Pillar Innovations unveiled its newest product, the EMU, which is an electric-powered utility vehicle, at the 2009 Bluefield Coal Show during September. Unlike other electric vehicles that have previously been used in mines, the EMU is not a remanufactured golf cart. It is a side-by-side, battery powered utility vehicle designed to stand up to the rigors of everyday mine duty. From spooling and retrieving mine cables, to moving material, to aiding in the transport of injured miners, the EMU is easily configured to handle a multitude of tasks.

One special feature of the EMU is its independent suspension that is designed to easily traverse rough mine terrain while providing a stable ride for heavy payloads. Rear suspension is self-leveling to eliminate rear end squat and maintain ground clearance even when heavily loaded.

The vehicle can be used simply for transport, or it can be configured with any of the following enhancements: cable spooler, rock dusting package, plow, trailer, forks, tool boxes, scoop, winches, EMT package, air compressors, fire fighting package or enclosed cab. Many of the configurations use the front-mounted hydraulic lift system that is capable of moving 500 lb loads.

“We listened to what miners needed in a side-by-side” said Adam Brenneman, director of sales and marketing, Pillar Innovations. “The biggest needs were independent suspension and a wide enough seat to sit two miners comfortably with all their gear. With the EMU we are able to deliver that plus a lot more with the addition of the hydraulic lift.”

Additional features include plenty of room to easily seat two miners with their gear; a 30-hp electric motor that has the power to go up to 13 mph; selectable low range and 4-wheel drive provide torque to tow loads of up to 2,000 lb; and an electronic power steering package that helps navigate through tight entries while armor protects the front end. www.pillarinnovations.com