Modified Volvo CE haulers take to a Moroccan mine
Volvo CE’s modified vehicle solution brings Morocco state-owned phosphate producer OCP on board as customer
Volvo Construction Equipment (CE) has converted two A30F articulated dump trucks (ADT) into mobile service centres for a Morocco mine for the purposes of maintaining its massive machines.
Phosphate mining is done on a huge scale in Morocco, using some of the largest machines made by man in harsh, hot and often remote locations, like Benguérir a mine established in 1980, where, given the enormous size of many of these machines, servicing is mainly done in the field.
Production at Benguérir’s uses six drill-and-blast benches, where, once blasting has occurred, the waste is stripped by draglines and the phosphate loaded by electric shovel or wheel loader onto trucks for haulage to the mine’s primary crusher for initial processing.
The mine’s current equipment fleet is comprised of six draglines and two electric shovels – all of which are as big, if not bigger, than a house. There are also two wheel loaders, six drill rigs, 22 rigid dump trucks (from 75 to 150t in capacity), 24 bulldozers, three graders and three water spray trucks.
Until 2015, service personnel travelled from one machine to another using a flat-bed, on-road truck – but the mine’s harsh conditions and rough terrain ultimately proved too difficult for the vehicles.
Looking for a more robust solution, the state-owned Office Chérifien des Phosphates (OCP) approached Volvo CE’s Casablanca-headquartered dealer, Volvo Maroc in early 2014, and after careful deliberation and extensive consultations, two modified A30F haulers were commissioned.
An inside look into the modified A30F hauler reveals the key to reducing machine downtime.
“The hauler’s chassis and frame is a standard solution from the factory,” says Tim Richardson, GM at Volvo Maroc. “What went on the back is the bespoke element.”
The chassis was built in Sweden, with a local partner in Casablanca, Remorques Equipement, providing the “box on the back”, which contains on-board equipment including a small crane, welding set, compressor, oil changing and greasing equipment, storage tanks and a workbench.
The design of the modified ADTs was a collaborative effort, continues Richardson, with OCP, Volvo CE and Remorques Equipement all having some input.
“OCP provided a technical specification of what they wanted and we worked with our local supplier to make sure it was a fit and the hauler could carry what was being asked of it. As part of OCP’s original specification both haulers were also equipped with a fire suppression system.”
Delivery was originally scheduled for April 2015, but as the project developed and the requirements from OCP became ever more complex, delivery was pushed back to June. The two haulers are now operating at the Benguérir and the Youssoufia mines.
In terms of the service of the service vehicles, Richardson adds: “Monitoring their service and maintenance requirements is done via Volvo CareTrack from Casablanca, so we can make sure they are working efficiently and effectively.
“The hauler concept is not well known in Morocco, but given our history, we’re in a great position to capitalise on OCP’s interest. And going forward we’re looking to sell other products too, including some of our larger wheeled loaders and excavators.”