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The logistics of mining equipment transportation

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The mining industry features some of the largest machines and automated mining equipment used on earth, including dump trucks, excavators and dozers of colossal size. Heavy earthmoving equipment does not simply appear on mine sites overnight and can take up to 18 months to manufacture. Some of the largest equipment on the market includes the Liebherr 9800 Excavator, which can weigh an astonishing 800 tons.

Due to the sheer size of this mining equipment, machinery has to be transported in parts and assembled on site. National transport and international shipping of mining equipment, parts and attachments is often required, with global logistics management a key part of the process. Haulage companies are required to liaise with government departments and local councils to apply for the necessary permits, with police escorts and road closures often required. It takes extensive planning and industry knowledge to deliver machinery safely and on time to some of the most remote places in Australia (and indeed, the world). 

With that in mind, this article aims to give you an insider look at what considerations must be taken into account to allow for the efficient and secure transportation of equipment, from origin to destination.

Australia — the challenges of the sunburnt country

 

Australia is home to one of the world’s largest mining industries and as such, the demand for equipment transportation is high. Australian haulage companies not only have to contend with the sheer distance to travel between operating sites, but also the harsh climates and terrain when accessing some of the most remote locations.

 

Ian Scott, General Manager of National Heavy Haulage, part of the National Group suggests that “forward planning is a key element in the successful delivery of equipment. Before even thinking about transporting equipment, it is very important that the project site, the surrounding environment and proposed transportation route are fully surveyed. This will allow for an accurate cost estimate to be provided to the client up-front, so that the viability of the project can be determined.”

“Transportation within Australia often requires liaising with government departments including the State or Territory Police and the Department of Transport, to ensure all relevant parties are kept up to date and assistance can be called upon if required — for instance, a police escort in the case of oversized vehicles.”

“Third parties may also need to be consulted, in order to identify geographic, meteorological and infrastructure-based hazards that may be encountered. This is particularly important when dealing with the harsh Australian desert and climate.”

Once the planning is complete, heavy haulage trucks and cranes take over to ensure the safe handling and delivery of mining equipment.

On the international stage

 

Alongside domestic considerations, are a whole host of other factors that need to be taken into account when it comes to the international transportation of mining equipment.

Dean Sterling, General Manager of International Global Logistics, part of the National Group indicates that “international delivery very much operates in a chain structure, with each link relying on the next in order to ensure safety and adherence to tight delivery schedules. Multi-transportation modes are a given, with equipment often travelling via road, rail and sea in order to make its final destination.”

“On top of the logistics of physical transportation, security laws and customs clearance that must be attended to, it is vital for a transportation company to maintain good relationships with a whole host of relevant authorities, as to not encounter any unnecessary delays that could cause concern for clients and affect their mining production schedules.”

Experience is the way to go 

 

Given the intricate level of industry knowledge that is required, it is important to go with an experienced equipment transportation provider. They are likely to be across everything from local geographical hazards to international laws and will be able to deal with unforeseen issues quickly and effectively. Whether you need to transport large heavy earthmoving equipment, automated mining equipment or larger cargo, it’s usually better to leave it to the experts!

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