Wheel Loaders Keep Warm by Moving Iron Ore at Kiruna
One of the largest underground mines puts Volvo’s new diesel engine to the test
“Fuel is a huge part of our budget—and with diesel prices continuously rising, it’s vital for us to reduce our fuel consumption for the economics of our business,” said Martin Fredrikson, site manager, LTH Traktor. “But another consideration for us when we purchase construction equipment is that we are contracted to meet LKAB’s stringent emissions regulations—and there-fore our construction machinery must too.”
LTH Traktor operates 177 Volvo machines at the Kiruna mine site to trans-port and load raw ore and gray rock— including 19 excavators, 15 articulated haulers and 43 wheel loaders. Its fleet includes eight wheel loaders from the newly-launched G-Series (one L60G, two L120Gs, one L180G, three L220Gs and one L250G) that are in operation for between 20-24 hours per day.
The new G-Series wheel loaders are lean, clean machines that offer a more effi-cient, low emissions engine, according to Volvo. The V-ACT Tier 4i/Stage IIIB offers high torque performance to work more effi-ciently at low engine speeds and is com-bined with perfectly-matched electronic fuel injection for optimal power and low fuel consumption. “Since purchasing the latest Volvo CE G-Series machines, our operators have commented that they are considerably more fuel efficient—and of course the engine and transmission play a big role in that,” Fredrikson said.
Today more underground mines have opted for cleaner diesel-powered machinery similar to this Tier 4i/Stage IIIB classified engine that can remove NOx and particulate matter from the emissions. The G-Series wheel loaders’ regeneration system works effectively in the background to remove these emissions, without having to stop the machine, or even losing any power. By com-bining the new regeneration system with bet-ter fuel consumption and enhanced machine performance, operators can carry out regener-ation while the machine is still in operation.
“The regeneration function works well and we’ve noticed a big decrease in parti-cle emissions. This has been extremely positive for our underground work environ-ment. Volvo’s engines are a lot further ahead in terms of technology—this manu-facturer has really listened to the cus-tomers and worked hard to meet their needs,” Fredrikson said.
LTH Traktor works with its local construc-tion equipment dealer—Swecon Anläg-gningsmaskiner—to find the best machinery for the application and to adapt that machin-ery to work underground. “The support Volvo CE and its Swedish dealer provides us with is invaluable,” Fredrikson said. “Swecon spe-cialists attend the site to demonstrate to our operators how to reduce both fuel consump-tion and machine wear.”
Swecon’s technicians have the tools and training to service and maintain Volvo CE machinery at peak performance. Using diag-nostic technology, these specialists know how to help customers maximize machine uptime, productivity and residual value through routine wear inspections, comprehensive maintenance and repair agreements.
Where it’s available, the G-Series wheel loader comes fitted with CareTrack, Volvo’s telematics system. It provides information for better planning and smarter working— including fuel consumption reports, location reports, fault alerts and service reminders.
“CareTrack is very helpful for us to measure the machine’s performance,” Fredrikson said. “It’s helpful to see which machines suit which jobs best, and our operators can also monitor their own per-formance. Our main goal is to deliver on the promises we make to LKAB—and to do this we need excellent support for our machines to ensure they’re in operation as much as possible. Volvo CE offers us this support when we need it.”