To Move A Mountain
Trucks At Bingham
Index For This Page
This page last updated on November 22, 2016.
(This is a work in progress; research continues -- these timelines focus on the companies and specific models of trucks used by Kennecott at Bingham.)
First use of trucks at Bingham mine
Kennecott Copper contracted with Western Contracting Corporation of Sioux City, Iowa to begin stripping waste material from the uppermost levels on the east side of the Bingham mine, on the 'V' Level and above. The contractor had one Marion Model 191-M electric shovel at work filling a fleet of Euclid 50-ton rigid-frame rear-dump diesel trucks. A second Marion 191-M was due to arrive by December 1958. The ratio of waste being moved annually, compared to ore being mined was reported as being 2.2 to 1, or approximately 60 million tons of waste compared to approximately 30 million tons of ore. (Kennescope, November 1958, page 19)
February 23, 1963
Kennecott announced a $100 Million expansion project, to be completed by early 1967. The Kennecott board of directors had approved the expansion program on February 15, 1963. (Kennescope, March-April 1963, page 3)
- Ore production to increase from 90,000 tons per day to 108,000 tons per day
- Truck haulage to replace rail haulage in the upper two-thirds of the mine
- The top levels were to be converted to truck haulage beginning in September 1963, progressing level-by-level through 1966 down to the 'A' (6340) Level.
- Western Contracting Corporation had been contracted to remove 8.7 million cubic yards of waste material at two notches or cuts at the 6800 (Yosemite Gulch) and 7000 (Castro Gulch) levels on the upper southeast side of the mine to allow access to future waste dumping grounds.
Truck haulage began in upper levels of mine, with removal of rails as truck haulage progressed. (Kennecott Historical Index)
"In the fall of 1963, a program was begun to increase production from 90,000 tons of ore per day, to 108,000 tons per day. because of the limitations of rail haulage, along with advances in truck technology, truck haulage will replace rail haulage for waste removal in upper levels of the mine."
A new truck maintenance shop was completed at the head of Yosemite Gulch, above Lark. (Kennescope, July-August 1966, page 4)
A total of 79 haulage trucks were in use at Bingham, including Dart and Haulpak 65-ton models, Lectrahaul 85-ton trucks, and Dart 110-ton tractor-trailer trucks. All rail and electrification on the east side of the pit had been removed down to the 'E' Level at 6536 feet elevation. On the west side, rail and electrification for waste removal had been removed, with the remaining ore haulage being done with trucks, which moved the ore down a new haulage road in Carr Fork to where shovels could reload the ore into rail cars. (Kennescope, March-April 1965)
By July 1966 the haulage truck fleet had grown to 80 trucks, including sixty-six 65-ton trucks, five 85-ton trucks, and eight 110-ton dump trailer models, along with a new experimental 80-ton model. (Kennescope, July-August 1966, page 4)
1967- Kennecott Copper, Chino Mine
In 1967 Kennecott Copper Corporation at Chino, New Mexico, conducted the first feasibility study and prototype test of trolley-assisted large mining trucks. The truck used was a Unit Rig Model M-100 with a 700 hp diesel engine, General Electric motorized wheels, and 24.00x49 tires. The testing indicated that the truck, carrying a payload of 123 tons up a 1,300 ft ramp at 7 percent incline, was able to increase its maximum speed from 6 mph to 13.5 mph by using trolley assist. The maximum voltage that could be maintained was only 634 volts and it was reasoned that a higher speed would have resulted if a higher trolley line voltage could have been supplied. (Truck Haulage Using Overhead Electrical Power to Conserve Diesel Fuel and Improve Haulage Economics (February 1981), by David M. Lake & William Brzezniak, General Electric Company. Presented at the 110th AIME Annual Meeting)
As part of an effort for the approval to increase production of waste rock and metal ore at the Bingham Canyon mine, from 150 million tons per year to 197 milion tons per year, it was mentioned that there were 61 trucks operating at the mine. The trucks in service were having their engines replaced by cleaner engines, and their dump beds upgraded from 240 tons to 255 tons. (Salt Lake Tribune, June 15, 1999; Deseret News, June 27, 1999)
Kennecott began testing Caterpillar's newest 400-ton capacity mine truck. The new truck, numbered as number 310, and used only to haul waste rock, was the first of a pair that would be tested at Bingham Canyon, and one of 18 that would be tested at various locations around the world. Caterpillar planned on the new truck being commercially available in 2001. The two trucks being tested were to join an existing fleet of 65 240-ton trucks currently in service at the Bingham mine. (Salt Lake Tribune, June 29, 1999)
At the time of the opening ceremony of Kennecott's modernized plant in September 1988, the mine was operating with electric shovels with 27 to 30 cubic yards capacity (about 50 to 60 tons), and truck with 170 to 200 tons capacity. (Deseret News, September 24, 1988)
New Copperfield Truck Shop
The following comes from the Big D company's web site:
When the Kennecott Copper Mine doubled the number of 300-ton dump trucks in its fleet in 2006, the company needed more space to maintain them. Big-D built a new truck maintenance shop to meet the new demands on Kennecott’s existing truck shop. Big-D Construction performed the concrete work and steel erection of the new shop for Kennecott. The concrete footings are 16 feet square and eight feet deep; large enough to support the massive 300-ton dump trucks when they are fully loaded. The footings also support the hydraulic jack used in repairs.
