Since the early ages, humans have questioned 'The Afterlife', the concept that an essential part of an individual's identity continues to exist after death. Not so for equipment owners, a mining machine parked-up on hours or running costs, will generally be sent to a lay down yard where it is stripped of its core components that are then sent to be rebuilt and placed back into rotable stock. Rarely is the machine scraped, with owns opting for core components and parts to be reintroduced into an operating fleets inventory and recycled many times over, long after the functional and effective life of its 'host' is over.
So, it begs the question, how is it that we park-up equipment that operate and look good? Let's for a moment consider the concept of running a car. If you're like me and have ever owned an older vehicle that is getting a little long in the tooth, you will know just how quickly your 'pride and joy' can become a bottomless money pit. Regardless of just how good that duco looks, the costs to keep it in a reliable and roadworthy condition continue to spiral until one day (at least we hope), sanity (or at least the bank) prevails and you sell it to a wrecker or some poor unsuspecting individual... With losses stemmed from the ongoing capital expenditure, you now suddenly find yourself saving money on your running costs with the incorporation of improved technology and so on and so forth.
Not unsurprisingly, as assets age and are replaced, the manufacturers who support these machines begin to reduce their levels of low turnover stock. These reductions make preventative (and reactive) maintenance for fleet owners difficult to manage, thereby compounding the challenge of reliably operating this equipment. Consider if you will, that a dump truck can run upwards of 80,000 hours or more, circa 13 or 14 effective years of service before it is retired. That's a long time, especially if your machine has been superseded, if not entirely replaced with a new model. With limited capital and performance targets to meet, pulling down your oldest machines allows the fleet to continue. With components reused and 'The Afterlife' achieved, components survive long after the original machines end.
This article was originally published by the Components Only team in the August - September 2017 issue of "@ The Coal Face" magazine.Published 23 August, 2017