The Haulage Crew

Running a Haulage Crew

How do you run a haulage crew

However you want to run your haulage crew it will only be as good as the weakest link in it. How you manage that weak link will directly affect how safely and productively the haulage crew will cycle.

The faster the cycle time the more cycles in a shift. The more cycles in a shift means the more dirt out of the hole.

A haulage crew runs smoothest when the trucks cycle in roughly the same time. This allows you to time your movements, doing what is required allowing you to be back at the right time to load the next truck.

There are a lot of different parts that go into running a haulage crew that cycles smoothly. These include;

The skills of the operators.

The equipment used.

The maintenance of the equipment.

The design of the mine

The equipment used

You can’t pick your equipment when you get to the mine only make the best of what is good about the machine.

The trucks used does make a big difference in the tonnage bought to the surface. The speed up and down the ramp is important to cycle times. As is the dumping speed.

Each truck although the same model has had a different operational life (age of the machine). It is this difference that will make one truck slightly faster or slower than the others and it is for this reason you need to learn the standard cycle times for each truck.

This can give you options in evening out the run times of your haulage crew. If you put the best operator in a slow truck, they can make up time during the loading and dumping cycle.


This is an area where you can get your team to have an impact by working with the fitters to keep the gear on the road.

Keeping the truck drivers in line for the underground fitter (over reporting and high expectations of what can be one major problem). If a truck is off the road then your tonnage is going to be less.

Keep an eye on the fleet as they cycle through, you should be looking for oil on the ground after each truck leaves.

Turning truck drivers into operators is the easiest and quickest way to help the maintenance crew do their jobs. How ?

Get the truckies to learn as much about each different truck as possible, then encourage them to talk about the differences with each truck and how best to operate each one.

This will encourage professional behavior as the crew talk about their machines and the best way to operate them. This professionalism will lead to a increase in safety, small things at first then all of a sudden its been a while since you have had an incident.

The design of the mine

There is not a real lot that you can do about this.

Realistically the only thing that can be done is to make a suggestion of what needs to be changed (height of loading bays and stock pile location) to the Engineers through the Shift Boss and Foreman. Try to make the point that if the truck doesn’t have to move then loading takes 1/3 of the time that it would if the truck has to move back and forward. If you make a big deal about it then some of our newest engineering friends have been known to dig their heels in and do it there way out of spite (they have been to university and spent 6 months underground on charge up you know).

Try to be tactful when talking to Engineers, it is important not to make them look silly ( this is surprisingly easy) and if they say they understand something it does not mean that they have, you may have to re-explain the idea to them a couple of times before they get it (they don’t listen).