In mining operations and quarry aggregate conveying sites, belt conveyors and trucks and shovel systems, which is the best material handling system?
From the perspective of the initial investment cost, the purchase of a few trucks is indeed lower than the cost of a customized conveyor belt system, which makes the conveyor belt system less attractive to some start-up aggregate and mineral processing companies. It is generally believed that trucks have a lower initial cost, but they are dangerous, inefficient, require more direct manual operations, and truck transportation generates a lot of toxic substances, dust and noise.
In contrast, the troughed belt conveyor system can save more time and effort. With the rise of fuel costs and maintenance costs and concerns about environmental protection, more and more mines and quarries use conveyor belts for long-distance material handling, such as minerals, gravel and sand. The use of conveyor belt systems has become a popular choice.
Compared with trucks, conveyor belt systems have the following advantages:
Conveyors Are Safer Than Trucks
According to statistics, about half of all fatal accidents in open-pit mining and quarry areas are related to vehicles. An ordinary mining truck weighs hundreds of tons, and the height of its tires may be twice that of an ordinary adult. Every truck needs about seven maintenance and operation personnel to keep it running. The huge body will increase the driver’s blind spot, which will greatly increase the probability of truck accidents. In addition, difficult and complex terrain, extreme weather, heavy load, fatigue driving and other factors will also bring many safety problems.
When the conveyor belt is in continuous operation, only fewer workers touch them during operation, which greatly reduces the risk of safety accidents. Moreover, the conveyor belt system can be built on rugged terrain, with shorter conveying strokes and higher safety.
Conveyors Are More Efficient Than Trucks
When a truck encounters a mechanical failure, it needs to be repaired. It also takes a certain amount of time to wait in line for loading materials. After unloading, it often returns to the stockyard with no load. This consumes fuel and increases wear. In addition, there will be situations such as supplementary fuel, personnel sick and personal leave, and unexpected accidents. This will compromise the efficiency of truck transportation.
The technology of the conveyor belt system is relatively simple and easy to maintain. Except for downtime for regular maintenance, the conveyor can run continuously for a long time. This directly means that the conveyor belt can transport materials 24 hours a day. Compared with trucks, conveyors work more efficiently.
Conveyor Belts Are More Cost-Effective Than Trucks
They do not need too much maintenance cost, labor cost and operating cost. Conveyor systems are more cost-effective than trucks.
Conveyor Belts Are More Environmentally Friendly Than Trucks
Trucks are driven by diesel fuel, which consumes a lot of fuel and emits toxic gases during transportation. They also cause dust pollution and noise pollution. If a truck accident occurs, it may also cause material spillage.
The conveyor is driven by a motor, which means that emissions and noise are greatly reduced, so it is more environmentally friendly than trucks.
Ability To Go Anywhere
Mining fields and quarries are usually located in areas with complex terrain, which is challenging for vehicles to drive safely and efficiently. A well-maintained road is essential for trucks.
In comparison, the conveyor can transport materials on flat ground, rugged mountain roads, water and railways. This means that materials will reach their destination faster and safer.
The conveyor belt system has the following advantages over the truck transportation system:
- Less energy consumption, more environmentally friendly
- Less labor, lower labor cost
- Simple operation, easy maintenance, more efficient
- Low operating costs and more cost-effective
- Material transportation is faster and more convenient
The high upfront investment cost is the most obvious reason why the conveyor system is unpopular. However, as fuel costs, maintenance and environmental impact increase, trucks have become an inefficient and expensive option. For large-scale, long-distance material handling operations, the total investment cost of the conveying system will be lower than that of the traditional truck and forklift systems, and the use of conveyor belt systems has become a popular choice.