Drake Trailers completes major modification for Moolarben Coal

How can a 160t trailer be modified so it can be towed by a CAT 777 Dump Truck? And can Drake Trailers modify the CAT 777 too? These were questions the Drake Trailers team was asked when Moolarben Coal Operations were looking for the most efficient way to move plant and equipment around their 110 square kilometre mine site.

Moolarben Coal Complex – a world class asset

Located approximately 40 kilometres north of Mudgee in the Western Coalfields of New South Wales, the Moolarben Coal Complex comprises of:

  • four approved open cut mining areas (OC1 to OC4)
  • three approved underground mining areas (UG1, UG2 and UG4)
  • mining-related infrastructure (including coal processing and transport facilities)

The mine’s operator, Moolarben Coal Operations Pty Ltd (MCO) is a joint venture between Moolarben Coal Mines Pty Ltd (owned by Yancoal Australia), Sojitz Moolarben Resources Pty Ltd and a consortium of Korean power companies.

It is estimated that current coal resources for both the open-cut and underground Moolarben operations total some 1.2 billion tonnes.

In addition to the open-cut and underground mines themselves, a core component of the Moolarben Coal Complex is the Coal Handling and Preparation Plant (CHPP) which has the capacity to handle 13.5 million tonnes of coal annually. Parent company of Moolarben Coal Mines Pty Ltd, Yancoal, is currently planning to increase the capacity of the CHPP to cater for underground coal production, when it comes on-stream.

Meeting the efficiency challenge

Key to cost savings on a site as large as the Moolarben Coal Complex is reliable, efficient transport infrastructure. Part of this challenge has been solved by using the established railway loop and train loading facilities, which transports coal to the port at Newcastle for export.

Another measure taken to enhance transport efficiency is the inclusion of a Drake Trailers 4X8 Mine Site Transporter as a key component of the site’s transport infrastructure. And it’s not just any Mine Site Transporter. This trailer needed to be hitched to a CAT 777 Dump Truck, renowned around the world as the benchmark of robust, safe and productive mine site haulage.

The Drake Trailers Mine Site Transporter has been designed for the harshest environments. Like every trailer in the Drake Trailers range, the body of the Mine Site Transporter is constructed using only high tensile quenched steel, sourced exclusively from Australia, Japan or Sweden. Other features of the Mine Site Transporter include:

  • 8 degree bi-fold ramps for loading blast hole drills
  • hydraulic load sharing raise and lower suspension
  • 45,000lbs hydraulic winch c/w radio remote
  • deluge system for servicing, cleaning and dousing
  • LED lighting
  • spotter and guide platform
  • self-draining dump valves in air tanks
  • removable hand railing bolsters
  • access ladders and hand rails on both sides

Using a Mine Site Transporter dramatically reduces wear and tear to the undercarriage of equipment, which not only prolongs the life of your fleet, it reduces maintenance downtime. It also reduces unnecessary bulldozer fuel consumption.

Together, this combination is capable of transporting mining equipment to any location across the massive Moolarben Coal Complex site.

How did we do it?

Customising heavy haulage trailers is something Drake Trailers has been doing since 1958. Each Drake Trailer is custom designed and engineered to meet the specific needs of our clients. Our focus on strength and robust engineering means that whatever modification we make, the structural integrity of a Drake Trailer will not be compromised.

In this case, we modified not only the trailer, but the CAT 777 Dump Truck to convert it to a Prime Mover, this was a first for us. This involved retro fitting a hitch and jack knife stop assembly complete with:

  • hydraulic driven compressor
  • jack knife proximity switches
  • mud guards
  • work platforms

With every mine site transporter that we build, we provide onsite training and commissioning, as well as spare parts manuals, schematics, and load/speed charts. The Drake Trailers team of qualified engineers is available to help with product support at any time and can provide advice and assistance regarding load planning, turning circle radius diagrams, swept path analysis and other engineering services.

For more information about how we can modify and customise our heavy haulage trailer range to meet your unique requirements, contact Drake Trailers today.


  • Drake Trailers's Contact Details:
  • Number: 07 3271 5888
  • Email: admin@draketrailers.com
  • Website: www.draketrailers.com





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