history of mining equipment & practices
When most people think of shovels they think about the type of shovel used for metal detecting and general usage but since late in the last century, power shovels and draglines for digging and loading and locomotives and cars for hauling from the pit have been in general use at most large-scale open-pit operations. Starting with small steam shovels and with dump cars drawn by teams or dinky locomotives over narrow-gage tracks, the size and capacity of the equipment was increased, design and efficiency of equipment and methods and equipment for drilling and blasting were improved, and advances were made in other practices as operations were under-taken on a larger and larger scale and as the depths of stripping and ore pits became greater.
In 1903 one contractor at Chisholm, Minn., was using 60- and 70-ton railroad-type steam shovels with 2- and 3-cubic-yard dippers for loading stripping into narrow-gage, 4-cubic-yard wooden dump cars hauled by saddleback, 8- to 18-ton steam locomotives; ore was loaded into railroad cars hauled by 45- to 70-ton, six-wheel, switching-type locomotives.
In 1914 a contract was let for removing 8,000,000 cubic yards of stripping at the rate of 2,000,000 cubic yards per year to uncover 6,000,000 tons of ore for open-pit mining. It was contemplated that later work would require the additional removal of 14,000,000 cubic yards of overburden to make available for mining an additional 19,000,000 tons of ore. In 1917 the contractors on this job were using the following equipment, typical of the best practice at that time:
9 six-wheel Baldwin steam switching locomotives, 20 by 26 inches. 8 Kilbourne and Jacobs 20-cubic-yard automatic air-dump cars. 49 Kilbourne and Jacobs 16-cubic-yard automatic air-dump cars. 1 eight-wheel, 25-ton locomotive crane. 1 model 100 Marion steam shovel, 5-cubic-yard dipper, weight 137 tons. 2 model 76 Marion steam shovels, 4-cubic-yard dipper, weight 107 tons. 1 model 36 Marion revolving shovel, 1-cubic-yard dipper, weight 40 tons.
By 1919 one 300-ton revolving steam shovel with 6- and 8-yard dippers had been added to the equipment, which in one month of two-shift operation removed 250,000 cubic yards of sand and gravel overburden. Tracks were laid with 80- pound rails on 1.5 to 2.5 percent main-line grades.
Large revolving shovels were found to have decided advantages over 100- to 110-ton railroad-type shovels under certain conditions. In 1919 the M. A. Hanna Co. purchased two electric, full-revolving shovels (one Marion 300-ton and one Bucyrus 225-B) each equipped with 150-foot boom and complete dragline equipment. They used 8-cubic-yard buckets for stripping and 6-cubic-yard buckets for ore when equipped as shovels. As draglines they used 5-cubic-yard Page buckets. Power for shovel operation was supplied at 22,000 volts and stepped down to 2,200 volts.
In 1924 a Bucyrus 50-B revolving electric shovel mounted on caterpillar crawlers and equipped with a -yard bucket was installed at the Wabigon mine and as Bucyrus 80-B revolving, electric, caterpillar-traction shovel at the Richmond mine, Palmer, Mich.
In 1926, two Bucyrus 120-B revolving, electric, caterpillar-traction shovels with 4-cubic-yard buckets were placed in operation at the Susquehanna mine, Hibbing, Minn. These three shovels were the first of their type and size using direct-current motors to be employed in the Lake Superior district. Since then shovels of this type have come into general use on the Mesabi range, most of them being equipped with 4- to 5-cubic-yard dippers.
One Marion 300-E and one Bucyrus model 50-B, both equipped with direct-current motors operated by motor-generator sets; the model 300-E had full Ward-Leonard control, whereas the 50-B had partly rheostatic control.
Three 60-ton General Electric swivel-truck type designed to operate at 600 volts direct current with capacity to haul a train of 340 tons (including locomotive) on a tangent track against a 3-percent adverse grade at 7 miles per hour. Each locomotive is equipped with an air-operated paragraph sliding-bow collector mounted on the cab for use on main tracks and with two air-operated side-arm collectors, one on each side, for use with side trolley wire on loading and dump tracks.
