Two additional installations are in process, while numerous operations are currently in discussions regarding future opportunities, according to Joy. Mines continue to report daily and/or monthly tonnage production records combined with an ability to reduce labor costs. For example, operators have achieved monthly outputs exceeding 200,000 tons while other mining operations are more than doubling tonnage output per miner-hour, when compared to batch haulage applications.

The 4FCT’s advantages stem from its patented flexible conveyor and traction system, which allows the JOY 4FCT to operate as one single unit conveying material along its length, while simultaneously tramming and following the continuous miner.

The 4FCT combines all haulage into a single, relatively slow-moving machine that follows a known path of travel, and requires only one operator using remote-control. The machine refinements include a variable frequency drive for the belt; traction and hopper conveyor drives that provide smooth operation and matched cut to load advantage; drive synchronization for improved tractive effort; traction module independent control through Faceboss to improve traction across uneven floors; maintenance of belt and chain at creep speed; improved diagnostics for increased production uptime; a robust, reversible car design; dual outby belt conveyor drives; and improved belt designs now exceeding 1 million tons of wear life in certain applications.