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’Monster Truck’ Stomps More Lime Out of Nevada Quarry

Sat May 20, 2000 - West Edition
Construction Equipment Guide

Chemical Lime, one of largest producers of industrial lime in the world, is dramatically stepping up its Nevada production requirements. With the decision to increase production from 810,000 metric tons to 3 million metric tons (900,000 tons to 3.3 million tons), Chemical Lime decided it was time to call in a monster truck – a Cat 775D quarry truck.

“[The increase] necessitated a vehicle that could outperform its class,” said Rex Simpson, quarry superintendent, Chemical Lime. “Because these trucks are rated to haul 70 tons versus the 50-ton load of other trucks in this class, we expect to haul nearly 20 percent more.”

An international company, Chemical Lime produces massive amounts of industrial lime for the mining and paving industries and quarries dolmite for use in mortar and stucco. To support these production demands, Chemical Lime called on Cashman Equipment, headquartered in Las Vegas and Reno, NV.

After working with the Cat 775D at other Chemical Lime operations, the company noticed significant cost-saving benefits.

“It made sense to purchase [the Cat 775D] for Las Vegas,” said Simpson. “Our company’s experience has shown that these Cats deliver lower cost-per-ton and longer component life.”

Key to delivering a lower cost-per-ton, according to Cashman Equipment, is Caterpillar’s on-board integrated electronics system which enables the engine, power train and other components to “communicate” with each other. The Caterpillar Data Link System electronically combines engine, transmission, brake and other operational information for optimal overall truck performance.

Dan Wilcox, mine engineer, pointed out that increased availability is another factor critical to keeping costs in tow. “The bottom line is that the 775D will do the job at a lower cost than other options,” he said. “Time is money. We run 10-hour shifts, and if we lose an hour of production because a truck is down for service or fueling, we never get it back. The 775D can run a full shift on one tank so there is no down-time for refueling. And with its expected reliability, we anticipate increasing our availability to 95 percent compared to the 85 availability of the old trucks replaced.”

Chemical Lime driver Brian Bain has put the 775D through its paces and gives it high marks. Bain especially likes two optional attachments that integrate with the Cat Data Link System to provide braking control and a smooth ride. “The Automatic Retarder Control electronically controls braking on a grade to automatically adjust the brake for whatever surface or grade the truck is on, and the Traction Control System monitors wheel slip for great maneuvering in poor underfoot conditions,” he said. “This truck is a better ride than my own car.”

Apart from ease of operations, increased automation also means the job can be done with more precision than ever before, according to Shannon Jameson, Cashman Equipment mining division salesman.

Cat’s Truck Production Management System technology monitors payload weight to ensure accuracy. “The payload monitoring system takes the guesswork out of loading. It helps the driver decide how much more to load so that each truck load is optimized,” said Jameson. “Beyond that, Caterpillar’s Electronic Monitoring Systems uses a three category warning system to alert the operator to abnormal machine conditions.”

The new truck is also a good tool for comparing targeted versus actual results. “The on-board computer can be easily downloaded to put information quickly at your fingertips. Before now, that data would have taken several days to analyze,” Jameson said.

Last but not least is Chemical Lime’s relationship with Cashman Equipment. “We’ve found Cashman Equipment supplies the parts availability, training and total support you can only get from a dealer like Cashman who is customer-focused,” said Simpson. “Cashman trainers immediately came to our site to train our drivers on the new 775Ds and familiarize them with their operation and new features so we could quickly benefit from the trucks. The trucks have been working steadily since they arrived and have already made a difference in our productivity and impressed our operators.”

For nearly seven decades, Cashman Equipment has been providing the Caterpillar equipment, parts and service to the mining, logging, construction, paving, truck engine and power systems industries throughout Nevada. Cashman Equipment has headquarters in Las Vegas and Reno with field offices in Elko, Winnemucca, Battle Mountain, Round Mountain and Susanville, CA. For more information, call 702/649-8777.

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