An overhead trolley-wire system was adopted on account of first cost, freedom from obstruction in the event of derailments and spill of stripping along the tracks, and greater flexibility and safety than a third-rail system.
In 1928-29 a similar installation was made at the Mesabi Chief mine, Keewatin, Minn., using one Bucyrus 225-B 90-foot-boom, 8-cubic-yard-dipper, full-revolving shovel, and two Bucyrus 120-B 32-foot-boom, 4-cubic-yard shovels, all full-revolving type with caterpillar traction and equipped with direct-current motors and Ward-Leonard control. General Electric 60-ton 8-wheel locomotives were used. The rolling stock comprises 16 air-dump side-pivot, drop-door cars of 30 cubic yards capacity. A Bucyrus heavy-type spreader is employed on the dumps for spreading the spoil and a Nordberg track shifter for throwing tracks and for general utility work.
Although the foregoing summarizes briefly the advances made up to about 1930 by only one company, the changes are typical and illustrate the evolution in modern excavation and haulage equipment for open-pit metal mines.
Electric pit haulage has not been adopted generally in the Lake Superior district chiefly because there is a large amount of serviceable and efficient steam equipment on hand, and the remaining life of the pits is too short to justify the capital outlay for electrification. The revolving caterpillar-traction electric shovel, however, has become standard because the savings in operating cost through its use are so great that it has paid to scrap steam-operated shovels. Among its advantages are its mobility without use of tracks, eliminating the pit crew required with the old railroad-type shovel (the shovel crew consists usually of only 2 men); elimination of delays to loading when coaling; ability to dig and load in any direction; superior efficiency, control, and power characteristics of electric shovels.
Track shifting and grading, spreading of spoil on the stripping dumps, and clean-up of stripping on top of the ore were formerly done by hand; this work is now done principally by locomotive cranes, bulldozers, and dirt spreaders.
Bank drilling, formerly done by hand with jump drills, long- handled shovels, or post-hole diggers in soft ore, or by piston drills, is now done principally with mobile, caterpillar-mounted, electric churn drills from the top of the bank along the berms or benches of the pit.
More recently, motorized pit haulage (gasoline- or Diesel-powered trucks or trucks and trailers) has been adopted for the smaller pits and for clean-up work in larger pits where adverse grades are too severe for locomotive haulage. In other districts large operations have been equipped at the outset for motorized haulage, large trucks of 30 to 35 tons capacity being used. Truck haulage has the advantage of flexibility, elimination of tracks and track laying, and ability to negotiate steep grades and to load in restricted space in corners and local dips in the pit. For long, main-line hauls in the pit and from the pit to beneficiation plant, it is probable that locomotive haulage is generally more economical and combinations of truck and rail haulage (dual haulage system) may prove most satisfactory under some conditions, using truck haulage to bins on the main line or to the crest of the pit, followed by rail haulage to the plant. Based upon a recent investigation of truck vs. rail haulage in bituminous-coal mines, Toenges and Jones conclude that with equipment in its present stage of development and within the range of conditions studied, for a new mine a dual haulage system would effect a saving in transportation cost if the round-trip haul exceeds 2.7 miles.
The first use of trucks for large-scale open-pit haulage in metal mines in the United States was, so far as the authors are aware, at the United Verde mine. According to Alenius, the original plan was to mine the material below the 160-foot level by glory-holing, and in 1924 several glory holes were started. They did not prove practical for the following reasons:
Early in 1925 a plan was devised by W. V. De Camp, then assistant general manager, by which the lower pit would be mined by small shovels working on low benches. The material was loaded into trucks, which dumped into several transfer raises extending from the 1,000- foot mine level. Figure 136 shows a plan of the pit as of July 1, 1929, and figure 137 is a typical section through the No. 3 raise
4 electric, full-revolving, 1-cubic-yard shovels. 10 six-wheel, four-wheel rear drive, 4-cylinder, 10-ton trucks and one 6-cylinder, 10-ton truck. 6 tractor trucks with 2 front wheels and caterpillars on rear, 6 cylinder, 10-ton capacity. 2 four-wheel, 4-cylinder, 5- to 6-ton trucks. 1 four-wheel, 6-cylinder, 3-ton truck. 1 four-wheel, 6-cylinder, 2-ton truck. 1 four-wheel, 6-cylinder, 1-ton truck. 1 gasoline-powered, full-revolving crane. 1 tractor-powered road scraper.
