Miller Technology introduces five-tonne carrier
Miller MAX responds to industry need for faster, heavier, safer personnel carrier
Technology has introduced the Miller MAX, a five-tonne vehicle with built-in rollover operator and falling object protection systems (ROPS-FOPS) in response to customer demand for a stronger, faster and safer personnel carrier.
The North Bay company, well known in the mining industry for retrofitting Toyota Landcruisers for the harsh underground environment, saw an opportunity to add a heavier duty personnel carrier to its product lineup.
“We were pushing to the limits with the Toyota, so we built the Miller MAX from scratch,” said Miller Technology vice-president Kent Miller.
New mining codes in Quebec and Manitoba requiring level two ROPS-FOPS for transporting personnel precipitated the interest in a heavier duty carrier.
The ROPS-FOPS structures add to the weight of a vehicle and reduce the carrying capacity of the Landcruiser.
“The Miller MAX is a five-tonne vehicle,” said Miller. “The Toyota’s carrying capacity is one tonne.”
The Miller MAX can easily accommodate a 14-man “bus” with 12 men in the back and two up front, all protected by certified ROPS-FOPS structures. The vehicle features a heavy-duty Cummins diesel engine, heavy-duty transmission, wet disk brakes and 12-ply industrial mining tires.
In addition to being able to comply with ROPS-FOPS requirements, mining companies want to be able to transport more men and material to working areas of a mine more quickly, said Miller.
They also want their personnel carriers to last longer.
The Miller MAX fills a gap between the one-tonne Toyotas and the 15-tonne trucks manufactured by competing equipment manufacturers. The latter, according to Miller, travel upramp at a slow crawl of five miles per hour, while the Miller MAX goes 15 to 20 miles per hour upramp.
For downramp safety and easier wear on the brakes, the Miller MAX features a special retarder on the transmission to maintain a fixed speed.
A CAN bus electrical system also allows for a semi-automatic brake check procedure, said Miller.
“The operator pushes a button on the dashboard for the daily brake check and follows the instructions on the screen. The system logs the brake check and indicates a pass or fail. Normally, brake tests are done manually and aren’t logged, so if there’s ever an incident underground because a guy loses his brakes, there’s no way of knowing for sure if a brake test was performed.”
The Miller MAX can be customized to serve as a full-size scissor deck, a big flatdeck with a crane or a mechanics truck.
The vehicle is fully cageable and can be designed to accommodate quick-attach cassette-style modules for multiple applications. The first Miller MAX was tested in the Kirkland Lake area and a second one has undergone testing in the Sudbury camp.
Miller Technology is currently manufacturing a Miller MAX to serve as a mobile mechanics superdeck with a crane and a high-capacity air compressor.
“Before, we could never have run a high-capacity air compressor,” noted Miller. “Now we can because we have a transmission with a power take-off on it that allows us to do that.”
Also in the works are plans to offer a battery-powered version of the Miller MAX.
Miller continues to retrofit between 60 and 70 Toyota Landcrusiers a year from its state-of-the-art 50,000 square foot production facility and head office in North Bay. The Miller MAX expands the company’s product mix and offers mining companies another option.