The original equipment manufacturer said the diesel-powered roof support carrier released in April had all the same features of the battery-powered VT650s but had the added power of a Cummins 8.3 240hp (179 kilowatt) diesel-power pack.
Creating a diesel version of the machine did present some challenges to Bucyrus engineers.
“Dealing with unknown centres of gravity for the power pack provided a grey area when it came to knowing exactly what the weight distribution would ultimately be on the completed vehicle,” Bucyrus senior engineer Jim Coe said.
This difficulty arises from the role the centre of gravity has in relationship to the weight of the vehicle and how that affects load-handling capability and overall power-to-weight relationships.
“The idea is to maintain as light of a vehicle weight as possible and use the length of the unit to counter-balance the load,” Coe said.
Bucyrus said the weight distribution challenge was overcome by increasing the weight of the chassis and using ballast.
“Another challenge was packaging the transmission and power pack along with the associated components within the envelope while still providing operator visibility,” Bucyrus said.
“Routing the driveline from the engine to the transmission for distribution to the axles was difficult due to the machine’s tri-sectional chassis and 100-degree articulation configuration, but the final drive train design will ensure a long service life for all associated components.”
A Bucyrus spokesperson told ILN the power pack for the 650D was US Mine Safety and Health Administration-approved and not yet available for the Australian market.
The spokesperson said the diesel-powered roof support carrier had received excellent customer feedback.
“According to mine personnel, the 650D handled the shields better than other carriers previously used,” he said.
The carrier can operate in heights down to 60 inches and can carry 50 tons up 12% grades at 4.5 miles per hour.