Caterpillar 793D mining trucks are vital tools, capable of carrying around 200t in raw material payload. The client needed transportation of five such vehicles from Sishen Iron Ore mine in Northern Cape to the Port of Durban, and onwards to Australia.
ALE was chosen to act as the single point of contact for the transportation of these 167t trucks over more than 1,000km across South Africa; an operation spanning 5 months. The purpose of the trip was to move iron ore for processing and export.
The project began in Sishen, where the first three trucks were loaded onto 3 12-axle Goldhofer trailers widened to 4.3m, using the hydraulics of the trailers themselves. Two prime movers provided the traction for each mining truck.
The trucks’ laden height of 6.8m was a major challenge during the project due to many overhead restrictions along the route. ALE identified a route that could accommodate passage at this height, thus allowing each vehicle to be transported as a complete unit.
If a suitable route could not have been found, then the bodies and chassis would need to have been split. In this case, time-consuming reconstruction would have been needed at the Port of Durban or the final destination.
The travelled route required ALE to obtain a wide range of permits. Exemption permits for the transport of abnormally-sized loads were required from the local department of transport for all four provinces the convoy passed through.
This work included the identification and clearance of the route itself; the establishment of the structural integrity of bridges along the route; authorisation from each municipality the convoy travelled through; liaising with telecoms providers to arrange the lifting of telephone lines and liaising with power companies to lift or de-energise power lines.
Upon arrival at the Port of Durban, all three mining trucks were unloaded by lowering the trailers and were then driven onto a ro-ro vessel bound for Australia. The entire journey was then repeated with a further two mining trucks, which were then loaded onto a breakbulk vessel with the ship’s gear.
The trucks are now en route to Australia for use on a range of mining projects.