Haul road design, construction, and maintenance have a huge impact on truck haulage cycle efficiency, costs, and production. Design factors, including road materials, grades, curve designs, and traffic layout, play critical rolls in efficient truck haulage. But proper maintenance of roads — to ensure smooth surface conditions, low rolling resistance, and consistent grades — is equally important to achieving lowest cost per ton of material hauled.
As an example of the importance of haul road design and maintenance, a 5-percent increase in rolling resistance can result in as much as a 10-percent decrease in production and 35-percent increase in production cost. Though 5-percent rolling resistance doesn’t sound like much, it is equivalent to about 2 inches of tire penetration.
Good haul road design, construction, and maintenance reduce fuel burn, help minimize tire heating and damage, and reduce wear on truck components. The results are lower operating and maintenance costs and less downtime.
Motor graders play critical role
Motor graders are not only critical to maintaining haul roads, but also to building haul roads to the right specifications, which, in turn, enables the roads to resist damage and provide optimum hauling conditions for longer periods.
Motor graders are the best grading machines for ensuring that cross slopes and cross falls are built to specifications. Building to spec helps ensure that roads drain water efficiently, which reduces the formation of potholes and washboards, and reduces the need for frequent haul road maintenance.
Motor graders are also the best machines for building superelevated curves. Such curves help trucks maintain proper weight distribution and constant speed, reducing the frequency of transmission gear shifts and braking for less wear on truck components.
After roads are built, the motor grader is the most efficient tool to keep them in good condition. Motor graders provide smooth roads, constant grades, and reduced rolling resistance. They also can maintain safety berms and drainage ditches, and, with their fast travel speeds, graders can be dispatched to quickly clean up rock spillage from haul trucks.
Read more: Improve your haul cycles