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Underground mining support vehicle gains traction in overseas markets

Elphinstone WR810 multipurpose mining support vehicle
Tasmanian manufacturer Elphinstone has built several multipurpose mining support vehicles with safety in mind

Australian mining equipment manufacturer Elphinstone’s focus on productivity and safety has reaped rewards after it has continued to receive international orders for its latest WR810 mining support vehicle.

Australian mining equipment manufacturer based in Tasmania,  Elphinstone designed and developed the $500K WR810 Underground Mining Support Vehicle with the assistance of a government grant originally allocated to Caterpillar and have so far manufactured four of the machines to be shipped off to Argentina and Canada.

“It’s an extremely flexible piece of equipment that can satisfy a multitude of applications in underground mining operations,” Elphinstone Product Manager Mal Watkinson said. The vehicle can be used as a scissor lift, a delivery truck and a fuel carrier, to name a few.

Elphinstone has been a traditional OEM manufacturer for Caterpillar for many years and in 2016, re-launched the Elphinstone brand after Caterpillar moved their facility off-shore.

A new design is currently being developed for a truck with a single arm on the back, similar to a cherry-picker, that can swing around as well move up and down.

Tasmania’s Minister for Advanced Manufacturing and Defence Industries Jeremy Rockliff said the Government would pour their efforts into manufacturing in Tasmania.

Four years ago Caterpillar closed its Burnie Tasmanian workshop and manufacturing facility and moved it to Thailand.

“It was a significant blow around four years ago when we lost 280 direct jobs,” Mr Rockliff said.

“Isn’t it fantastic that in many respects those jobs have been not only replaced but we have more jobs in the advanced manufacturing sector to come online.”

Safety features of the WR810 include:

Centralised Machine Isolation. The single access point provides easy access to all engine machine isolation functions: Engine disconnect switch Starter isolation switch Jump start receptacle, Fire system activation, Protective Structure. The operator station has integrated into its construction a ROPS/FOPS (Rollover Protective Structure), ISO 3471:2008, (Falling Object Protective Structure) ISO 3449:2005 that offers protection to the operator.

Additional Safety Features include: Anti-skid deck surfaces, 3 point access to cab and machine, Two doors either side of machine to access operator station, Suspension seat, Inertia reel retractable seat belt, Steering frame lock, Hinged belly guards, Ceramic coated exhaust manifold and turbine housing, Triple insulated battery cables, Electrical wiring run independently of all hosing, Fuel water separators made of non-flammable material, Firewall/heatshields, Machine interlocks, Centralised isolation point Integrated fire suppression systems (optional) Ground Level Access. Allows convenient servicing to tanks, filters, lubrication points and compartment drains. Remote lubrication points make daily attention to hard-to-reach joints easy.

Handrails. Handrails are fitted standard in accordance with ISO 2867:2011.

WR810 Steering. Full hydraulic control. Meets ISO 5010:2007 standard.

WR810 Braking. Full hydraulic control. Meets ISO 3450:2011 standard

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