A battery-powered personnel carrier offers Goldcorp several advantages.
“There are no emissions, so they can eliminate particulates from diesel engines and reduce the need for ventilation,” said Ray. “It’s also quieter.”
RES Equipment Sales, which also has a parts and service office in Sudbury, teamed up with the Oldenburg Group, a mining equipment manufacturer in Iron River, Michigan, to design and build the vehicle.
A prototype was delivered to Goldcorp and tested in October before being returned to Iron River for final adjustments.
The EUV is designed to accommodate up to three battery packs, depending on the frequency of usage.
“If it’s only used eight hours a day, one battery pack is fine,” said Ray. “If it’s used for three shifts, you need three batteries.”
Swapping batteries takes two or three minutes. Spent batteries are plugged in for six hours, and rest for another six to eight hours before being ready for service.
The vehicle accommodates two or three people and travels at speeds of six to eight miles per hour.
Goldcorp’s goal, said Ray, is to have a fleet of 35 EUVs over the next three or four years. The vehicles will be used by mechanics, surveyors and electricians and can be modified to accommodate scissor decks and lifting booms.
“I see it being a tremendous success,” he said. “There’s a huge requirement in many mines for this type of vehicle and, to my knowledge, there’s nothing like it on the market.”
Ray hopes to work with Oldenburg “to expand into bigger equipment.” He also hopes to build a diesel-powered version of the personnel carrier for mines that don’t require battery power “because it’s smaller than a Toyota and very cageable.”
RES, which won a Northern Ontario Business Company of the Year Award October 8th, remanufactures underground mining equipment, including load-haul-dump machines, jumbos, haul trucks and utility vehicles. It also sells and services new equipment, including Oldenburg Cannon jumbos, scalers and utility vehicles, as well as Canun International pneumatic rock drills and NPK rock breakers.
The company’s location in Dryden, a community of 8,200 people halfway between Thunder Bay and Winnipeg, hasn’t stopped it from serving the global mining industry. Dryden is only a two-hour drive to Goldcorp’s Red Lake Complex, has a major airport and is well served by road and rail links to eastern and western Canada. Thanks to the power of the Internet and the contacts he has made in the mining industry, Ray has sold remanufactured equipment to mining companies and contractors in Canada, the U.S., Mexico, Russia, Australia and Africa.
Although 1,225 kilometres from the northeastern Ontario mining cluster, RES Equipment also does business with Vale’s Sudbury Basin operations and has three jumbos at the company’s new Totten Mine, which is scheduled to begin producing ore in 2011.