Equipment-wise, the biggest surprise was the Autonomous Haulage Vehicle (AHV) on the Komatsu stand. The cabless vehicle attracted crowds. Komatsu said it had developed it exclusively as an unmanned vehicle with plans for a market introduction “in the near future.” By distributing equal load to the four wheels both when the vehicle is loaded and unloaded, and adopting four-wheel drive, retarder and steering, Komatsu is aiming for high-performance shuttling of this vehicle in both forward and reverse travel directions, thereby totally eliminating the need for K-turns at loading and unloading sites. The 2,700-hp AHV has a nominal gross vehicle weight of 416 metric tons (mt) and a nominal payload of 230 mt. Measuring 15 m long and 8.5 m wide, it has a maximum speed of 64 km/hr and a turning radius of 15.9 m.

The cabless Komatsu AHV has a payload of 230 metric tons.

During MINExpo, Tetsuji “Ted” Ohashi, president and CEO of Komatsu, and Ted Doheny, president and CEO of Joy Global, made an appearance together to highlight Komatsu’s acquisition of Joy. They reaffirmed their commitment to pursue new innovations that drive customer benefits after the acquisition is complete. The companies are working to finalize the transaction by mid-2017.

“Our customers are sharing very positive feedback about the agreement. Some have approached us at MINExpo to congratulate us on our decision,” Ohashi said. “We are working closely with Joy Global and relevant authorities to move the process forward.”

Doheny agreed, noting industry recognition of the complementary nature of the two companies’ product and service offerings. “Many of our customers and other business partners see the benefit of combining companies: a broader offering of products, systems and solutions across a wider scope of mining and construction applications,” Doheny said. “Both companies believe in having the best products, direct service, being operationally excellent, and having the best people in the world.”

Joining Joy Global with the Komatsu Group will offer several benefits to customers, including a broader line of industry-leading mining equipment for drilling, earthmoving, loading and hauling systems, and solutions for both underground and surface mining. Joy’s rope shovels, for example, pair well with Komatsu’s best-in-class large electric dump trucks. Enhanced global customer support through the companies’ mutual commitment and expertise in direct sales and service directly connected via embedded personnel in the mines, and electronically connected with world-class fleet management systems.

“The synergistic collaboration between the companies will drive our innovation and enhance our capacity to provide quality products and solutions that improve the safety and productivity of mining operations,” Ohashi said. “We will together strive to become an even better, more invaluable partner for our customers.”

“The combination of two world-class companies offers exciting opportunities to enhance and expand the solutions and services we provide customers,” Doheny said. “With strengthened capabilities and a continued focus on solving our customers’ toughest challenges, we look forward to working together to advance the mining industry.”


Michelin to Introduce New Ultra-class Truck Tire

Prior to MINExpo, Michelin Earthmover introduced the XDR3 MB4 surface mine-haul tire. In development testing for the last six years, the new tire — developed for 400-plus-ton trucks — is designed with new compounds and a new tread pattern that is expected to improve tire life by at least 10%, according to Michelin. The use of corrosion-isolating cables incorporated into the tire architecture should also enhance tire endurance.

The XDR3