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Marcotte unveils 5-in-1 utility vehicle

September 1, 2012
by Norm Tollinsky
In: Technology with 0 Comments

Why spend money on five utility vehicles – a fan handler, a pipe handler, a scissor lift, a crane and a flatbed truck – and have them sitting idle most of the time?

That’s what mine management at Xstrata Copper’s Kidd Creek operation in Timmins asked their account manager from Marcotte Mining Machinery Services Inc. of Sudbury. The inevitable napkin materialized at some point during the meeting and the unique MultiRam, “five-in-one” utility vehicle began to take shape.

Delivered earlier this year, the unit converts from a fan handler to a tire handler in 20 minutes, said Marcotte sales and marketing manager Joe Laprarie. It also serves as a crane truck, a pipe handler, a scissor lift and a flatbed for transporting material.

“We’ve built fan handlers in the past, but they’re just that,” said Laprarie. “They handle a fan. We have also built pipe handlers and tire handlers, but the MutiRam does it all, and you don’t need a separate scissor lift to come along with you.”

The unit features a four-wheel drive, centre articulated carrier with a four-section telescopic crane, 4,000-pound extended deck capacity, cable trays for neat, organized storage of the boom hosing and a fold-down, removable handrail system with onboard storage.

You don’t change a fan in a mine every day, so spending money on a unit that sits idle for two or three weeks of the month doesn’t make sense, said Laprairie. The MultiRam saves money and cuts down on the number of vehicles parked underground.

“We used it to lift a 250 horsepower fan, which is 4,800 pounds and it handled it without any problems,” he said. “We did stability testing and lifting capacity testing up to 5,800 pounds.”

The unit has been designed for Marcotte’s M40, M50 and M60 carriers (suitable for drift sizes of 12’ x 12’ and greater), has a high-speed powertrain and trams as quickly as all of the other crane trucks at the Kidd Mine.


Pipe handler

Marcotte also celebrated the recent delivery of another unique utility vehicle – this one to Climax Molybdenum’s Henderson Mine in Clear Creek County, Colorado, 50 kilometres west of Denver.

Designed specifically for installing pipe, the unit has front and back platforms and a lifting device that extends out from the side of the unit to grab a pipe from a pallet and hoist it up to the back.

The pipe handler also has four-wheel steering capability, allowing it to “crab up against the wall,” and was designed to fit in the Henderson Mine cage.

The unit speeds up the pipe installation process, eliminates the need for multiple scissor lifts and keeps miners out of harm’s way.

According to Laprarie, the pipe handler is ideal for block cave mines with miles of piping and a requirement for safe and efficient installation.


Personnel carrier

Marcotte is also in the process of testing a Brazilian-manufactured army vehicle for use as an underground personnel carrier. Made by Brazil’s Agrale, the unit has a sealed body and “heavy-duty everything on it,” said Laprarie. Currently in trials and testing to ensure compliance with CANMET and MSHA standards, the vehicle has a 4,000-pound load capacity, comes in single cab or crew cab configurations and can be equipped with a jib crane or a toolbox.

The Agrale personnel carrier will complement Marcotte’s own M10 carrier, which was designed with “axles and suspension systems that took us out of the price market for that kind of equipment,” said Laprarie.

The company serves the mining industry across Canada and the U.S., and has dealers in South America, Mexico, Russia and Kazakhstan.

Marcotte Mining Machinery will be exhibiting at MINExpo in Las Vegas, September 24 to 26.

MINExpo: Booth 128

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