Recently several open-pit mines have installed conveyor-belt systems for transporting the ore from gathering points in the pit to bins on surface outside the pit limits. Excavation is by power shovel or by tower drag scrapers. When power shovels are used they load into trucks that haul the ore to raises leading to the conveyors, and when drag scrapers are used, the ore is dragged to the raises by hoists. Both systems are employed at the Spruce mine, Eveleth, Minn., where the installation is believed to be the largest of this kind in an American metal mine, although others were planned when it began operation in 1937. The system was described
in Skillings Mining Review, October 16, 1937, pp. 1-2, 10-11, et seq. Figure 138 is a longitudinal section of the system in which the lower part is the continuation to the left of the upper part. The general arrangement is shown in plan in figure 139, figure 140 is a section of a truck-dumping station, and figure 141 is a section of a tower- or drag-scraper station. The ore in each case is delivered to jaw crushers, whence it passes through transfer raises to pan feeders that deliver it to the conveyor belts. There are nine belts having a combined length of 4,481 feet, of which 3,170.5 feet are in underground drifts. All belts are 33 inches wide, and when traveling at 500 feet per minute the rated capacity is 500 tons per hour. General specifications of the equipment are given in figures 139, 140, and 141. Although operating costs are not available to the authors at this time (August 1938), careful estimates by engineers of the company prior to beginning
Hoisting of ore in skips running on inclined tracks on the side of the pit or in a shaft connected to the bottom of the pit has been practiced for many years. This practice is adapted particularly to small pits, where the relative volume of stripping or where track or truck-road grades would be prohibitive for haulage purposes, and to the final stage of power-shovel pit operation when mining out the benches and bottom ore.
12 rare photos that give a glimpse of minnesota's mining history
From long before official statehood in 1858 and up to the present day, Minnesota has a rich history. Our state is shaped by many different people and events from the Native American peoples who first inhabited the land, to the first arrival of French fur traders in the 1600s, to the latest presidential election.
And in addition to people and events, Minnesota has also been shaped by industry. Milling along the Mississippi River played an enormous role in the early history of Minneapolis, just as Minnesotas 17 Fortune 500 companies play their part today. And up north, Minnesotas mining left its mark on the Arrowhead region. These 12 rare photos of Minnesotas mining history will give you a glimpse of life on the Iron Range.
These photos are a small glimpse of what life was like in the early days of Minnesotas mining industry, but did you know mining still continues on the Iron Range to this day? Check out this article about an enormous working mine in Minnesota that you can still visit today.
the tangled web of euclid and terex truck history | construction equipment
On December 9, 2013, it was announced that Terex Corp. had sold its truck lines to Volvo Construction Equipment. Some observers noted that the sale took the story of Euclid trucks full circle. Not exactly, but the sale is the latest chapter in a lengthy and complicated story.
The company that became Euclid was founded in 1907 in Wickliffe, Ohio, by George A. Armington as Armington Electric Hoist. It was renamed Euclid Crane & Hoist when the plant was relocated to Euclid, Ohio. Euclid built experimental tractors, one crawler and several wheeled, in the 1920s, and entered the construction equipment industry when it introduced the Automatic Rotary Scraper in 1924. Acceptance of the scrapers led to the creation of the Road Machinery Division in 1926, and the Division was incorporated as Euclid Road Machinery, a subsidiary of the Euclid Armington Corp., on July 11, 1931. Euclid Road Machinery became independent of Euclid Armington on January 1, 1933, and no record is known to exist of Euclid Crane & Hoist after this.
