Washington’s blizzard may have broken records, but conditions can plummet some 40°C lower at the Siberian coal mine where six Terex Trucks rigid haulers are working 24/7 to help keep Russia warm.
This is no place for weaklings. With temperatures dropping below -50°C in the winter, the conditions at the Apatsky open pit mine,1,700 meters above sea level, are extremely punishing, not only for the workers, but for the equipment used there as well.
The mine is situated in the northern-most point of Zabaykalye Territory, in the Kalarsk region and is owned by Russia’s largest coal producer, SUEK. Coal power is one of the major sources of energy in Russia, which has among the largest coal reserves in the world, with this region hosting of the country’s biggest discovery.
SUEK, provides 41% of Russia’s power industry demand for coal fuel and now produces 600,000 tonnes of coal annually at the Apsatsky mine.
Toughing it out round the clock
The six Terex Trucks TR 100 rigid haulers based at the mine operate 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, carrying out up to 100 runs a day. Their robust design sets them apart as the only haulers on the market capable of working efficiently in such extreme, unpredictable conditions.
“The TR100s work round the clock and have proved to be a good choice to suit our operating conditions perfectly,” said Oleg Likhodumov, deputy director of the Apatsky open pit mine. “They are reliable and easy to maintain. For stripping areas and coal mining we also operate 38 tonne Terex Trucks articulated haulers, the TA400s.”
The cabin is equipped with safety guards for protection on site, and feature air conditioning and heating systems to ensure a comfortable and productive operation in the extreme conditions.
The trucks have been in operation since 2012, after the construction of the access road to the mine. Even their journey to arrive at this remote location proved a logistical challenge. They were delivered to Siberia in Semi-knocked down (SKD) form via St Petersburg in order to comply with the Russian Railways regulations. Once on site, it took two days to assemble and commission each truck before they were able to start providing their round the clock heavy-duty support.
Operator Maxim Shoizhalsanov, has driven Terex Trucks TR100s for over three years. “The big advantage of this machine is its hydraulic brakes,” he said. “They ensure dependable slowdown on steep slopes and are good on the ascents. A retarder in the gearbox is useful because it allows good slowdown on the descents.”
Service is carried out on site by Eurasia Machinery under a contract with the exclusive Russian Federation Terex Trucks dealer, Ferronordic machines, ensuring uptime averages in excess of 90% to maximize the customer’s production and to minimize the cost per tonne of coal.