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Bell future proofs underground ADTs

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Bell’s low-profile ADT can be used in remote operations. Image credit: Bell Equipment

28 November 2020 – With their latest low-profile Articulated Dump Truck (ADT), South African based Bell Equipment has future proofed their underground ADT’s.

Bell Equipment’s latest low-profile Articulated Dump Truck (ADT) is easily configurable for remote operations either by remote control or a more sophisticated autonomous control center. According to Shaun Tucker, Bell Equipment’s product designer, the latest generation Bell B30L and B35L Low Profile ADT delivers the lowest cost per tonne solution.

Tucker says that making the truck ‘future proof’ was a key design input. “These machines generally have a long life underground and in five years’ time there may be more of a need for autonomous control than there is today,” says Tucker.

“Underground haul roads do not change and could easily allow worksites to be automated in the future, so we chose components that would open that gap for us. Additionally, the remote capability allows the machine to be operated via remote control in dangerous conditions where it might not be safe for an operator. This machine has all the bells and whistles in terms of being PDS (pedestrian detection system), remote control and autonomous ready,” says Tucker.

To achieve a more practical layout, product designers listened to customer feedback and moved from a centre-mounted cab to a left-hand side mount. The vehicle height remains unchanged at 2,6m but the cab now sits much lower resulting in increased headroom and operator comfort. With this configuration Bell can offer a cab height of 2,4m as an option.

The ergonomics of the cab have been further fine-tuned with an Isringhausen suspension seat and a workstation featuring Bell Equipment’s robust sealed switch module (SSM) and an all-new 7-inch colour monitor that is more responsive and displays improved graphics. A 360-degree camera gives a bird’s eye view of the vehicle and defaults to the right-hand side blind spot for added safety.

Under the bonnet the new generation Mercedes Benz OM471LA (320kW – B30L; 360kW – B35L) engine replaces the Mercedes Benz OM501LA (290kW) engine and provides a highly efficient power-to-weight ratio with superior drive up or out of the shaft and fuel efficiency gains.


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