Assessing Vehicle Vibration Performance in Relation to Road Roughness and Vehicle Comfort

Underground » Health and Safety

Published: March 97Project Number: C5040

Get ReportAuthor: Shaouki Ismail | Vipac Engineers & Scientists

The primary aim of this project was to develop a Free Steered Vehicle Vibration Assessment Procedure relevant to assessing and managing the susceptibility of Coal Mining Industry workers to back injury.

For many Coal Mining operators, back injury accounts for more OH&S claims than any other single factor. One factor which has been identified as a leading cause is the exposure of a worker to vehicle vibration.

The Australian Standard for evaluating human exposure to vibration, AS 2670.1 (1990), and its British counterpart, BS 6481 (1987), contain guidelines for evaluating continuous vibration exposure but do not give explicit rules for assessing the influence of high amplitude or shock loads and hence the acceptability or otherwise of the vibrations to which an individual may be exposed.

In other words, the Industry lacks a consistent evaluation procedure to judge individual vehicles with respect to their WBV characteristics.

Following suggestions made by interested parties within the Industry, including members of the N.S.W. Department of Mineral Resources Committee for Operator Compartment Design for Free-Steered Vehicles and using our own testing experiences with underground vehicles, VIPAC proposed to develop an FSV Assessment Procedure which would be used to assess a vehicle's vibration and related comfort characteristics via a Vibration Standardised Test Index (VSTI) which relates road roughness to vehicle vibration.


The objectives of the project were thus to develop and formalise the proposed FSV Assessment Procedure and associated "VSTI":

  • Develop and show that the proposed "VSTI" correlates well with vibration characteristics measured in actual underground conditions via measured AS 2670.1 FDP limits and BS 6481 VDV levels.
  • Measure road roughness and its variability and relate road roughness to the proposed VSTI and hence to vehicle speed for particular vehicles.
  • Develop an above-ground Standardised Test to determine a "model" VSTI, using simulated artificial obstacles on a model test track.
  • Establish a Specification for the test and assessment procedure, i.e. test track and obstacle(s) definition etc.

At initial meetings held between Vipac, the Industry Monitor and AMIRA's representative, the project objectives were altered with primary emphasis placed upon the measurement of road profile at certain minimum specified speeds. In particular, it was made a condition of the project that we should develop a system capable of measuring road roughness and Whole Body Vibration concurrently at vehicle speeds up to 25-40 kph. It was also made on condition that none of the other originally proposed project tasks would be allowed to proceed until we produced a system that could measure road profile at specified speeds and within a specified accuracy.


The above requirements implied that a dynamic road profiler suitable for use underground needed to be obtained.

An extensive literature search on road profile measurement related work was carried out. It was found that no existing road profiling devices were suitable for use underground. This left Vipac with the demanding task of developing a system from the ground up within the budget and time frame initially allocated to the project.

Due to technical issues associated with the difficulty of measuring road profile on rough unpaved roads, the development phase of a dynamic road profiler spanned a period of about seven months.

At that point, it became evident that we were not going to be able to achieve the project objectives within the original schedule.

Vipac then presented ACARP, via the Industry Monitor and AMIRA, with a range of options for future direction of the project, clearly highlighting the issues and risks involved in bringing the project to a successful end.

At this point, the Project's Industry Monitor recommended the project be abandoned. ACARP opted therefore to terminate the project at this point.

The purpose of this Report is to document all work and activities carried out for this project to date.

The decision taken on recommendation by the Project's Industry Monitor to abandon the project was ... "on the basis that the required scope of work did not appear to be achievable within the time and budgetary framework of the project and that part completion of the scope of work will be of no reasonable benefit".

Conclusions & Recommendations

Vipac is still of the opinion that there is a pressing industry need for a consistent evaluation procedure to judge individual vehicles with respect to their WBV characteristics, both from the Mine Operators point of view and equally from the Vehicle Manufacturers' point of view.

Vipac believes that the original objectives of the project would have fulfilled this aim. Consequently, they are currently pursuing these goals with interested parties and hope that, within a reasonable period of time, they will be able to develop an evaluation procedure suitable for industry needs and, at a practical level, one which can be used by manufacturers with readily available instrumentation and analysis tools.



Health and safety, productivity and environment initiatives.

Recently Completed Projects

C25060Development Of Borehole Shear Monitoring Device For Routine Application In Coal Mine Roadways

This project outlines the development of a cost effective, routine s...

