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SPH Kundalila super pleased with its new B25E Supertrucks

Published: 12th December 2016
Source: Bell Equipment

The need to move more tonnes of material on a gold mining project has prompted a leading plant hire company to opt for bigger haulage machines with the added advantage that newer, more efficient engines bring.

What started out as Saldanha Plant Hire is now known as SPH Kundalila, part of the Raubex Group of companies and a leading plant hire company working all over South Africa. The group was founded back in 1969 by Tony Petter-Bowyer and his son Jeremy, is the current Managing Director.

SPH Kundalila has gained a firm foothold within the South African mining industry since the 1980’s, working first in gold and now in platinum as well. Projects, as far afield as Lephalale in Limpopo, Pilgrimsrest in Mpumalanga and most of the North West Province, has helped the group build a reputation as contractors who believe in delivering the lowest cost per ton for their clients.

By its own admission, SPH Kundalila ascribes part of this success to its choice of haul equipment. The group was the first owner of Bell Articulated Dump Trucks (ADTs) in the Western Cape when it bought three Bell B25A ADTs in 1988 and has owned Bell ADTs from every range since then.

A current on-going project near Carltonville in the North West Province sees the company hauling material from waste dumps on a gold mine, for reprocessing. The material is brought to a central stockpile either by train on an internal line or by road.

“We had been hauling the material to a central processing plant using Bell B18D Articulated Dump Trucks,” says Dean Zeelie, SPH Kundalila Operations Manager overseeing the Sibanye projects. “Our clients decided that they needed more offset points from where the waste material, which is reprocessed, gets sourced and this lead to us being tasked to move more material to the processing plant.”

Steeper ramps also meant that large interlinked trucks could not access the off-loading point and it was felt that only ADTs could do the job. SPH Kundalila then took the decision to acquire specific haulage machines to meet the new demand and chose four Bell B25E 6x4 Supertrucks.

“The arrival of these four new Bell B25E Supertrucks has meant an instant increase in our production, carrying larger payloads,” says Graeme Campbell, SPH Kundalila Group Commercial Manager. “The Bell B25E Supertruck seems to make the 3km haul to the run-of-mine stockpile shorter and even though the ramps are steep, the driven front axle that is so typical of the ADT design assists in traction with challenging underfoot conditions at times.”

According to Campbell, the company runs three 8-hour shifts in a 24-hour cycle and with handover times, safety talks and daily mechanical checks included, aims at achieving six hours of operation on a shift. This means that the fleet of Bell B25E Supertrucks easily moves 3 000 tonnes of waste material in a 24-hour cycle.

“The addition of the Bell B25E Supertrucks has also made our fleet of Bell ADTs on this site more versatile as we try and swap the equipment around so that you don’t run exactly the same trucks on one application for years on end,” Campbell adds. “This is where fleet management comes into play and assists in extending the life of one’s fleet, which is turn leads to high machine hours being achieved. We would only look to replace our Bell ADTs after 20 000 hours but with the proper preventative maintenance we apply, this can easily be pushed to 24 000 hours.”

SPH Kundalila’s new Bell B25E Supertrucks have been bought with standard warrantees with Bell Equipment doing services at 1 000 hour intervals and SPH Kundalila’s mechanics doing the intermediate maintenance. Engine oil sampling is diligently done every 250 hours and sent for analysis and the same is done every 500 hours for the oil in differentials, drop boxes, transmissions and final-drives.

Looking after the SPH Kundalila fleet of Bell ADTs is Workshop Manager, Hennie Stroebel. “We have a good relationship with Bell Equipment which undertakes our servicing and repairs from Bell Equipment’s Customer Service Centre in Jet Park, and I must mention the name of Ben Spannenberg, Bell’s Customer Support Representative, who really looks after us,” he says. “Ben sees to it that we can rely on servicing and parts when required.”

With the gold price showing a steady recovery, gold mining companies are looking to lower the cost of production and SPH Kundalila’s clients are no different. “We work on wet rates, which means that we watch fuel consumption very closely,” Graeme Campbell says. “We are happy to report that our new Bell B25E Supertrucks return fuel figures of between 12 and 16 litres per hour and that to us is a clear indication that we’re moving material at reduced cost per ton”.

(From left): Hennie Stroebel (SPH Workshop Manager), Graeme Campbell (SPH Group Commercial Manager), Louis Fourie (SPH Site Manager) and Dean Zeelie (SPH Operations Manager).

The fleet of four Bell B25E Supertrucks easily moves 3 000 tonnes of waste material in a 24-hour cycle.


SPH Kundalila reports that its Bell B25E Supertrucks return fuel figures of between 12 and 16 litres per hour.