Company Insight

Improved ergonomics in pin handling for Caterpillar 793F haul trucks

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In Western Australia's Pilbara region, a leading miner faced a significant concern when it came to handling 12kg steel OEM tray sling retaining pins on their Caterpillar 793F haul trucks.

Recognising the challenges with the OEM’s pin mass, they sought to find a solution by making it lighter for safer and easier handling for all members of the maintenance team. Having collaborated with Geographe in the past for a safer solution to ball stud changeouts that resulted in the Ball Stud Removal Tool, the miner approached Geographe to partner once again. By combining their expertise and a shared commitment to safety, they aimed to drastically reduce risks to their workers when installing and removing these pins.

Creating an innovative engineering solution

A critical step in the collaboration was a thorough metallurgical analysis performed on the standard OEM pin by one of Geographe's in-house metallurgists. The challenge with the OEM pin is its mass, making it awkward to handle, lift and remove at the height required. This opened an opportunity for improvement. After analysis and careful consideration, Geographe opted for an alternative high-tensile material to replace the steel used in the OEM design. This material change offered the unique advantage of preserving strength whilst significantly reducing mass.

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Prioritising safety and ergonomics

After improving the mass, Geographe decided to improve the handle design.  Recognising the importance of ergonomic design to decrease instances of workers experiencing sprains and drops, Geographe's Development Team created an ergonomic removal handle that prioritised safe handling and helped reduce the risk of on-site injuries. The handle was specifically tailored to the operational requirements of the miner, providing a comfortable grip and minimising strain on workers.

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The transformative outcome

This significant reduction in mass and the introduction of an ergonomic handle resulted in a substantial risk decrease of injuries during pin handling for the miner. Highlighting the power of collaborative efforts and how innovation in engineering can improve safety amongst maintenance teams.

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Safety improvements through collaboration

The partnership between the Tier 1 miner and Geographe exemplifies the impact that collaboration and innovation can have on the mining industry by making incremental safety gains through engineered solutions. After a successful trial at the Tier 1 Miner’s site, the Tray Sling Retaining Pins will be available to Australian and international mine sites in early 2024.

Experiencing challenges with wear parts at your mine site? Geographe can help improve part performance!

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Contact information

480 Abernethy Road,
Kewdale WA 6105

Tel.: + 61 8 9449 1111