Manufacturer Bell Equipment has used the inaugural Bauma Africa exhibition in Johannesburg, South Africa, as the launch platform for its largest ever articulated dump truck (ADT) – the 60 ton (54 tonne) capacity B60 concept model.
The company also showcased a new ADT ejector body for its flagship 50 ton (46 tonne) B50D ADT, and announced it had expanded its distribution partnership with Liebherr into dozers.
Bell executive general manager of group marketing Stephen Jones said the B60 combined the traditional ADT concept – 4x4 drive, articulation steering and an oscillation joint – but with a single rear axle. He said this opened up opportunities for the ADT specialist in a domain that was previously only contested by rigid haulers.
“We sell 50% to 60% of our ADTs into the mining industry here in Africa, and lots of customers run 60 ton (54 tonne) rigid dump trucks (RDTs) but find there are always some months in the year in which they can’t be used, thanks to weather conditions making roads impassable for two wheel drive trucks.”
Chief engineer Wynand van der Walt added, "We have adopted the two-axle concept of an RDT, with the difference that the front axle is also driven and the front and rear chassis are independent. This makes the truck a complete 4x4, unlike the conventional rigid trucks, which are 4x2 with limited suspension and poor ability to negotiate unmaintained areas along the route or at the load and tip areas.”
The front end of the B60 is the same as the B50D model, but the engine’s power output has been increased from 380 kW to 420 kW in the B60 and it features a 7-speed Allison transmission rather than the 6-speed transmission of the B50D.
The most visible differences are at the back end. The back axle is a dedicated 70 ton (63 tonne) truck and haulage axle from Kessler. To achieve the 60 ton (54 tonne) capacity, the bin is also much wider than an ADT and more resembles a conventional rigid-type bin.
The rear chassis and suspension are distinctly different from an ADT concept. A cradle supports the rear axle with struts being used to create active shock absorption for a controlled ride
Bell aims to test the concept B60 further afield in Southern Africa, and also plans to build more units next year for testing on various customer sites.
“We are looking to test 10 to 15 machines next year, with a production launch planned for 2015,” Mr Jones said.
Also new at the show was Bell’s latest ADT ejector body – a new, larger model that has been developed for the B50D. The new ejector offers a heaped capacity of 28.3 m³ and a rated payload of 43 tonnes. This compares with the existing B40D ejector body, which offers a heaped capacity of 22 m³ and a payload of 35 tonnes.
Bell also announced that it had expanded its partnership with Liebherr with a new agreement that will see Bell distribute a range of Liebherr Crawler Dozers to Southern African markets. It said the dozers - the 30 tonne class PR744, 40 tonne class PR754 and 50 tonne class PR764 - would be co-branded Liebherr and Bell.
Bauma Africa is takes place at the Gallagher Convention Centre in Johannesburg from 18 to 21 September.