To Move A Mountain
Trucks At Bingham
Index For This Page
This page last updated on March 5, 2013.
(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)
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)
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