Behind the wheel of Caterpillar's 797F Haul Truck

Behind the wheel of Caterpillar's 797F Haul Truck
Photo credit: iStock.com/iakovenko

Alongside excavators and rope shovels, haul trucks are the ultimate workhorses of an open cut mining operation. Transporting load after load, these machines regularly complete 6,000 hours a month, working around the clock in what is known as 'double-shifting'.

Developed and manufactured in the United States, Caterpillar's 797F Mining Truck was introduced in 2008 and is as big as they come. With a whopping 363 t payload, this monster is classified an "ultra-class" hauler and goes head-to-head with the Komatsu 980E-4, Liebherr T 284 and BelAZ 75710 Mining Trucks.

Unlike its competitors that are now electric AC drive trucks (think Tesla of mining), the 797F is mechanically driven and still holds a loyal group of followers. At around A$​7 million each they're not cheap however, with a life expectancy of circa 80,000 hours can offer many years of valuable service if maintained correctly.

Benefits

Productivity

The Caterpillar 797F has one of the haul truck largest payload capacities in the world, making it an attractive investment for mining operations.

Power

Given its size and weight, this truck is still a powerful mover. It can reach a swift top speed of 67.6 kph when loaded.

Reliability

Designed to handle tough conditions, the 797F is built to perform reliably and last a long time. It's capable of managing most inclines and tackling rugged conditions – it has even been flown up to some of the world's highest-altitude mines in pieces and assembled on site. It's up to the task of working in the extreme cold and soft underfoot conditions on the Canadian oil sands, and in high-altitude, deep pit copper applications in South America.

Drivability

This truck's superior braking control and ergonomic design allows operators to focus on productivity while working comfortably over long shifts.

Specs at a glance
Engine modelCat C175-20
Gross power SAE J19952983.0 kW
Nominal payload capacity363 tonnes
Top speed loaded67.6 km/h
Machine clearance turning diameter42.0 m
Target gross machine operating weight (GMW)623,690 kg
Overall height – body raised15,701.0 mm
Overall length15,080.0 mm

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Published 27 March, 2019
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