To Move A Mountain
Truck Shops At Bingham
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This page last updated on January 2, 2022.
(This is a work in progress; research continues...)
Yosemite Truck Shop (1964-1987)
(Also known as the 6800 shop, named for the elevation of the site.)
The Yosemite truck shop was opened. Construction had started in June 1963 as part of the $100 million expansion program announced in February 1963. The expansion included the use of truck haulage for waste rock removal.
Starting in June and July 1984, thousands of employees were laid off, and by January 1985 there were only 2,200 workers at Kennecott's Utah operations. On April 30, 1985, the work force was cut in half, leaving just over 1,000 workers (from a peak of almost 8,000 in 1982), and the Bingham mine was closed completely. Then in August 1985, after exhausting the ore that had already been mined, the three mills were also shut down.
In 1986 the Yosemite truck shop was closed and abandoned. One retired employee wrote: "After the 1985 mine shutdown the Yosemite Shops were abandoned, but offices in the interior were used to store important records. In the early 1990s I went to look at them and it was really strange being in such a large, cold, cavernous empty building in the middle of winter. I didn't find what I was looking for, but there were a lot of binders containing engineering reports for various modernization projects. Some files were locked and none of the keys loaned me worked. There were thick rolls of mine plans."
Another retired employee wrote: "I was in that building in 1994. They used part of it to cut up and scrap old equipment. I was told it's still there. They just dumped the overburden on top and it finally collapsed under the weight." Another retired employee recalled that when the dumping started in 2003, "I went in there during a lull in the dumping. In the west side of the shop, there was a sign saying: 'Do Not Block Aisle.' There was a Volkswagen size boulder in the middle of the aisle that had rolled through the west wall. I will never forget that image."
Within the past five years, in about 2015 or 2016 after the cleanup of the 2013 slide had been completed and operations had returned to normal, expansion required that the waste dumps in the Yosemite area be removed and ore be taken from the underlying ground. There were reports that the Yosemite shops were soon revealed and removed, including removing tons and tons of concrete floors and metal items that had been buried in 2003, including the overhead cranes.
Bingham Truck Shop (1987-2013)
(Also known as the 6190 shop, named for the elevation of the site)
In September 1986 after completing a $400 million modernization program for the mine, mills and smelter, Kennecott resumed operations at the Bingham mine, after being closed since April 1985. The modernization program included a new truck shop at the 6190 mine level.
A photo dated June 20, 1987 shows the steel framework of the new truck shop nearly complete, but without any outside covering.
The Bingham truck shop was opened in 1987, as part of the resumption of mining operations, replacing the closed and abandoned Yosemite shop.
The new location near the old 6190 rail yard was more centrally located than the old Yosemite shop. The resumption of mining operations included the planned expansion of waste rock dumping to fill in more of the lower parts of Bingham canyon itself, and a centrally located truck shop would allow more efficient operations.
Plans were made as early as 2005 to move the Bingham shop, along with the visitor center, to make way for the "East Wall Push Back." The new Copperfield shop was completed in 2006, with 39,000 square feet, and expanded to 145,000 square feet in 2011, making the older 6190 Bingham shop unnecessary.
By the time of the April 2013 slide, all of the personnel had been moved to the new shop, along with all of the machinery and tools to maintain the truck fleet. The slide destroyed about half of the older shop, and the remaining part was removed using remotely controlled equipment during the summer of 2013.
Copperfield Truck Shop (2006- current)
(Located north and east of the Bingham shop, which it replaced.)
The following comes from the Big D Construction 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
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")
Kennecott completed the expansion of its 6190 truck shop, located at the northeastern edge of the open pit mine. This work was already under way when the massive slide took place in April 2013, severely damaging a nearby truck shop that was being dismantled in preparation for the expanded facilities.
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 6190 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.