Scottish Coal has ordered ten Cat 785D off highway trucks for its fleet modernisation program at the Broken Cross surface mine in Ayrshire, Scotland (IM October 2009, pp 61-62), which will make it the first company in the UK to operate Cat’s new D-Series version. The new trucks will be delivered, serviced and maintained by Finning, a Caterpillar dealer, who will operate from a new purpose built workshop and parts facility at the site. They will be loaded by one of Liebherr’s largest mining excavator fleets in the UK. The operation currently has five R 9350s, five R 934 Cs and one R 964 C.Powered by a Cat 33512C HD engine, producing 1,081 kW, the 249,476 kg, six speed 785Ds rise 11.8 m from the ground with a wheelbase of some 5.18 m. With a major increase in its current hauling capacity to 136 t/load, Scottish Coal will be able to make significant efficiency gains throughout its operations and thanks to a seven year support deal with Finning, it will be able to run the equipment for the next 36,000 hours to deliver the required production output. These new acquisitions will complement the Liebherr excavator fleet on site. The operation currently has five R 9350 litronic excavators, five R 934 C litronic excavators and one R 964 C litronic excavator.Andrew Foster, Scottish Coal Managing Director said: “With the introduction of the new CAT 785D’s, we are now well on the way to completing what is probably the most comprehensive fleet renewal program the mining industry in the UK has ever seen.“We have made a real statement of intent in what is the worst recession we have seen in recent times. In going through the process of determining which manufacturer to help us make this significant step, it has been the ongoing assistance from Finning, the proven performance of Caterpillar products and the support of Cat Financial that has made this whole deal possible.“I personally am very excited about the prospect of welcoming these machines to our mining operation at Broken Cross, they truly are a feet of engineering. However, what is more significant to me is the seven year support deal that Finning have put together to ensure we get the maximum output from our investment.”Commenting on the deal and the importance of its work with Scottish Coal, Gary Agnew, Finning General Sales Manager said: “The Cat 785 has a tremendous pedigree and reputation with the mining industry; the product served many UK customers well during the hay-day of coal production and in fact there are still some operating today which have worked almost 40,000 hours and are still going strong!“It is over 15 years since we last welcomed this size truck into the UK and it underlines the improved outlook and the important role that coal production is playing in supporting the country’s energy requirements. Scottish Coal has been very forward thinking in terms the actions it has taken over recent years to provide the their operations with the most modern, safe, efficient and highly productive equipment available on the market; it is really pleasing that the Cat 785Ds and Finning are now clearly seen as cornerstones in their plant and production strategy”.
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