Guide to Machinery Moving and Rigging in the Mining Industry
Breaking through the earth’s surface and extracting desired materials from deep within are demanding jobs. You need the right machinery to accomplish these tasks, and mining companies invest significant money in their machinery assets. Large mining machines make your operation possible, but having dedicated equipment for each location likely isn’t a reasonable financial expense.
The time may come when you need to move your machinery from one location to another. While it can be challenging to handle mining transport on your own, the right heavy-duty mining equipment transport service can help you achieve your goals. We’ll take you through how transportation in mining works and what you can expect from the process.
What Is Rigging in the Mining Industry?
Rigging in the mining industry involves securing and transporting mining equipment. The term often appears in other industries, including construction and sailing. The process can vary slightly across different industries, sometimes requiring specialized training. However, the primary goal remains the same — manipulating and transporting heavy loads from point A to point B.
When transporting large mining machines, your route may be more complex than traveling by car or even transporting a smaller piece of equipment. Riggers need to have skills that are specific to their area of expertise to navigate safely and efficiently.
Here are some of the main skills necessary for successful rigging in the mining industry:
- Load knowledge: Riggers must be able to identify if they can support a load safely. They must know how to use ropes and cables to secure the load, what hitches to tie and how to avoid damaging the equipment while transporting the machinery. This knowledge requires understanding the machinery’s center of gravity to ensure the ideal load stability.
- Hazard recognition: Riggers must be able to recognize any potential hazard in a lifting or moving job. Every mining equipment rigging job is unique, with variations based on the machinery’s weight, size and destination. Understanding what hazards could be present is essential for the safety of both the rigger and the machinery.
- Signaling and communication best practices: Riggers often need to communicate with each other in loud conditions or across a significant distance. Every rigger must know the proper hand signals and terminology to ensure they can perform their job efficiently and safely.
- Equipment know-how: A successful rigging operation will use specialized equipment. Riggers must know how to use a diverse array of items, including winches, chokers, shackles and slings.
- Safe transportation: Moving large mining equipment requires strict adherence to safety practices. Riggers must know how to safely move the equipment through confined spaces to reach the other side without damaging the machinery or the surrounding area.
- Adaptability: Riggers must know how to turn, tilt or dip suspended loads to avoid obstacles like bridges, overpasses and powerlines.
- Disassembly: Riggers must be able to dismantle, clean and store equipment for later use. Properly cleaning and storing mining equipment is an essential step in ensuring its safety and longevity.
- Regulation compliance: Riggers must follow all safety requirements and regulations. Regulation compliance helps protect the safety of expensive machinery and all involved individuals. It also ensures the moving process is legal and avoids repercussions.
Any rigger you choose for your transportation needs should possess the above skills and knowledge to give you the results you’re looking for.
How Do You Transport Mining Equipment?
Transporting mining equipment is an involved process that only professional riggers and transporters should perform. However, as the equipment’s owner, you will also have a part to play in the process.
Here are the steps involved in moving large mining equipment from its current location to a new one.
Planning is essential when transporting mining equipment. Before you start signing papers or trying to move your mining machines on your own, take some time to plan out the process. You may need to sit down with stakeholders to discuss what will happen next.
This phase is the best time to contact a mining equipment rigging and transportation service provider. They will have the knowledge and expertise to help streamline your entire process, including helping you construct a plan. They’ll help you clarify your goals and give you the information you need to achieve them.
Partnering with a professional from the beginning will help you achieve the best results. With their help, you’ll be ready to move on to the next steps confidently by the end of the planning phase.
2. Prep Work
Once you’ve finished planning, it’s time to begin preparing for the move. Gather all the documents that you and your rigging and transport provider will need for a successful project, including:
- All necessary transportation documents.
- Communication and safety protocols.
- Route surveys.
- Emergency response procedures.
Route surveys are essential, letting the transporter study the route ahead of time to ensure a safe trip. They will be ready for potentially tricky areas like enclosed spaces, tight corners, roadblocks and utility lines.
Proper preparation is also vital in the event of an inspector asking to check on your load during transit. When you have all your papers in order, you’ll have greater peace of mind knowing that the trip will follow all legal requirements and regulations.
3. Choosing the Right Trailer
Choosing the right trailer to move your mining machinery is another critical aspect of the miners’ transport process. Every piece of machinery has its own weight and dimensions, requiring a unique rigging setup. Mining machinery is often oversized or over-dimensional, which means its height, width or length exceeds standard limits.
The goal is to choose the trailer that will best suit the weight, dimensions and transportation requirements of the mining equipment you’re moving. Each type of trailer has its own pros and cons, depending on the application. Here are some types of trailers to know about for transportation in mining:
- Enclosed box trailers: Enclosed box trailers give your mining equipment extra protection against the elements, helping to prevent damage from debris and water.
- Hydraulic slide-axle tilt step decks: These trailers offer extra space for larger loads. Their hydraulic slide axles also provide unique advantages — for example, they keep the main cylinder closed during transport, which helps prevent damage.
- Removable gooseneck lowboys: These trailers can easily handle high and heavy loads with efficient loading and unloading.
