Global Transport recently achieved a heavy haulage project that involved a shipment of mining gear from Peru to Macraes Mine in Otago. MARY SEARLE details the complicated passage from South America to Central Otago.
Global Transport was contracted to get five Cat 789D dump trucks onto a ship in a Chilean port, across the South Pacific Ocean to the port in Timaru and then onto transporters for the rest of the journey to the mine.
The dump trucks had been bought for a mining job in the copper-rich Antofagasta region of Chile in 2013, but had barely been used. As such, they were a bit grubby, but virtually new.
The seller of the trucks used a local heavy haulage company to get the vehicles to the port in Peru, and that’s where Global Transport took over with a ship on charter to move the equipment to Port Timaru.
Normally, such big cargo would be shipped out of the port city of Antofagasta in Peru. However, the town was no longer tolerating big loads being transported through its streets. This meant they had to use Mejillones Port, 100 kilometres to the north of Antofagasta.
The Cat dump trucks were parked outside the port. The dump bodies had been removed for transport and the chassis were complete with wheels. The bodies were then taken by transporter and the chassis were driven into the port for loading onto the ship.
Global Transport owner Richard Hyde says ensuring everyone is in the know and happy with the way things are going is all part of working in South America.
“Meeting face to face is better than email. They understand you have ownership of the operation.
“You have to play the game or everything will just stop,” says Richard. “It’s better than it was 20 years ago, but it’s a different culture.
“My jobs run pretty smoothly because I’ve done it so often. But it’s all about knowing the risks – ensuring the right people have been contacted, the correct funds have been paid to the respective parties, and the right questions have been asked.
“Preparation is everything,” he says. “Surprises are the things that kill you.”
After a day and a half, the ship was ready to sail.
The ship, which had originally come out of the US Gulf, was late, so the pressure came on the master to run at maximum speed to Port Timaru. However, at the port in Timaru there was another ship on the berth. In order to avoid unnecessary fees, Richard contacted the captain of the ship and asked him to slow down a bit.
At Port Timaru, Laurie Cantwell took control of the operation (Richard was in Peru overseeing another transport operation). Discharge went smoothly as a lot of planning went into the stowing of the vessel. And discharge is always quicker than loading a vessel, says Richard.
“If transporters are sitting, waiting to catch a lift via the ship’s hook, it costs money.”
The bodies were discharged directly onto widening trailers with four rows of eight wheels and headed to the mine site, a 175-kilometre trip south. The bodies are 12.7 metres long and 7.6 metres wide and weigh between 38 and 44 tonnes each.
The chassis were then off-loaded. Although the chassis were too heavy to transport via the road with their wheels on, the wheels had been deliberately left on as the chassis needed to be mobile to move onto the Port at Mejillones, and, more importantly, so they could be driven inside the vessel to the final stow position.
A tyre handler was brought down from the mine to remove the wheels and, with the wheels removed, the chassis, which weigh around 68 tonnes each, were then lashed to the transporters – either a widening trailer with four rows of eight wheels and two axle dollies or a five axle widening trailer – and departed for the mine.
The wheels and ancillary items comprised another 10 loads to the mine and were transported on flatbed trailers.
The 20 heavy hauls were undertaken by Fulton Hogan, which had three transporters, assisted by BR Satherley Transport, with another two transporters.
You can see some excellent footage of the move, including the gear being hauled up the Macraes Road hill, on the Global Transport website: http://bit.ly/2jamJbb.