Sponsored by TowHaul
TowHaul Lowboy and Haul Truck towing systems
TowHaul is the leading manufacturer of off-road lowboys specifically designed for the open-pit mining industry.
Equipment mobility is a critical driver of mine site efficiency and TowHaul has been helping clients achieve this efficiency for over 35 years. Ranging from 120 to 1,600 ton capacity, TowHaul equipment helps improve tracked equipment mobility for mining companies all over the world. TowHaul has encountered every condition throughout the world and have updated our original model while maintaining the same streamlined design. The front-loading trailer offers a stable loading platform to efficiently load bulldozers, blast hole drills, wheel loaders and excavators.
TowHaul’s flagship product is the RGS/LPM Gooseneck and Lowboy. The RGS denotes “Removable Gooseneck, Single Axle” and the LPM stands for “Low-Profile Modular”.
The Removable Gooseneck is the key feature of TowHaul equipment. Since the Gooseneck disconnects from the lowboy, it can be used for multiple tasks. Primarily, it is used to connect with and pull the lowboy. However, it can also be reconfigured at the touch of a button to then tow disabled haul trucks with the optional Towing Conversion Package. TowHaul equipment is towing every major haul truck in the world including the largest ultra-class trucks.
In addition, the Gooseneck can connect with other specialty trailers from TowHaul including the Dragline Bucket Transporter and the Water Tank Carrier.
With a single dedicated haul truck, mining operations can accomplish a range of crucial mine site tasks. This versatility has been become so critical to efficient mine operations that the machines are often considered “priority one” for many of the worlds open-pit mine operations.
TowHaul Lowboys are front loading which is crucial for three main reasons:
- Speed – the Gooseneck can connect and disconnect in as little as 90 seconds
- Safety – the full width of the lowboy rests on the ground providing a wide, stable loading platform
- Versatility – the multi-purpose gooseneck can be used to tow disabled haul trucks or other specialty TowHaul trailers (Dragline Bucket Transporter or Water Tank Carrier)
The “Low-Profile” designation refers to the load ramps of the lowboy which are designed in such a way as to reduce the “breakover” as the equipment transitions from the ramps to the lowboy deck.
The “Modular” aspect refers to how the lowboys are designed, manufactured and shipped. Each module is easier to handle and ship which substantially lowers shipping costs for our clients, especially those overseas. Once onsite, the modules are pinned together which minimizes installation time (3-5 days).
TowHaul Lowboys utilize a single, haul-truck type axle. TowHaul offers a dry drum brake configuration or a wet brake configuration with TowHaul’s patented Brake Cooling System.
TowHaul Lowboys utilize a single, haul-truck type axle. TowHaul offers a dry drum brake configuration or a wet brake configuration with TowHaul’s patented Brake Cooling System. Using a single axle eliminates tire “skidding” often found with multi-axle trailers when turning on a sharp corner. This “skidding” can cause tire and axle damage leading to downtime. Recognizing the variety of conditions in which mines operate, TowHaul has designed specific lowboy configurations tailored to operate more effectively in specific areas. For example, there are several TowHaul Lowboys currently operating in the unique conditions found in the oil sands of northern Alberta designed with a specific Oil Sands Configuration.
To cope with the extreme ambient temperatures found in Western Australia, TowHaul upgraded the patented Brake Cooling System for our 450-ton capacity lowboys to improve the cooling of the oil in those systems.
Mining industry needs clarity
Macfarlane has been critical of taxation policy in the past, branding it a ‘threat’ to mining in and suggesting it puts the local sector at a disadvantage compared with other regional sectors across the country.
“Coal royalties in Queensland are the highest in the country and more than double the rate of New South Wales. Latest figures show the resources industry is delivering A$5.2bn to the State Budget in royalty taxes, including A$4.36bn from coal. These are record returns and they show the importance of the resources sector to the state budget. We have asked for certainty about royalty tax rates to ensure stability for long-term investments and the jobs they create.”
In early June 2019, mining companies avoided increases to royalties by agreeing to provide A$70m to a A$100m infrastructure fund.
In early June 2019, ahead of Queensland’s State Treasurer Jackie Trad’s budget, mining companies avoided increases to royalties by agreeing to provide A$70m to a A$100m infrastructure fund. The move means coal royalties will be frozen for three years.
“We have welcomed the commitment from the Queensland Opposition to freeze royalty tax rates for 10 years, and we’d like to see a similar commitment from the Government,” says Macfarlane. “We want to keep employing more Queenslanders and supporting more regional communities through local investment. To do that, it’s essential that we have clear and transparent rules and regulations,” he adds.
Will politics continue to support mining?
Politics and mining often overlap - unsurprisingly given the value of the sector to the wider Australian economy. That was on display during the recent federal election, which saw the industry used as a political tool– particularly Adini’s controversial Carmichael coal mine in the Galilee Basin.
However, the re-election of Scott Morrison as prime minister was welcomed by many within mining, and the almost complete annihilation of Labor’s vote in the state sent a clear message to politicians about how Queenslanders view the sector. Before the election Labor had failed to take a meaningful position on the project but appeared likely to oppose it. The party suffered heavy losses, hampering its ability to have a significant say at a state level. Olive Downs is a case in point, just days after the vote Queensland’s government gave final approval to the project, which had been stuck for years.
Keen to stress the need for a broad political approach to mining, Macfarlane says: “The QRC works with all sides of politics constructively, including the re-elected Coalition Government in Canberra. The Government has been a strong supporter of the resources sector through the Prime Minister and Resources Minister Matt Canavan.
We must embrace technology to stay globally competitive, compete for every contract and earn the support of our governments and the people who elect them.
“The resources industry has also welcomed the appointment of Joel Fitzgibbon to the shadow resources portfolio. We want to see bipartisan support for the resources sector and the regional jobs it creates. We want to see the Government and the Parliament focus on attracting new investment to create new jobs well into the future.”
Queensland’s mining industry is a vital part of the economy and has a promising future. However, nothing can be taken for granted and business, politicians, and local communities need to be ahead of the issues the future may bring Macfarlane believes.
“Our sector makes up almost 20% of the Queensland economy but we must not get complacent. We must embrace technology to stay globally competitive, compete for every contract and earn the support of our governments and the people who elect them,” he finishes.