Euclid Road Machinery introduced a variety of allied equipment for crawler tractors, but its biggest breakthrough came with development of the first true off-highway end dump and bottom dump trucks in the mid 1930s. Euclid came to dominate the market for these vehicles to the point that Euc came to be used generically for them. After World War II, motor scrapers were added to the product line, using the tractors that pulled the bottom dump wagons, and Euclid began production of trucks and scrapers in Motherwell, Scotland, in 1951.
General Motors, which had been exploring entry into the heavy construction equipment market, acquired Euclid on September 30, 1953, and made it a division of GM on January 1, 1954. In the mid-1950s, GM built a new factory for Euclid at Hudson, Ohio; in 1954, the Euclid product line was expanded to include crawler tractors and, in 1959, wheel loaders.
On October 15, 1959, the U.S. Department of Justice filed an anti-trust action against General Motors, alleging that GM threatened to control the off-road hauler market. To settle, GM negotiated with White Motor Corp. during 1967 for the sale of certain parts of its Euclid Division, and on February 15, 1968, White purchased the American operations for the Division and the Euclid name. GM retained the former Euclid lines of crawler tractors, motor scrapers and wheel loaders, which it marketed under the Earthmoving Equipment Division name. It also retained the right to build and market haulers from Canadian plants and the former Euclid factory in Scotland, but it was barred from re-entering the U.S. hauler market until July 1, 1972.
White operated Euclid as a subsidiary under the name of Euclid, Inc., then sold it to Daimler-Benz AG as a subsidiary in August, 1977. Daimler-Benz sold Euclid to the Clark Michigan Company, the construction machinery subsidiary of Clark Equipment, in January, 1984.
Responding to poor economic conditions, Clark formed a 50/50 joint venture company with Volvo AB in 1985. The new firm was called VME, an acronym for Volvo Michigan Euclid, and operated in separate units, Volvo BM in Europe and VME Americas in North America. The European unit became simply VME in 1989. In 1991, VME Americas was divided into VME Industries North America to handle Euclid products and VME Sales North America for Volvos wheel loaders and articulated trucks.
VME Industries North America formed a joint venture with Hitachi Construction Machinery Company Ltd. of Japan in December, 1993. Hitachi acquired a 19.5-percent share of the Euclid U.S. operations, and the venture was called Euclid-Hitachi Heavy Equipment Ltd. The VME name was eliminated in May, 1995, when Volvos parent company purchased Clarks share of the VME venture, and the former VME was renamed Volvo Construction Equipment. By 1996, Hitachi had increased its share of Euclid to 40 percent. On January 1, 2004, Hitachi renamed its Euclid-Hitachi Heavy Equipment Ltd. business unit to Hitachi Construction Truck Manufacturing Ltd., abolishing the Euclid name.
While all this was going on, GM adopted Terex as the brand name for the Earthmoving Equipment Division in October, 1968. The British operation retained the Euclid (Great Britain), Ltd. name until December, 1968, when it was renamed General Motors Scotland, Ltd. The Earthmoving Equipment Division was officially renamed the Terex Division on July 1, 1970. The antitrust case did not affect either the Motherwell plant or truck sales outside the U.S., and GM continued producing end dumps similar to the Euclid designs at Motherwell. When the antitrust restrictions expired in 1972, GM re-entered the American market with its 33 series end dumps and 34 series coal hauler.
GM sold the Terex Division to IBH Holding AG on January 1, 1981, as part of IBHs aggressive campaign of acquiring struggling equipment manufacturers. The Terex Division became Terex Corp., a subsidiary of IBH, with GM retaining a stake in IBH and remaining the freeholder of the Motherwell plant. IBH purchased the Scottish operations in a later, separate transaction. IBH continued the Terex name, incorporating Hanomag and Zettelmeyer Baumaschinen GmbH products into its product line and applying the Terex name and paint scheme to everything because of Terexs brand recognition in the United States.
(Concurrently, Terex also produced a line of diesel-electric mine trucks at the Diesel Division, General Motors of Canada Ltd. locomotive plant in London, Ontario. This line was not included in the sale to IBH; the Diesel Division continued to manufacture them under Titan trade name, and the line was sold to Marathon LeTourneau in February, 1985.)
