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Mining truck fires still remain a key concern for industry

mining truck fires still continue to plague the industry.
A water tanker was extensively damaged by fire after the fire suppression system failed to extinguish the fire

Mining truck fires have continued to remain a concern for the industry with two significant truck fire reported to one regulator in the past week.

According to the Regulator, ‘a Hitachi EH5000 haul truck stopped at an in-pit fuel farm. The operator left the cabin and noticed smoke through gaps in the top deck. The operator walked down the stairs and noticed flames at the left-hand engine bay. He returned to the cabin, called emergency and manually activated the fire suppression system. The fire was extinguished, and the water cart attended the incident.

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Failures of turbocharger oil supply lines have been identified as the cause of many mobile plant engine fires. Mine operators must develop and adhere to strict inspection and maintenance standards and practices specific for their site conditions, to prevent loss of oil through oil feed lines and mitigate potential engine fires.

In another mining truck fire, a water truck located at the top of a ramp caught fire before being extinguished. The operator stopped the truck and activated the fire suppression system. The fire suppression system was unsuccessful in extinguishing the fire. Handheld extinguishers and a water cart were finally used to extinguish the fire. No one was injured. An escape of fluid onto a hot surface was identified as the cause.

Loss of hydraulic oil or hydrocarbon fluids is a common cause of a fire on mobile plant. Mine operators should identify, evaluate and segregate hot surface temperature ignition sources from potential fuel sources.

Back in September last year, a haul truck driver died following extensive burns while exiting a mining truck at a Peabody operation in the US. Last week we reported an agitator truck was extensively damaged by fire following ignition of non-metallic/flame resistant engine covers.
AMSJ have published reports on the value of Infrared Thermography and recent information on Infrared cameras in assisting to identify potential fire ignition points.

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