Show for more than two decades, will be on hand at the 2009 event to promote its two primary product lines, QT-Plus and ChromeWeld 600.

QT-Plus is an abrasion-resistant and heat-treated wear steel that is 10 times the strength of conventional mild steel. Its abrasion resistance is 500bhn and ductility is 400bhn, providing flexibility for mining equipment manufacturers as well as other industry clients.

ChromeWeld 600, on the other hand, is Jadco’s manufactured chromium carbide overlay wear plate, ideal for use in applications which require high levels of abrasion resistance. Jadco offers the product to high-traffic mining facilities, such as coal preparation plants – particularly for screen plates.

Because the yielding material is easily formed, welded, cut and machined for specific purposes, the company says the end uses of ChromeWeld have increased. At some operations’ preparation facilities, it is also seen in materials handling, troughs and chutes, among other components.

Jadco president Sam Anderson said that a full staff would be on hand at the show to answer questions on both products as well as the company’s general fabrication capabilities, and noted that his entire staff put a high priority on responsiveness – when an operation needs something and needs it quickly, Jadco can offer a rapid turnaround.

While a large percentage of its business is east of the Mississippi, Jadco’s western business is growing very quickly, Anderson said, and the turnaround promise stands no matter where the mine customer is located.

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