- Standard drop decks: These trailers have two deck levels and ramps for easy unloading. They are great for supporting hydraulic slide-axle tilt step decks.
- Standard flatbeds: Standard flatbeds can support a wide range of lengths and weight limits. They also provide convenient unloading and loading options, making them highly versatile for moving various types of heavy mining equipment.
While selecting the right trailer for your machinery’s transportation is vital, securing the appropriate vehicles is also essential. Rollback tilt bed and stake body trucks are ideal for hauling even the largest and heaviest mining equipment. Depending on the size of your load, you may also need a pilot car and escorting vehicles for maximum road safety.
Partnering with a professional mining machinery transportation company helps streamline this stage of the process. They will choose the right trailer for you, along with all complementary vehicles needed for the journey.
4. Securing the Machinery
After you’ve completed all your essential planning and preparation, the physical moving process can begin, starting with the transporters’ arrival. The riggers will arrive at the starting site with their trailer, equipment and any additional vehicles as needed. At this time, it’s best to let the transportation company take charge so the riggers can start securing the machinery.
At this stage, the riggers will load the machinery onto the trailer — this process will vary depending on the trailer and the machinery they’re loading. After successfully loading the machinery, the riggers will secure it using the necessary tools. A reputable transportation provider will follow all safety precautions and regulations and ensure the rigging process is successful.
5. Transportation and Arrival at the Destination
Once the riggers have secured your mining equipment, the transporter will be ready to deliver the machinery to its next destination. A reputable transporter will have a firm grasp of best practices to complete the journey safely and have studied the route to know what road conditions lie ahead. Whether you’re transporting your equipment down the road or hundreds of miles away, you can be confident of a smooth, efficient trip.
The riggers will unload the machinery upon arriving at the destination. They may need special equipment to move the machinery off the trailer. Like the loading process, unloading will vary depending on the machinery’s specifications, including its weight, dimensions and makeup.
What Machinery Do You Use in Mining?
The mining industry uses several types of machinery throughout its processes. Some of the main types of mining machinery include the following:
- Mining drills: As drilling is one of the key components of the mining process, drilling equipment is essential. This machinery uses a drill to loosen mineral ore from the earth so crews can move it. Drills allow for greater efficiency, reducing the number of miners needed for extraction.
- Blasting equipment: Miners use blasting machinery to weaken rocks and break them into smaller pieces, providing access to the mineral ore within. Blasting machinery also helps remove unwanted materials blocking the miners’ paths.
- Earth-moving equipment: The mining process results in large amounts of displaced soil and rocks. Miners need earth-moving machines like excavators, backhoe loaders and dump trucks to move this displaced earth out of their way and into a more appropriate location in the mining site.
- Crushing equipment: Crushing machines allow miners to crush large boulders that contain mineral ore. After they crush a boulder, miners can more easily interact with the smaller pieces and transport them where needed.
There are two main types of mining — surface mining and underground mining. Both have different demands and require different types of machinery in their processes.
What Machines Do You Use for Surface Mining?
Surface mining is usually the method of choice when the materials you’re mining are within a few hundred feet of the surface. In this type of mining, the machinery stays aboveground to dig through the topsoil and layers of rock and expose the coal seams or other materials. After the mining process is complete, placing topsoil over the area can prepare it for planting grass and trees.
Some of the machines you might use in surface mining include:
- Mining shovels
What Machines Do You Use for Underground Mining?
As the name suggests, underground mining occurs several hundred feet underground to access deep coal seams or other types of mineral ore. Underground mines can be thousands of feet below the surface with intricate systems of miles-long tunnels. These underground mines use elevators and tunnels to transport people and mined materials.
Because underground mining has unique requirements compared to surface mining, mining companies need specific machinery to get the job done. Here are some of the machines used for underground mining:
- Haulers and loaders
- Shotcrete machines
- Crane lifts
- Shuttle cars
- Personnel vehicles
Underground mining operations also use some standard mining machinery like drills, earth movers, crushers and blasting equipment. However, due to the enclosed nature of mining underground, mining companies may need to find this equipment in specialized sizes or find alternatives. Every mining company will have different needs based on its current situation.
Should You Work With a Professional Transportation Company?
Relocating mining machinery from one location to another involves several steps, and doing it successfully requires the right skills and transportation industry experience. If you need to transport your equipment, your best option is to partner with a professional mining machinery transportation company.
A professional transportation and rigging company will have the expertise to handle your transportation needs from start to finish. They will:
- Know the best practices to ensure safe, efficient delivery.
- Ensure you have all the correct paperwork.
- Ensure your transportation follows all safety requirements and regulations.
You’ve invested a lot in your mining machinery, making them some of your company’s most valuable assets. Protect them by partnering with a professional when moving them from point A to point B.
Partner With Equip Trucking to Move Your Mining Machinery
At Equip Trucking & Warehousing, LLC, we specialize in transporting heavy machinery. We serve a variety of industries, including the mining industry, so you can feel confident with us handling your mining machinery transportation needs.
View our full line of services to see how we can help your company achieve its goals. You can also contact us online with any questions or to talk to a representative if you’re ready to take the next step toward transporting your mining machinery.