The Kennecott Truck Shop project included a large truck maintenance area, complete with tire storage, office space, and supplemental storage tanks to house the necessary fluids for the vehicles. In addition to the large truck facilities, Big-D built a small truck wash bay and pump house, including adjacent water clarification ponds.
39,000 square feet; completed in five months
In a news story about improved communications at the Bingham mine, the story mentions that Kennecot Utah Copper was operating 85 300-ton haul trucks, and 12 shovels. (Rajant Corporation case study)
The following comes from the Big D Construction company's web site:
Kennecott Copper Mine, the largest open-pit mine in the world, uses unique equipment including enormous ore trucks. Maintaining these trucks is a process in and of itself, and Kennecott has a dedicated space for that process.
In 2011, Big-D began construction of a 106,000-square-foot expansion to the existing mine truck maintenance shop for Kennecott. The addition included 16 new offices, 12 service and repair bays, two tire service bays, four overhead cranes, a storage building, and a changing building. The building not only provides the space for administrative work, but also accommodates Kennecott’s 300-ton dump trucks during repair and maintenance.
Big-D also built a new warehouse portion to supply the expanded shop with parts and a new house to accommodate the existing and added workforce. Our construction management team worked closely with Kennecott and the designer in a Construction Manager/General Contractor delivery method, providing budgets and constructability reviews during design. (Big D Construction web site, "KENNECOTT UTAH COPPER TRUCK SHOP EXPANSION")
Expanded 6190 Truck Shop
The following comes from Utah Construction & Design magazine:
This project consists of a 116,000 SF expansion on each side of Kennecott Utah Copper’s existing Copperfield (sic) Truck Shop. The addition included 16 new offices, 12 service and repair bays, two tire service bays, four new overhead cranes, a storage building and a separate change-house facility. The expansion also includes a new warehouse area to store and supply the expanded shop with parts.
The truck shop expansion was designed to accommodate huge mining equipment currently in use, including the massive 400-ton CAT 797F truck, which is more than 25 feet tall.
Amenities include an updated lube system, a fire suppression system, and a new hydronic in-floor heating system, which provides continuous warmth to shop employees and eliminates ice buildup on the concrete approach during winter months. Large fabric door are able to absorb minor collisions and can be repaired quickly. (Utah Construction & Design magazine, December 1, 2013)
The following comes from the Hunt Electric company web site:
The Kennecott Truck Shop is located in the Bingham Canyon Mine. This project consisted of two expansions - east side build-out to the existing shop and the west side build-out to the existing truck shop. The massive expansion of nearly 116,000 sq.ft. added storage areas, offices, electrical and mechanical rooms, as well as 14 new service bays. Both expansions included the installation of medium-voltage services to the transformer, new MCC electrical rooms and high bay HID lighting from the 85’ ceiling decks. Cable trays were installed through both expansions and the existing truck shop for all the branch wiring. This was a very challenging installation due to the working heights and the multiple layers of cable tray. Ninety percent of all work performed was off of a platform lift or 85’ JLG lifts. Both expansions required the installation of approximately 10,000 feet of electrical pipe trace and 8,000 feet of snow melt installed on the 85’ roofs. Hunt Electric provided medium-voltage services for both expansions. All of the medium-voltage installation was performed by our in-house Transmission and Distribution Division.
Current Truck Fleet at Bingham
An undated summary at MiningTechnology.com shows a total of 65 haulage trucks at Bingham, along with ten shovels:
- 53 Caterpillar 793B and 793C trucks
- 2 Caterpillar 797 trucks
- 9 Komatsu 830E trucks
- 1 Komatsu 930E-2 truck
The Caterpillar trucks use mechanical-drive, and the Komatsu trucks use electric-drive.
Mining Truck Industry
In the decades between 1980 and 2000, unlike construction equipment, mining equipment continued to grow in size, moving from the 170- to 190-ton to the 240-ton truck, with the more than 300-tons in the offing. Six manufacturers--Komatsu (Haulpak), Terex (Unit Rig), Caterpillar, Liebherr Mining Truck (Wiseda), Volvo Construction Group (Euclid), and LeTourneau--were contesting for the large mining truck business. (William Haycraft, Yellow Steel, page 365)
Truck Roster Listings
The Unit Rig Story