Metals & Mining

Haul-truck driver-assist solution that cuts fuel consumption and lengthens tyre life

Key facts

3-7%

cut in fuel consumption

3-5%

increase in tyre life

40+

truck parameters used

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Top business benefits

Cuts fuel consumption by 3-7%

Cuts maintenance costs

Increased tyres lifecycle by 3-5%

Reduces CO2 emissions

In more detail

Full description

Driving a haul truck is a hard and demanding role, requiring concentration for hours on a repetitive route to maintain proper driving behaviour. This means drivers can slip into bad habits which can cause suboptimal equipment performance without realising. These bad habits can result in unnecessary fuel burn, excess tyre damage and additional wear to truck components such as brakes and gear boxes.

This bespoke, real-time, digital drive-assist tool uses voice prompts to teach drivers how to alter their driving behaviour for a specific mine’s roads. Taking account of over 40 parameters, including road surface, payload, idle time and weather, it advises on various driving behaviours, such as optimal speeds for each section of the road, braking pressure and revving.

This tool also analyses each driver’s behaviour to produce bespoke KPIs and performance targets for them to work towards.

By altering an entire fleet of drivers’ behaviour, this solution is proven to cut fuels costs by between 3% and 7% annually. This equates to a saving of $588,000 a year for a mine fleet of 30 trucks such as CAT777, 785C, Komatsu 785-7.

The driver assistance box can be installed in the engine and cab in less than 90 minutes by on-site maintenance technicians as part of a normal maintenance cycle.

The challenge

Fuel and tyres are two huge expenses for a mine operator. Poor driving habits can mean operators may change gear at the wrong point or drive on grade at the wrong speed causing them to over-rev their engines. Other actions may include driving too fast for the road conditions and leaving engines idling while waiting to load. This wastes fuel, increases CO2 emissions and cuts tyre and asset life.

After deploying this easy-to-install, smart driver-assist tool across their haul-truck fleet, mine operators see an instant improvement in driver behaviour. This is proven to significantly reduce fuel consumption and lengthen the life of tyres and other engine and vehicle components.

This solution also encourages drivers to adjust their driving behaviour by generating KPIs that can be linked to workforce bonuses.

The approach

This haul-truck driver-assist smart voice prompt solution corrects drivers’ behaviours to optimise fuel consumption and increase tyre and asset life.

Designed and modified for each individual mine, this solution uses machine learning to identify the areas of each mine where driving behaviour is not optimised. It considers over 40 parameters, including engine revs, break speed, gear changes, road surface, payload, idle time and weather conditions. It then runs this data through an algorithm on the main server and assesses how each driver's behaviour can be changed to maximise tonne per kilometre, optimise fuel usage and extend asset life.

It uses voice prompts to help drivers correct their driving behaviour. The vocal alerts could include: ‘rise and turn ahead, recommended speed 30 km\h,’ ‘you’re taking this corner too fast,' or ‘you’re too heavy on the breaks\acceleration.’

All this driver data is then fed back to a central management dashboard where mine executives can see it in real time via an easy-to-read interface. This gives mine operators a view on long-term fuel analytics and trends and helps steer decisions. This solution also makes it possible to rank haul-truck drivers on driving ability, produce bonus-based performance objectives for them to reach and to pinpoint those drivers that could benefit from further training.

This driver-assist solution is proven to significantly reduce fuel consumption and consequently cause a drop in CO2 emissions. And, by improving the quality of the driving, it lengthens tyre life and decreases maintenance costs as the vehicles are not worked as hard.

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