Haul Trucks

“Gas engines are our future”

Posted on 11 April 2016 by Lucie Maluck, Images by Robert Hack

Alexander Egorov, General Designer and Head of the Center for Research and Development at Belaz, talks about the haul trucks of the future.

Alexander Egorov, General Designer and Head of the Center for Research and Development at Belaz, talks about the haul trucks of the future.

Machines for the mining sector are getting bigger and bigger. You recently introduced the Belaz 75710, the world’s largest haul truck, with a payload of 450 tonnes. Is the trend toward ever-bigger vehicles likely to continue?

Yes. I believe we will soon be building even bigger vehicles. At the moment, the tires are the deciding factor that limit size. They have to bear the weight of the vehicle plus the payload. There are still no tires suitable for bigger vehicles. But when that changes, we will be able to increase vehicle size even further. The technology is already available.

Do you see gas as a suitable fuel for powering mining vehicles?

Yes, definitely. The reasons are primarily economic because gas is only half as expensive as diesel. When you consider that expenditure on fuel accounts for 20% of the operating costs of a haul truck, it is easy to see just how much could be saved by using gas engines. In addition, it is much easier to meet both current and future emissions regulations with gas engines.


Are you considering using hybrid drive systems?

No. Studies have already shown that hybrid drives have no future in the mining industry. The drive system takes up too much room and that means we have less space for the payload. Gas engines are a better alternative for us.

If you look a little further ahead – to the year 2050, for example – how do you envision the haul trucks you might be building then?

It is every R&D engineer’s dream to be able to exclude every single fault that might possibly come up during vehicle operation. But the biggest source of faults is obviously human error. That is why it is our aim to build vehicles that don’t need drivers. They could be remote-controlled or they could even operate completely independently. 

Where do you see the biggest markets for Belaz in the future?

Our primary aim is to secure our existing markets – Russia, the other CIS states, Africa and the Middle East. North and South America are both promising target markets for the future. I would also be very pleased to see Belaz haul trucks operating at oil-sand mining sites in Canada at some time in the future.

The content of the stories reflects the status as of the respective date of publication. They are not updated. Further developments are therefore not taken into account.

Point of Contact

Rainer Pelcz
+7541 90 8260
+49 7541 90 9260

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