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Mobile drill rig brake failure

mobile drill rig on surface
A mobile drill rig brake failure could have ended in catastrophe.

In a serious incident this week a mobile drill rig was being trammed to the mine surface for routine maintenance.

An operator identified that the machine needed to be realigned towards the centre of the main decline. He put the vehicle into forward gear to reverse down the decline.

The machine’s engine had not dropped to idle and the brakes were not able to control the rate of travel back down the grade. The drill rig boom hit the sidewall of the decline. There were no injuries reported.


The regulator has advised that all plant (including a mobile drill rig ) must be fit-for-the purpose for which it is being used. Mines must have thorough lifecycle management plans for all equipment including operation and maintenance and procedures for managing defects identified during operation.

Image: For illustration purposes. The make and model of the rig in question has not been specified.

Rig trams over highwall

In another mining drill rig incident in June last year, a drill rig at an open cut coal mine in NSW trammed over, and through a highwall windrow resulting in the machine straddling the windrow with one track suspended over the edge of the 50-metre highwall.

According to reports from the NSW Resources Regulator on the night shift of 26 June 2018, a drill rig operator was repositioning a drill to a face row hole near a highwall. The operator was using the global positioning system (GPS) of the drill to set up over the hole when the rig travelled over and through the windrow. Read more

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