New Dozers, Less Noise

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Deployment of 28 new and improved dozers at Yancoal open cut mines in NSW are setting a new sound compliance benchmark and having a positive impact on communities surrounding operations.

Sound packages on the Cat® D10 and Cat D11 machines being rolled out by leading Cat dealer WesTrac over three years at Yancoal’s Mount Thorley Warkworth (MTW) and Moolarben sites, have proven to considerably reduce noise emissions externally and for machine operators.

WesTrac Mining Business Manager Craig Morris said the company had worked closely with Yancoal to understand the importance of machine size application and optimum sound performance to ensure compliance measures were well in check.

“Advances in sound attenuation technology on WesTrac dozers are important for machine operators, other site workers and also communities in proximity to Yancoal’s mines,” Craig said.

“Through developing a new rubber dampening system to suppress vibration and alleviate the classic ‘clanging’ associated with a dozer track revolving around its sprocket, we’ve been able to achieve a sound reduction of three decibels.

“On the logarithmic decibel scale, this is equivalent to a halving of sound energy emitted by the machines and a 23 per cent decrease in loudness.”

The dozer rollout comes after WesTrac partnered with Yancoal in 2019 to conduct a 5,000 hour prove-out trial of the D11 Dozer at MTW.

The trial results showed the significant three decibel reduction, with the D11 emitting 110dBA and 121dB, with an operator exposure of 73dB – numbers considerably lower than predecessor machines.

Yancoal Heavy Mining Equipment (HME) Category Manager Matthew Staff, who looks after the purchase of HME across all Yancoal open cut sites Australia-wide, said the new sound suppression technology was beneficial on multiple fronts.

“Yancoal’s dozer replacement program at MTW and Moolarben is data driven thanks to the prove-out trial conducted in 2019, and we have had excellent feedback from operators and others,” Matthew said.

“We treat sound compliance as a priority given the proximity of some sites to communities – such as Bulga being only 10km from MTW – particularly when it comes to environmental noise exposure.

“It’s also about prioritising operators and other personnel on site to make sure conditions they come to work in are as safe and healthy as possible.

“Our commitment to compliance remains of the highest standard on all fronts to ensure our operating licences and individual mine plan approvals continue to be met and Yancoal can support communities and the local economy.”

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