In 1983, Terex developed a line of articulated dump trucks for manufacture at the Motherwell plant, and these went on to become one of Terexs most successful products. Euclid also marketed an articulated dump starting in 1983 with far less success; the Euclid truck was developed by Haulmasters, and was added to the Euclid line when Daimler-Benz, Euclids parent at the time, acquired Haulmasters.
IBH failed in November, 1983, and Terex Corp. filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection against possible German creditor actions on November 8th. After German courts ordered the liquidation of IBH on December 14, 1983, GM repurchased Terex Ltd.s UK operations on February 19, 1984, and reformed them as Terex Equipment Ltd., a subsidiary of GM. Terex Corp.s U.S. operations continued independent of GM under bankruptcy laws, and it emerged from bankruptcy proceedings in August, 1986.
Excavator and crane manufacturer Northwest Engineering purchased Terex Corp. on December 31, 1986, with an option to purchase Terex Equipment Ltd. at a later date. The Hudson plant was not included in the Terex deal, although production continued there for a time under a lease with GM. The option on Terex Equipment Ltd. was exercised on June 30, 1987.
Northwest had been acquired by Randolph W. Lenz in 1983; in 1985, Lenz began his campaign of purchasing other firms by acquiring the remaining Bucyrus-Erie construction products lines in 1985. Bucyrus-Erie had acquired The Hy-Dynamic Company, producers of hydraulic cranes and Dynahoe loader/backhoes, in 1971. Former Bucyrus-Erie employees acquired the Hy-Dynamic lines and founded Bucyrus Construction Products (BCP) in Erie, Pennsylvania, in 1986 to manufacture them. BCP was acquired by Terex Corp., and was eventually spun off.
In May, 1988, after purchasing Unit Rig & Equipment, manufacturer of the Lectra Haul mine truck line (and which itself had purchased fellow hauler manufacturer KW Dart in 1984), Northwest assumed the Terex Corp. name, designating the U.S. operations the Terex Division and retaining the Terex Equipment Ltd. name for the Scottish operations. Northwest became a division of Terex, the company it had acquired. The Hudson plant was closed in September, 1988, and operations were moved to Motherwell; part of the Hudson plant is now used by Jo-Ann Fabric and Craft Stores.
Terex went public in 1988, and in the late 1980s it embarked on a years-long campaign of aggressive expansion by purchasing numerous other manufacturers of a wide range of products. By 1997, Terex Corp. had established two business divisions, Terex Trucks and Terex Cranes. Terex Trucks included all earthmoving, construction and mining equipment companies, including Terex Equipment, Ltd. and Unit Rig.
Yet another truck line was added in 1998, when Terex acquired the Payhauler line of four-wheel-drive off-highway end dump trucks first developed by International Harvester in 1964. The line had been spun off to former I-H employees who launched Payhauler in 1982 to continue it. In the early 2000s, the original line of Terex haulers produced in Motherwell was part of the Terex Construction Division under the Terex Equipment Ltd. Scotland name, and the former Unit Rig and Payhauler lines were in the Terex Mining Division.
Terex began spinning off various lines in the early 2000s, and in February 2010, Bucyrus International, which was descended from Bucyrus-Erie, acquired the mining equipment lines of Terex Corp., including Unit Rig & Equipment. (Recall that Terex had acquired the former Bucyrus-Erie Dynahoe line.) The lines were re-branded as Bucyrus. Bucyrus, in turn, was acquired by Caterpillar, Inc. in July 2011, and soon all former Bucyrus products and operations were rebranded for Caterpillar. The Payhauler line was discontinued in the early 2000s.
The Historical Construction Equipment Association (HCEA) is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization dedicated to preserving the history of the construction, dredging and surface mining equipment industries. With more than 4,000 members in 25 countries, activities include operation of National Construction Equipment Museum and archives in Bowling Green, Ohio; publication of a quarterly magazine, Equipment Echoes, from which this text is adapted, and hosting an annual working exhibition of restored construction equipment. Individual memberships are $32 within the U.S. and Canada, and $40 elsewhere. Information is available at www.hcea.net, 419.352.5616, or [emailprotected].