Transport Features

Working Wheels: Hunt for the ideal contractor’s vehicle

SRI’s SmartBox offers great customising options for any contractor’s vehicle.

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With any trade, transportation is vital for conducting day-to-day business and without ‘Working Wheels’, a company cannot be successful. What does the ideal fully-equipped mine contractor’s vehicle look like?
Every year Mining and Minerals Product Review (MMPR) takes a look at the Working Wheels of the mining industry to see what is available on the light- to medium commercial vehicle market. It’s that time again and this time we will also investigate security, insurance, maintenance, tracking, and image with regards to contractor’s vehicles. Particular attention will be given to the customisation of these vehicles.

Making the right choice
The options for commercial vehicles are almost endless, all depending on budget and the company’s specific requirements. So what must be taken into consideration when buying a new commercial vehicle for specifically mining contracting?

Here are a few dos and don’ts when shopping around for a new contracting vehicle:

  • Do look at fuel efficiency, especially considering the ever-increasing fuel price;
  • Do go for a trustworthy and reliable vehicle;
  • Do preferably buy a white vehicle to add branding to later;
  • Do invest in a tracking system and service plan;
  • Don’t skip out on the insurance; and
  • Don’t buy less than a 2.7 litre, but preferably a 3.0 diesel.

Loading space is also a big consideration when buying a commercial vehicle. All your tools and equipment must be able to fit safely and securely in the vehicle, so the more space – the better. Also remember that it’s illegal for staff to sit on the back of a vehicle, so cab space is also worth considering. Three-seaters are generally better than two.

It’s also worth finding out if the dealership can handle your customisation needs. Sometimes you can get the complete package all in one, making fitting out your vehicle to suit your needs a lot easier. From the canopy to the roofrack – make sure your vehicle of choice can ‘handle’ the accessories. Tell the dealer up front what your requirements are and ask what they would recommend to accommodate them.

But before you make your choice, make sure you know what you’re getting into; read the fine print.

Click here to read the full feature article on page 8 of the Jan/Feb 2014 issue of MMPR ...

Rugged Rescuers

Emergency transport solutions in the mining industry are rugged and determined by the mine’s exact needs.

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Emergency response and its corresponding modes of transport in the mining industry cannot be stressed enough. For that reason MMPR explored a number of transport solutions when it comes to responding to an emergency.

“Mining is unique in that the vehicles used are different to those that would be used in a municipal context, in other words ones that are more rugged because it’s the environment and the terrain that differ, whereas municipal applications are concerned with flat surfaces. Mining makes use of 4x4s, but municipal adheres more to 2x4s,” said Fire Raiders marketing officer Christo Muller.

Marcé Equipment specialist and ex-firefighter Nico Oberholzer said, “Mines use basically the same form of equipment and transport that a fire department would use, they’re just more heavy duty, for instance if they look at our catalogue they will not buy the small or light product, they will buy the “big boys” i.e. heavy-duty vehicles that carry heavy-duty equipment.”

“Typical emergencies that occur in mines include collapses, accidents, fires, machinery incidents, or limbs that get stuck.”

The best way to figure out the ideal emergency response vehicle and equipment is to ask the client what they need it for, where it will work, and what their budget is. In some cases companies will find a solution that is far more affordable and even below their budget.”

Click here to read the full feature article on the 1st page of the Mar/Apr issue of MMPR ...

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