5 Steps to Determine if 60-Ton Haulers Are Right for You

Since launching our A60H – the world’s first 60-ton fully articulated hauler — we’ve had a lot of interest. But being an entirely new size class to the industry, a lot of customers are wondering just how to integrate a 60-ton machine into their existing fleet of smaller haulers. For instance, could three 60-ton haulers replace four A40s? How would that impact cycle times, operating costs, and ultimately, my profitability? These are the common types of questions we’re hearing. Fortunately, we can help answer them with Site Simulation.

A hauler fleet is only as effective as its supporting machines, so it’s essential to look at the entire fleet holistically to determine what size and how many haulers are best for your site. With Site Simulation, we can help determine the right mix in five steps.

Step 1: Evaluate jobsite conditions
The first step in a site simulation analysis is to gather data, which is done with the help of a handheld GPS device. It records haul distances, curves in the haul road and road gradients, for example. This data is then imported as a GPX file into a site simulation software program.

Once GPS data is imported, the fleet manager works with the OEM or dealer to input a number of jobsite-specific factors, such as bank density, swell factor, loose density and the estimated average percentage of bucket fill. The software also allows you to select from several ground condition categories to calculate rolling distance of the equipment, which is a key factor in estimating cycle times and fuel efficiency.

Step 2: Estimate operating hours
Next, you need to estimate the annual working hours per machine. Take into consideration the total number of scheduled shifts per year and the average shift duration (minus the non-operating delay per shift), then subtract estimated scheduled maintenance time.

Step 3: Input equipment specifications
Next, you need to input equipment model information, including the number of machines, model numbers and bucket size(s). The software will automatically pull the necessary equipment specifications to run a product simulation.

You can then run reports with different combinations of equipment models for the loading and hauling units — comparing them side-by-side to find the solution that delivers the best production at the lowest operating cost.

Step 4: Review the production analysis
The final analysis factors in average cycle time, average bucket passes to fill the hauler and estimated average fuel consumption per hour. You can further review machine utilization in a cycle time breakdown, which outlines exactly how the hauler spends time during each cycle — including average load queue time, average spot time at the loading unit, average travel time, average spot time at dump and average dumping time.

Step 5: Calculate cost to operate
The production analysis only represents a part of the total operating cost, however. The total cost of ownership should be determined based on a proposed purchase agreement and/or financing structure. Other costs to consider include depreciation schedule, taxes, insurance, estimated resale value, service plans, tire replacements and maintenance costs.

So, is the 60-ton right for you?
In my experience since we brought the A60H to market, we’re seeing that many customers willing to reconfigure their fleet with 60-ton haulers have the potential to increase profitability by doing so. Bigger isn’t always necessarily better for every site, but if one thing’s for sure, I know the A60H is the next big thing.

If you’d like to schedule a site simulation, we’d love to hear from you.

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