Looking more like a creation from 'Mad Max', this machine is unlike any other that you may have seen before.
An adaptation of a far smaller machine generally used in civil and mining projects, the self-named 895D Compactor is a super-sized, customised, big brother of Caterpillar's smaller 825 and 835 compactors.
Like many innovations, the genesis of this Compactor was born out of necessity, to better manage a specific set of challenges experienced by the miner. Since hitting dirt, it has exceeded expectations and achieved impressive results.
Derived from the carcass of a Tiger 690D Wheel Dozer (Caterpillar 992D Wheel Loader equivalent), the origin of the 895D Compactor was formed from the desire to create a fit-for-purpose machine. Working in residue dams with particularly hard and problematic clay, the owner operators engaged a local manufacturer in search of a heavier and more powerful Compactor than was available in the marketplace and their own fleet of Caterpillar 825 and 835 Compactors.
What they got, was a modified, cost-effective, reliable and versatile machine, that has increased operational efficiencies. In production terms, the original Caterpillar 825 Compactor onsite took 24 passes to bring the compaction of the clay to specification, the Caterpillar 835, 14 passes and the self-named 895D Compactor a mere four passes with equal or less fuel burn. Remarkable results, when one considers the additional costs of staff and the lost production experienced with the accompanying scraper fleet.
Albeit a strong concept, it wasn't all smooth sailing, with several areas requiring fundamental design considerations. These considerations included the customisation of the compaction wheels with reference to the inner rim, segments, outer rim and feet, ‘fortification' of the back-end scraper bar, management of the heat build-up in the torque converter (made easier with the later model Tiger used) as well as ensuring a solid lock-up clutch was installed. While unofficially christened the 895D, I can't help but feel that in this instance, it would have been more appropriate to name this machine ‘The Beast', call sign ‘TB1'.
Like to know more, watch the video below of this machine being mobilised.
This article was originally published by the Components Only team in the February - March 2018 issue of "@ The Coal Face" magazine.Published 12 February, 2018