Compact and catchy at AIMEX

COMPLETE with billowing smoke and a troupe of tapping and drumming dancers, DBT yesterday launched at AIMEX in Sydney its Compact Loader to the worldwide underground coal market. Angie Bahr reports from AIMEX.
Compact and catchy at AIMEX Compact and catchy at AIMEX Compact and catchy at AIMEX Compact and catchy at AIMEX Compact and catchy at AIMEX


Angie Tomlinson

Packing electronic controls and modular features for easy customisation, the Australian design team behind the Compact Loader have ensured its latest offering can easily be marketed into any country with international approvals.

The new Loader targets low seam operations with a width of 1995mm and cover height of 1350mm. The cab can be moved to sit on either side of the machine - and down the track the design team plans to offer hydraulic height adjustment options.

The Australian design team for the first time has done away with a steering wheel, instead using a fully electronic dashboard and control stick steering.

The full colour screen in the cab can be offered in a range of languages to suit the international market. There is also a video camera in the cab so the driver can check his or her blind spot, as well as a lap seatbelt, gas monitor and the capability to use tagging.

The electronic controls are also used for in-dash automatic electronic fault monitoring, making the Loader, according to DBT, fail-safe.

The radiator has been installed horizontally to enable the machine's size to be reduced, but it also offers the added advantage of easy access to the components on the machine. All maintenance on the Loader can be performed at ground level.

A lower height on the machine has also been achieved by the design of an alternative articulation point, utilising a swivel joint which eliminates the bolster joint.

The Loader uses DBT's Rapid Attach system, offering parallel lift and a Z link for rapid dump, but also has the option of QDS.

Options in the mechanical engine size are available with a five-tonne machine featuring a 107kW four-cylinder engine - suitable for older mines with lower ventilation - and an 8t machine with a 132kW six-cylinder engine is also available. The Loader comes with a wet scrubber (particulate filter) but an optional dry scrubber system is available.

While the control systems are all electronic, the engines themselves are not electronically injected. DBT engineering development and diesel manager Bill Furniss said obtaining global certification for electronic injection had proved difficult, but was certainly something DBT would work towards.

A reduction in noise vibration harshness (NVH) has been achieved by separating torque converter and hydraulic pumps allowing for more piston pumps to use and the hydraulic system to provide a load sensing system.

The Loader will complete a field trial over the next three to four months before being offered as a production machine to the worldwide underground coal market.