The dump truck

People have been digging in the earth and mining mineral resources for thousands of years. Every year, millions of tons of soil are moved. In order to transport these enormous quantities of stones and sand so-called heavy-duty vehicles. The Belaz 75710 is the king of the dump trucks.



In mining, there are three ways to get to coveted resources. In underground construction adits are dug into the earth and the material obtained is brought to the surface by means of mine shafts. In borehole mining the raw materials such as oil and natural gas are obtained by means of deep drillings from above ground. The third method is surface mining. In stone pits and quarries the raw materials located near to the surface in low depth are dug out.


In Germany, lignite is predominantly obtained with surface mining. In comparison to previous years, only a few surface mines are operational in Brandenburg, North Rhine-Westphalia, Saxony and Saxony-Anhalt. In the meantime, most of the mine workings have been shut down, flooded with water and turned into bathing lakes. The largest surface mine in the world is situated in the South American country of Chile. The Chuquicamata copper mine is approximately 4,300 metres long, 3,000 metres wide and up to 1,000 metres deep. In the Rössing mine in the African country of Namibia about 12,000,000 tons of soil are moved each year. One of the largest gold mine in the world is the Super Pit gold mine in Australia. The surface mine has a length of 3,500 metres, is 1,500 metres wide and 360 metres deep.



A lot of soil needs to be moved. Depending on the soil quality, the strata are blasted off and shovelled away by giant excavators. And this is were the dump trucks come into play. The transport the huge rocks to the crusher which grinds the material to the desired size. Since the huge quantities of rock must be moved as fast a possible over some kilometres, the dump trucks are getting bigger and bigger. The Belaz 75710 is the king of these heavy-duty vehicles. Belaz, the Belarussian manufacturer, has built three such vehicles for a lignite mine in Siberia so far. The truck is over 20 metres ling, almost 10 metres wide and 8 metres high. It has an unladen weight of 360 tons and can transport about 450 tons of material. This corresponds to a fully-laden Airbus A380.


The Siemens company developed a powerful four-wheel drive with four electrical machines. Two generators that are driven by 16-cylinder diesel engines each supply electric power. In order to withstand the high load, the front and rear axle are equipped with double tyres on each side. The eight tubeless tyres have a diameter of more than 4 metres and weigh approx. 5,300 kilogrammes each. The Belaz 75710 can reach a top speed of 64 kph. Under real operating conditions the fully-laden truck can reach a top speed of 40 kph.



Empty weight: 360 tons
Carrying capacity: 460 tons
Maximum permissible total weight: 810 tons
Power: 4.665 hp
Top speed: 64 kph
Turning circle: 45 metres
Operating temperatur: -/+ 50° Celsius


Photos:, Reinhard Jahn