The increasing demand for stringent fire and explosion protection in hazardous areas within the mining industry has led to specialist manufacturer and designer of diesel engine flameproof systems, Elgin Flameproofing, launching a new model tractor for underground coal mining applications.
Newly appointed MD Peet Hartman says that its equipment is not new to the industry but the need for stricter compliance within the extremely hazardous explosive conditions has necessitated an investment by the company to redesign and upgrade its tractor and all its systems.
This article first appeared in Mining Review Africa Issue 7 2018
“We are now offering a far more efficient tow tractor with improved safety features which has also been ergonomically restyled to improve conditions for operators.”
The new underground, flameproof tractor is manufactured locally to suit conditions prevalent in southern African coal mines where methane gas and coal dust is prevalent and has all of the relevant approved and certified documentation.
“We have already secured orders for eleven machines from a large mining group that are currently being manufactured and delivered.”
The design team is headed up by Gary Huxham, who has been instrumental in introducing a very comprehensive range of diesel engine flameproof engines and systems as well as the underground flameproof tow tractors.
“We believe that we have possibly the most knowledgeable team available to embark on projects such as this,” comments Hartman.
Huxham and the Elgin team are renowned in the flameproofing industry for introducing reliable equipment used in critical safety areas throughout a broad spectrum of applications with a focus on mining and surface petrochemical industries.
Originally these units were based on a standard agricultural tractor and were fitted with flameproof diesel engine systems, which included electrical and starter systems.
These have been developed over the years to the current models, which now have proven six-cylinder engines, power-shift transmissions and constant 4x4 drives used in low and high seam coal mining applications.
The new design uses common components suitable for low seam or high seam operations.
The advantage is that many coal mines work on both, therefore the majority of components are common and they are able to carry less critical spare parts when using both models.
Standard models available include the Elgin 112TR 20 and 112TR 18 tow tractor, which can be supplied with a rear mounted Pitbull 350 crane as well.
These units are driven by a CAT C7.1-112 Kw engine supplied by Barloworld, which has a close working relationship with Elgin.
The basic specifications common to all new models include a certified, Elgin-designed wet type scrubber flameproof system and coolant package specific to the specified CAT engine flameproof system.
The front and rear drive steering axle is a heavy duty 4x4 brake Dana axle and also includes a three speed power-shift Dana transmission and torque convertor.
The front and rear assemblies are common on all models.All the major drive line sub assembly components are approved by the OEM which are suitable for the hazardous operating conditions where these tractors operate.
The company’s diesel engine flameproof systems and tractors are all locally manufactured from design through to testing.
All systems are approved by the South African Inspection Authority and the Department of Minerals Resources.
It is a proud Certex approved mark holder and carries the audited mark for the manufacturing and repair of diesel engine flameproof systems and some electrical components.
All Elgin’s designed and manufactured flameproof components; systems and equipment comply with the relevant standards of their Certex mark holding, which are:
- SANS 868-1; 868-2; 868-3 (including SANS 60079-0 and -1)
- SANS 10086-3 (Including SANS 60079-19)
Fully comprehensive aftersales service and support such as onsite tractor operator training and technical assistance is in place.
Manuals containing certification and operator information accompanies each and every tractor.
Elgin services almost every large OEM supplier who requires equipment that needs to be flame proofed.
An example is fork lifts and loaders, which are used in any hazardous area throughout industry.
Furthermore, a large portion of the company’s market is to manufacture a vast range of diesel driven equipment that is distributed to the petrochemical industry.
Who is Elgin?
The company, established 42 years ago, has grown from strength to strength and is renowned for servicing and manufacturing equipment for the flame proofing industry.
Elgin Flameproofing is the trading arm for Diesel Flameproof Equipment, which has recently been acquired by Intakobusi Holdings.
Keep on the look-out
Elgin is currently in the final stages of developing, fitting and testing an integrated proximity detection system (PDS) that is designed to detect mine workers or equipment that may be in the immediate vicinity during operation.
This ‘sensor’ type feature will immediately slow and ‘brake’ the tractor bringing it to a standstill thus avoiding any collusion.