You don’t have to be in mining to make good use of surface miners, according to Vermeer.
Originally used for selective ore extraction in the mining industry, surface miners are now being utilised regularly in civil applications due to their power to cut through hard rock at depths of around 50cm at a time, says Vermeer Australia general manager of sales Jeff Lawson.
Civil applications include roads, site levelling and tunnelling projects.
“Surface miners are a great alternative to drilling and blasting because it is cheaper and disruption to the community is reduced,” Mr Lawson said.
“Also, if the machine features the onboard dust suppression system then the safety of operators and workers onsite is improved as there is less chance of flying rock and dust inhalation.”
The Vermeer range of Terrain Leveler Surface Miners has been developed for top-down cutting for greater efficiency and productivity.
“Top-down cutting allows the cutter teeth to gain penetration without using the machine’s tractive effort to drive the teeth into the material,” Mr Lawson said.
“As the machine travels forward and the drum rotates, the teeth on the drum are positioned over the material surface, and the top-down cutting action of the teeth instantly creates a consistent-sized product. This can then be handled more efficiently than the product generated by drilling and blasting.
“The product size produced by surface miners greatly reduces the need for primary crushing and can be controlled by increasing or decreasing the depth of cut for smaller material or reduced fines.”
It says the chain drive drum is ideal for the removal of ground surface or creating a smooth, level area for site preparation, road construction or soil remediation.
“When you need to get in and extract material to form a high wall, the chain drive drum gives you the capability to cut along a vertical high wall. It has a maximum cutting depth of 68.6 cm (27 inches). The chains are driven by low-speed, high-torque hydrostatic motors,” Mr Lawson said.
On the other hand, with the drive motor mounted directly to the cutter drum, the direct drive drum maximises work efficiency and reduces wear costs associated with other types of transmissions. The direct drive attachment offers a maximum cutting depth of 53.3cm (21 inches).