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Fuel/Lube Service Truck Assists in Coal Mine Operations

Fri May 02, 2008 - National Edition
Construction Equipment Guide

Elliott Machine Works recently produced mobile fuel/lube service trucks for a coal mine operation in North Dakota.

A coal company official said the company chose to pair Cat 730 articulated trucks with Elliott Machine Works’ combination fuel and lube units for the rough terrain and volume of equipment that need to be serviced.

The coal mine had three drag lines and kept 10 to 20 300-ton (272 t) Kress Haul trucks racing along a 7-mi. (11 km) one-way route to unload the coal before heading back to the mine for more. The coal mine official said it was critical that every piece of equipment could be relied upon to perform its role because the operation needed to work like a precision timepiece.

Along with the haul trucks, the fuel/lube service vehicles are called upon to service the facilities’ dozers, loaders, and draglines.

The units have a 4,000 gal. (15,000 L) fuel capacity along with six tanks for oil, transmission fluid, antifreeze, used oil and 1,000 lbs. (453 kg) of grease.

The coal mine purchased the Cat trucks and had them shipped to Galion, Ohio, to be outfitted by Elliott Machine Works.

The design was similar to the more common van body mounted units except with a much beefier version. They tied into the Cat hydraulics system and used 3-in. (7.6 cm) fuel meters and piping to attain the required volume.

The coal mine workers insisted that all controls be accessible so all of the switches, control nozzles and ball valves had to be a maximum of 60-in. (152 cm) from ground level.

Elliott Machine Works’ Jeran Pollock said that the units were not the company’s biggest trucks in terms of fluid volume capacity but were the largest vehicles the company has ever worked with. Once delivered, the coal mine wasted no time in putting the fuel/lube service vehicles to work.

With a focus on the design, fabrication and assembly of specialized field service maintenance equipment since 1963, Elliott Machine Works has manufactured a lot of unique service vehicles as well as skid and trailer mounted service platforms.

For more information, call 419/468-4709 or visit

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