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To B or not to B is now the Liebherr question

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Liebherr Australia has recently taken delivery of its first R 994B 200t-class mining excavator destined for Thiess in its contracting operation at the Burton coal mine in Queensland’s Bowen Basin.

Weighing 290t in backhoe configuration, the new Liebherr R 994B was designed to help miners achieve lower excavation costs per bcm. It is expected that consistent overburden production levels in excess of 1200bcm/hr could be achieved in well-blasted conditions.

Offered with 18m3 capacity buckets in either backhoe or face shovel configuration, the R 994B is designed to load the popular 90t and 136t class of rigid-body dump trucks in 3-5 passes.

Powered by a single Cummins QSK 45 diesel engine developing 1120kW at 1800rpm, the company says the excavator is 15% more powerful than its nearest rival. Liebherr designers have used this extra engine horsepower to boost the excavator’s hydraulic power.

The company says this has led to the R 994B having the highest total digging forces in its class, with increased bucket fill factors, and much faster cycle times.

Liebherr has increased its maximum swing torque by 65% to 1120kN, which should reduce cycle times by 1-2 seconds for miners working their excavators on steeply dipping seams.

The R 994B has stability necessary to cope with its extra power due to an increase in weight to 290t and 295t for the backhoe and face shovel respectively – 40% of which is in the undercarriage alone.

A long-range fuel tank allowing 24-hour refueling intervals, a drop-down service centre for all upper carriage lubricants, and the option of Cummins Centinel and Eliminator engine oil management systems all help to keep the excavator working longer between planned services.

The engine, splitterbox and hydraulic pumps are designed as one readily exchangeable powerpack module and contained within a walk-in service compartment.

Many of the major components on the R 994B, such as swing gearboxes, swing motors, swing pumps and oil cooler assemblies have been utilised from Liebherr’s largest hydraulic excavators: the R 995 and R 996. This may allow some customers to reduce their spare parts inventories.

Although this new excavator shares the same number designation as the current R 994, the company was quick to point out the R 994B was a completely new model incorporating the latest advances in design and technology, and not just an upgrade of an existing machine.

The R 994 has been very successful for Liebherr Australia with almost 100 units delivered to customers in the Asia Pacific region, including Australia.

It will be retained within the Liebherr model range as it has proven reliability, offering consistently high production with low operating costs.

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