Benefits of using a Vermeer terrain leveler
- Tilting capability allows you to produce a controlled floor
- Optional grade control allows you to control your cut depth, helping optimize production rate
- Top-down cutting allows you to control product size and helps increase production rate while putting more horsepower to the cutting teeth
- Optional vacuum dust suppression system helps reduce the amount of dust entering the air
- Highwall capabilities up to a 90-degree vertical with the chain drive attachment
- Operating cab with Falling Object Protective Structure (FOPS) and Rollover Protective Module (ROPM)
- Pressurized cab with air-ride seat improve operator comfort
- TEC® Plus with SmartTEC computer-aided control system helps improve efficiency and track machine productivity
- Common operating platform across all models
- Work comfortably on cross slopes and ramps
- Rear-mounted drum allows easy access for changing teeth
- Two-track system allows machine to counter-rotate a full 360-degrees for enhanced maneuverability
- Caterpillar® engines allow for worldwide support
- Hydrostatic direct drive allows more efficient power transmission and built-in cutting drum stall protection for ease of operation and transmission protection
Continuous dust suppression system helps reduce amount of dust entering air
In mines, quarries and civil construction sites, dust is a challenge due to urban and air quality concerns. An optional dust suppression system on the Vermeer Terrain Leveler® SEM features an enclosed cutting head with two large vacuums continuously pulling dust from the enclosed cutting head into baghouses. The collected dust is purged, helping reduce the amount of dust entering the air. This continuous vacuum system eliminates the need to source water for dust control. When compared to water spray systems, it also helps increase productivity because you do not need to constantly stop the machine to fill the water tank. In addition, depending on the ore chemistry, a water spray system may not be an option on certain jobsites.
Grade control technology available on Terrain Leveler surface excavation machine (SEM)
Contractors that use a Terrain Leveler SEM for surface mining, haul road construction and site preparation now have the option of adding grade control, which can improve cutting accuracy.
Grade control, coupled with a patented tilting head, allows the machine to freely and precisely follow ore bodies in three dimensions and engineered plans.
With this technology, you have the ability to control the cutting depth. Controlling the cutting depth helps increase the production rate, produces a smooth, designed floor and allows for better control over product size.
Vermeer has worked with Trimble, a global leader in grade control technology, to design Trimble Ready machines which is available on the T1255III and T1655III Terrain Leveler SEM’s. Trimble Ready machines are equipped with basic harnessing and mounting points for a Trimble GCS900 system. Other manufacturers’ grade control systems can also be used on Terrain Leveler SEM’s.
Laser grade control Laser grade control has a simple setup and is most often used for flat or sloped floors. It allows you to control cut depth to help improve productivity.
GPS grade control GPS technology can be used to create a detailed plan. A company starts by conducting a GPS survey of the jobsite; that information is given to a designer who creates a plan and that plan is uploaded to the GPS system on the Terrain Leveler SEM. The operator selects that plan, and the GPS system controls the cutting depth.
GPS auto steer This is currently only available on the T1255III direct drive Terrain Leveler SEM. When equipped with a Trimble dual-antenna GPS auto steer system, the machine can follow a straight line to provide greater accuracy on each cutting pass. The optional Vermeer auto steer system provides a cutting overlap as determined by the operator or surveyor, helping enhance productivity with each pass.
A new approach to haul roads
The haulage process starts with loading at the blast face or pit floor and ends at the stockpile. It’s hard to overstate the importance of a haul road to a surface mining operation, as truck haulage costs can account for a significant portion of surface mining expenses.
In haul road construction, the traditional method is to import material to the road site. A fleet of equipment is necessary in this traditional approach, including shovels or wheel loaders and haul trucks to move material to the road construction site, bulldozers, graders and other support equipment. Once a road is complete, maintenance and dealing with water can be major ongoing issues.
The Terrain Leveler SEM can build or reconstruct the road and produce a smooth pit floor by utilizing GPS that allows the machine to cut to grade. This smooth floor allows reduced wear and tear on the haul trucks and increases transport speed. As the graph above shows*, average truck speed was increased by 3.9 km/h (2.4 mph) at this particular mine site. This allowed the trucks to increase their productivity, decrease maintenance costs and potentially reduced the number of haul trucks needed on site.
Creating a steeper highwall in a pit expands the amount of mineable material in a surface mine or quarry at its outer boundaries. With the chain drive Terrain Leveler SEM attachment, you can cut up to a 90-degree highwall. With the single-sided direct drive Terrain Leveler SEM attachment, you can cut up to an 80-degree highwall. The dual-sided direct drive Terrain Leveler SEM attachment can cut up to a 45-degree highwall.
In the picture shown above, the highwall was a cut with the single-sided direct drive attachment. This job was to cut in a road through the rock. The road width and elevation were determined by the jobsite engineer, and having the ability to cut a highwall for this job helped reduce the amount of material that needed to be cut and handled to get the road width and elevation required.
Muscle and brains: a tough machine with the intelligence to match
SmartTEC performance monitoring assists operators with adjustments to machine controls to help improve efficiency. The system offers guidance on how to efficiently operate the machine on a consistent platform across all machine models by utilizing on-screen visual prompts.
SmartTEC performance monitoring also tracks the operational performance of the machine. Performance history is recorded, including individual operator history, for analysis by the machine owner or fleet manager. SmartTEC screens also offer a clear, easy-to-read display and shows what the operator needs to do to improve control and production.
The screen on the left shown above is what the operator sees while the machine is running. The middle screen is an example of prompts given to the operator to help optimize performance. These prompts can include shift up, shift down, increase ground drive lever, etc. The screen on the right is an example of a performance monitoring screen that shows machine usage.
This intuitive, easy-to-read platform takes the guesswork out by giving management an indication of how their operators are performing. Now you no longer just have to look at the production rate, fuel consumption or tooth usage – with SmartTEC you can see a much larger picture that allows you to effectively evaluate operator performance.
You can view SmartTEC screens in the cab of the machine and download all SmartTEC screens for offsite visibility and evaluation.
Vermeer also offers a telematics platform known as Vermeer Fleet Edge. Vermeer Fleet Edge is integrated with SmartTEC performance software which allows a contractor to monitor the results from both a fleet and operator perspective. The machine transmits data through a cellular signal where it can be accessed by customers through cell phones, computers or tablets – in the office or on the go.
Cutting edge technology
Vermeer developed top-down cutting. As the machine travels forward, the drum rotates in the same direction as the tracks which allows the cutter teeth to gain penetration without using the machine’s tractive effort to drive the teeth into the material.
Because of top-down cutting, more horsepower is delivered to the cutting drum rather than expended on the ground drive. This results in increased production rate for the same horsepower.
As the material is cut, it has less contact with the drum. This leads to less wear and tear on both the drum and cutting teeth compared to up-cutting. As contact is made, the top-down cutting action of the teeth creates a more consistent-sized product which can be affected by increasing or decreasing the depth of cut – resulting in smaller material or reduced fines. Top-down cutting allows for cutting harder materials than competitive methods which cut in an upward direction.