In an Australian first, Hastings Deering has installed a C32 US EPA Tier 2 engine model based on the Cat D11T track type tractor into a Cat D11R for Hail Creek Mine, a move expected to deliver significant cost savings and increase the dozers efficiency.

Hastings Deering Mine Shop and Mining Support team members performed the engine retrofit at Hastings Park in Mackay on the mine site’s second oldest dozer which has been working since the mine opened in 2003.

“We performed the upgrade as directed by Caterpillar Technical Support–for the Tier II Level Emissions Engine Repower for a D11R Track-Type Tractor,” says Gary Cochrane, Mining Support Representative.

Stan Bruner, Senior Caterpillar Application and Installation Engineer for Emissions Solutions, was brought in from Peoria in the United States to assist with the retrofit.

The C32 engine retrofit provides substantial reductions in fuel burn and engine overhaul costs compared to the original 3508B engine. This assists the customer to reduce their owning and operating costs over the remaining life of the machine. The C32 engine also has lower noise, emissions and vibration levels, which improves the working environment for machine operators.

Customer feedback has been extremely positive since the machine returned to operation. Operators have noted the improvements with both noise and vibration reductions but they have also commented on the quicker response of the Tier 2 engine which assists with cycle times in certain applications.

Initial fuel burn data shows the machine is burning approximately 20 litres per hour less with the new engine installed, which equates to savings in excess of $100,000 per year in diesel alone.

Darrell Joyce, Hail Creek Mine mobile maintenance superintendent shared in Australia Connect, a customer publication: “By being open to new ideas and learning from what others have done, we have not only reduced fuel consumption but we can now potentially double the time between maintenance services from 250 hours to 500 hours.

“The engine is also approximately $70,000 cheaper to replace or rebuild than the original 3508 engine, and is better for the environment, with the potential for 10 per cent less greenhouse emissions.”

Hail Creek mine has committed to having a second repower performed and this is currently underway at Hastings Park in Mackay. There is also potential to perform retrofits to the remaining nine D11R’s in the Hail Creek fleet, commencing from mid-2014.

“Multiple customers have also expressed interest, and the ongoing effects of the results achieved with the retrofit have been significant,” shares Craig Freeman, Mining Support Manager.

“The team involved have put in a continuous effort to ensure that we provide the best outcomes possible to support our customers.”

*Fuel saving is based on field test data that ranged from 9.7% to 11.5% reductions. Future service cost improvements are based on overhaul costs, oil requirements, and potential extended oil change interval. Improved vibration and noise claim is based on customer testimonials. Results can vary based on operating conditions.