Open Cut » Health and Safety
The aim of this project is to extend and enhance the IDHSS retro-fittable suspension upgrade package which was developed with the funding assistance of ACARP projects C3103 and C4013. This system adjusted suspension parameters to the optimum settings for the vehicle load condition (loaded or unloaded) for large haul trucks.
Birrana Engineering have already conducted extensive testing of suspension systems which aim to alleviate the problems incurred when the vehicle is in its loaded and unloaded states. Whilst the IDHSS system provided a substantial improvement in suspension performance, its optimisation was limited by fundamental suspension deficiencies, such as excessive front strut friction and mismatch in front and rear and roll stiffness. The extension of this concept by adding active suspension control allowed the IDHSS parameters to be adjusted to best suit the prevailing conditions.
Front suspension struts were modified to suit active suspension control, and these were fitted with other hydraulic hardware onto a Caterpillar 777C truck at the Acacia Gold Brocks Creek mine in the Northern Territory.
The results gained from the testing performed indicated that there was a substantial improvement in operator ride quality, with the inherent loping effect so prevalent in these trucks being greatly minimised. This ride improvement was also commented on by operators at the testing site and in addition, the ride index changes followed the results from previous computer simulations of suspension operation. Work is continuing on developing a package that will be suitable for commercial release in the near future.