First Roxor going underground at Nutrien Rocanville
Customized by Universe Satellite Sales:
May 29, 2019 1:44 pm
The first Mahindra Roxor customized by Rocanville’s Universe Satellite Sales for the mining industry is going underground at the Nutrien Rocanville mine, and owner Stan Langley hopes its just the first of many Roxors to be put to work in the mining industry.
“When Mahindra came to us and asked us if we wanted to take on the Roxor line, we didn’t really feel like we needed another product to sell here, but after looking at them and taking one for a drive we figured this might be a unit that would work really good underground,” says Langley. “It’s built rugged and it’s more like a truck than a side by side or UTV, so we figured we would take on the line.
“Once we got a couple of them in I had someone from the Rocanville Nutrien mine and someone from Mosaic come in and we had one of the Roxors sitting in the back shop and I said ‘okay, if you’re starting out and you’re going to build a vehicle of your dreams to have underground, what would you do to this vehicle?’ So they came up with a few ideas on the bumpers and different things on it.
“Because I worked at the mine, I knew some of the things they had to have, and I wanted to involve them to see what they would want.
“After we did that, we brought in Scott Norton, and Scott had actually built some of the original mine vehicles that went underground years ago when the mine first started. He built us the bumpers and the toolbox and things like that.
“The original bumpers that come on them were very small and they didn’t cover the full back part of the unit and the tail lights would stick out a bit,” Langley explains.
“We have a bumper that will stick out a little further so you don’t take out a tail light, you don’t damage the box. They are a wee bit wider than what the body is so if they rub up against a wall or a belt the bumper should hit first, and that’s what we did with the front so damage to the machine wouldn’t happen. That bumper is a wee bit wider and sticks out a little bit further than the body.”
What other customization has gone into the underground Roxor?
“We’ve taken out the key from the ignition system and we just have a toggle switch there for turning the power on and we just have a push button start, so they don’t have to worry about having to find a key or if someone accidentally takes a key—it’s just a push button start.
“They have master lockouts so when you’re working on a piece of equipment you can lock all the power off to that unit so it can’t be started, which we added as a safety feature.
“It’s got the warning lights on it so they have an amber light when they’re driving down the drifts or if they are parked in the drift it’s flashing. If they are towing, the amber light will turn to a blue light because blue means they’re towing.
A toolbox was added that slides open from the back of the first customized Roxor.
“The first one that we are putting down in Rocanville actually has a toolbox in the back of it,” Langley explains.
“They’ve actually just released a four seater model that we’re going to bring in, so that might even make it a little better where they can actually be used to carry a four person crew.”
Vehicle height can be a challenge, so the Roxor going underground has been fitted with smaller wheels to reduce the height.
“We were able to meet the height requirements by going with a smaller rim and set of tires on it so we didn’t have to alter the rollover protection system at all,” explains Langley. “We actually just went with a smaller tire.”
Langley says the Roxor may meet a need in the mining industry.
“I think there could eventually to be lots of them underground,” he said. “The first one is always the hardest one to get down, to prove yourself. If it can prove itself I believe the prices on these units are quite a bit lower than some of the stuff they have been using in the mine. They’ve been buying a lot of different models hoping to find the right thing. I’m just hoping this is the right thing.”
The first Roxor was ready to go down the Nutrien shaft last week.
“We had to take the front and rear bumpers off because all we are allowed is 144 inches in length, so the bumpers come off and the tailgates come off to go down the shaft, and we just put it back together, put on the bumpers once it’s down. It’s not a lot of bolts to put that bumper back on, and she’ll be ready to roll.”
The Roxors are powered by a four cylinder 2.5 litre turbo diesel. The Engine Control Unit on the first Roxor going underground has been reprogrammed to set the top speed at 40 km/h, the speed required in the mine.
While the first Roxor is going into the Nutrien Rocanville mine, Langley is hopeful to have one in the Mosaic mine as well before long.
“Mosaic has been in talks with us a fair bit on them,” he said. “Because their shaft is a little smaller than Rocanville’s where they want to take it down, they have to take it from the nose and lift it up and then lower it down that way, so they have to have an engineered lift procedure for it and they contacted me the other day that they will have someone coming out here from an engineering firm to do that design on there, so I’m 99 per cent sure that they will be taking one underground there too to try.”
Langley believes there is a good potential market for the Roxors in the mining industry.
“They’ve tried a lot of different vehicles down there,” he said. “They have Toyotas, John Deere Gators, Kioti side-by-sides.
“There isn’t a vehicle that’s really manufactured for mining. I’ve been after the manufacturers, saying why don’t you come up with a really good diesel vehicle that meets the height requirements? There’s a big market. But when you have to build something like that to work underground, it costs a lot of money in R&D and engineering. Mahindra has come out with something as an off-road vehicle that looks like it might be very close to the fit that they need for the mines. They’re built heavy and sturdy so I’m hoping they will work well. There are a lot of potash mines in Saskatchewan and it would be nice to supply them.
“Once this one is underground I’ll be talking to them every day. I’ll want to know if they think it needs anything else or anything that could be done better. I know Mahindra is very interested in making sure this works for them, and they’re going to work with us. I hope it works out. It would be nice to have a couple of guys just putting these together all the time.”