C26063Reliable Estimation Of Horizontal Stress Magnitudes From Borehole Breakout Data

The main objective of the project is to develop a reliable and simpl...

C26053Predict Stress State And Geotechnical Conditions Near Major Geological Structures Using Microseismic Technology And Distinct Element Modelling

Stress state and geotechnical conditions often change significantly ...


Open Cut

Safety, productivity and the right to operate are priorities for open cut mine research.

Recently Completed Projects

C25031Developing Closure Criteria For River Diversions: An Alternative To Reference Sites

The use of reference sites for establishing closure criteria in area...

C25025Guidelines For Estimating Coal Measure Rock Mass Strength From Laboratory Properties - Report A Empirical Approach And Report B Synthetic Rock Mass Models

This report combined different approaches to investigate the estimat...

C27074Tyre Integrity Monitoring

Driving mine trucks with underinflated and overloaded tyres subjects...

Open Cut

Coal Preparation

Maximising throughput and yield while minimising costs and emissions.

Recently Completed Projects

C6046Optimising Coal Fragmentation For Improved Recovery

Uncontrolled fragmentation, in particular that resulting in the gene...

C25019Adaptation Of Coal Grain Analysis To Improve Flotation Yield Estimation

This project involved sampling of full-scale flotation circuits at ...

C250083D Flotation Of Fine Particles

In this project a process for the continuous, selective agglomeratio...

Coal Preparation

Technical Market Support

Market acceptance and emphasising the advantages of Australian coals.

Recently Completed Projects

C27036Improved Understanding Of Coke Quality Using 3D Immersive Visualisation And Statistical Characterisation Of Microstructure Properties

This project carried out an explorative study into the use of a 3D v...

C27047Combustion Characteristics Of Australian Export Thermal Coal Using Advanced Imaging Techniques

During pulverised fuel combustion, coal particles are rapidly pyroly...

C25045Assessment Of In Situ High Temperature Strength Of Cokes

The research for this project was undertaken in three stages.


Technical Market Support

Mine Site Greenhouse Gas Mitigation

Mitigating greenhouse gas emissions from the production of coal.

Recently Completed Projects

C26004CFD Modelling Of Reverse Thermal Oxidisers For VAM Abatement - CFD Modelling Of Fixed-Bed RTO Devices

The project is part of a larger multi‐phase program of study a...

C27058Technological Assessment Of A Recycle Reactor For VAM Abatement

Underground coal mining emits high volumes of methane, diluted in ve...

C27008Selective Absorption Of Methane By Ionic Liquids

The connection of a ventilation air methane (VAM) abatement plant di...

Mine Site Greenhouse Gas Mitigation

Low Emission Coal Use

Step-change technologies aimed at reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

Recently Completed Projects

C17060BGasification Of Australian Coals

Four Australian coals were trialled in the Siemens 5 MWth pilot scale ga...

C17060AOxyfuel Technology For Carbon Capture And Storage Critical Clean Coal Technology - Interim Support

The status of oxy-fuel technology for first-generation plant is indicate...

C18007Review Of Underground Coal Gasification

This report consists of a broad review of underground coal gasification,...

Low Emission Coal Use

Mining And The Community

The relationship between mines and the local community.

Recently Completed Projects

C16027Assessing Housing And Labour Market Impacts Of Mining Developments In Bowen Basin Communities

The focus of this ACARP-funded project has been to identify a number...

C22029Understanding And Managing Cumulative Impacts Of Coal Mining And Other Land Uses In Regions With Diversified Economies

The coal industry operates in the context of competing land-uses that sh...

C23016Approval And Planning Assessment Of Black Coal Mines In NSW And Qld: A Review Of Economic Assessment Techniques

This reports on issues surrounding economic assessment and analysis ...

Mining And The Community


National Energy Research,Development & Demonstration Council (NERDDC) reports - pre 1992.

Recently Completed Projects

1609-C1609Self Heating of Spoil Piles from Open Cut Coal Mines

Self Heating of Spoil Piles from Open Cut Coal Mines

1301-C1301Stress Control Methods for Optimised Development...

Stress Control Methods for Optimised Development and Extraction Operations

0033-C1356Commissioned Report: Australian Thermal Coals...

Commissioned Report: Australian Thermal Coals - An Industry Handbook