B&D Manufacturing goes above ground to diversify
Haul truck repair units key to growth
The largest haul trucks in the mining industry are anything but NASCAR race cars. But it doesn’t mean they can’t be treated the same when it comes to servicing and repairing them.
With existing technology and methods, when haul trucks break down, especially tires, maintenance can be a time-consuming process.
This is where B&D Manufacturing’s Super Jack, Multi-Handler and Tire Handler Station come into play to make repairs efficient and safe.
“We’ve developed a trio package of equipment that decreases downtime and increases safety for the workers,” said B&D Manufacturing general manager Andre Ruest. “It’s like a pit stop for big trucks.”
The trio package was born out of necessity eight years ago when the company decided it was time to diversify from a strictly underground mining market to surface operations. The Super Jack came first, followed a few years later by the Multi-handler and Tire Handler Station.
The Super Jack is the only certified two point lift jacking system for 300 and 400-ton haul trucks. It is computer-controlled and hydraulically driven.
It features sensors that monitor weight, tilt and limits.
The Multi-Handler is a remote-controlled machine that can remove and replace wheels, motors, struts, cylinders and spindle brakes. It is certified to hold loads up to 50 tons.
The Tire Handler Station is designed for indoor shop use and tight spaces at only 15-feet deep by 20- feet wide.
It has a crab crawl feature and handles 12.5-foot to 14-foot outside diameter tires.
The trio package makes mechanic work easier and safer, and it is catching on fast in the industry. B&D currently has 50 pieces of equipment across the world in operation helping to maintain working fleets of vehicles.
At a mine site in Chile, the company has done studies on the increased efficiencies the trio package can provide on Komatsu 830Es and 930Es vehicles.
Using conventional means, it takes one hour to jack up a truck. With the Super Jack, it takes two minutes. Overall, the Super Jack has accounted for 815 hours of increased truck utilization.
Changing a wheel motor without the Multi-Handler takes 30 hours for a pair, and 20 hours with one. There has been 4,228 hours every 48 months of increased truck utilization.
A front tire change without the Tire Handler Station takes four hours, and only two hours with one.
The station has accounted for 1,376 hours of increased truck utilization.
In the mining industry, repairs and downtime cost big money.
“The industry demanded equipment like this,” Ruest said. “The Multi-handler is our biggest seller because there are more applications for it and it is extremely versatile. We knew this equipment would save mining companies a lot of money.”
Safety was an important focus for B&D Manufacturing. All three pieces of equipment in one case study reported no worker injuries during any of the repairs made on the machines.
It is something B&D Manufacturing stresses every day and puts into everything it designs and builds.
“It has to be safe for the people who use it,” Ruest said. “Everything we do is engineered to be safety- oriented.”
Ruest also stresses the company has only begun to scratch the surface when it comes to improving maintenance standards for heavy haul trucks.
The company opens its purse strings every year and spends between $2 and $4 million on research and development of new products.
The future holds many bright prospects.
“This is just a start for us,” Ruest said. “We have a list of things we can do to improve the efficiency of maintaining these haul trucks. We’re always looking for new ways to improve. We can’t stand still. We have to keep designing and improving. This truck product line, we’re going to invest a lot into it.”
B&D Manufacturing won a 2012 Northern Ontario Business Award for Company of the Year in October.
“We have a phenomenal team here. We owe a lot to our employees. It’s a complete team job,” Ruest said.