Irish Salt Mining & Exploration has put two Volvo FMX12.420 6×6 rigids into operation, where the trucks will operate almost exclusively 460 metres underground in in the company’s salt mine near Kilroot in Northern Ireland.
Supplied by Dennison Commercials, the 3,900mm wheelbase FMXs are powered by D13K engines rated at 420hp. I-Shift automated gearboxes and rear hub reduction axles complete the powertrain assembly for the rigids, which both carry locally manufactured platform bodies by C-Tec .
Company Administrator Alwyn McCreanor, required maximum ground clearance with the FMXs, which were ordered with XX-High B-ride chassis giving approx. 1,150mm distance between the axles and road level. The all-steel suspended chassis design includes a ten-tonne front axle cushioned by uprated triple leaf parabolic springs. Day Cabs were supplied with the FMXs and these are proving ideal for reaching all height-restricted sections within the company’s underground mining operations.
Alwyn McCreanor said: “Dennison Commercials provided excellent service and support during the ordering and delivery process for our new trucks. We have a comprehensive mine ventilation system in place, but the Volvos’ Euro 6 emissions also complement our air quality standards.”
Alwyn adds: “The Volvos are being used to bring one tonne bags of ballast into the salt mine, as part of a permanent stability operation. Each FMX can carry 12 tonnes and the pair can empty a curtainside trailer at the surface in one run. Once underground, the Volvos are then unloaded and the material is used like large building blocks, in areas previously excavated, to guard against any future roof movement.”
The FMXs will not accrue a high mileage and for extra safety levels, the pair are fitted with under cab fire suppression units, extra shielding around the turbochargers and a double pole insulator.
Alwyn concludes, “We looked at several different truck marques before ordering the Volvos. I was impressed from the outset at Volvo’s build quality, whilst the ground clearance figures seemed perfect for the hard surfaces and uneven terrain that characterise our mine operations. In the past we’d used ex-military vehicles that were converted for our operations, but it’s safe to say that our drivers love the new Volvos.”