Tag Archives: Pilot Crushtec

OEM PARTS WILL OPTIMISE COSTS AND PERFORMANCE

In the world of crushing and screening equipment maintenance and optimisation, the question of whether a spare part is merely a spare part is pivotal. Jorge Abelho, Director of Technical Support at Pilot Crushtec, presents a compelling argument for the superiority of Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) parts over aftermarket alternatives.

His insights reveal how OEM parts are not just components but critical cogs in the larger machinery system, driving down the total cost of ownership and enhancing production efficiency.

Pilot Crushtec’s commitment to optimising total cost of ownership for customers includes not only providing world class quality equipment but also the company’s approach to spare parts and components. “All spare parts should be engineered with a deep understanding of the machinery’s entire system, and we believe this holistic view is what sets OEM parts apart from aftermarket offerings,” Abelho says.

The key to Pilot Crushtec’s success lies in their commitment to quality and a comprehensive inventory. Every spare part is considered in relation to other machine components, ensuring optimal interaction and performance. This is possible thanks to Pilot Crushtec’s extensive knowledge of system mechanics, bolstered by continuous research and development aimed at finetuning performance.

“A striking example of OEM expertise is the inclusion of sacrificial parts in systems to shield more complex and expensive components. This level of nuanced understanding is often absent in aftermarket parts, potentially leading to costly malfunctions,” he explains. “Further, OEMs, unlike aftermarket suppliers, don’t just focus on high-demand parts but provide a full array of components essential for the machinery.”

Pilot Crushtec’s investment in R&D extends to the real-world monitoring and maintenance of their machinery. This hands-on approach enables ongoing improvement of parts including rigorous testing and adaptation to diverse operating conditions globally. Collaboration with other OEMs during the design phase further enriches this process, allowing for specialised input that optimises component interaction under various duty cycles.

The comprehensive approach of OEMs like Pilot Crushtec translates to parts that, while potentially more expensive upfront, offer significantly greater value in terms of machine performance and long term cost effectiveness. Abelho says customers are increasingly recognising this value, as evidenced by their own cost benefit analyses.

PIONEERING CRUSHING AND SCREENING SOLUTIONS FOR CLEANER ENERGY MINERALS

Pilot Crushtec’s crushing and screening solutions are key for a wide range of applications within the energy minerals sector, and the company has built a significant footprint in these industry segments. Wayne Warren, Sales Manager Africa at Pilot Crushtec, highlights that the company has crushing and screening equipment operating successfully in lithium, cobalt, manganese, nickel, copper and graphite operations in the region.

“The flexibility of our mobile and modular equipment allows customers to tailor solutions to match diverse ore characteristics and processing plant requirements. This adaptability is crucial, especially when dealing with variations within the same commodity category, like lithium ores that differ in behaviour,” he explains. 

Pilot Crushtec’s equipment selection also considers material abrasiveness, minimising equipment wear by bypassing crushers when necessary. Their mobile equipment often includes pre-screening options as standard, reducing the need for additional screens.

Warren points to one case study that involves the supply of Metso mobile Lokotrack® trains for lithium crushing, where production requirements doubled due to high demand. In another project, modular equipment was adapted for ore sorters, highlighting the need for precision in crushing to avoid over-processing.

Pilot Crushtec continues to innovate, introducing equipment to the market like the versatile Metso Lokotrack® LT200HPX™ mobile cone crusher and the Metso Metrix remote monitoring system that is fitted to these machines. These advancements improve optimisation levels and offer remote machine monitoring and maintenance assistance.

The company also supports the mining industry’s efforts to reduce power consumption and carbon emissions by offering low-emission, electrically powered equipment options.

For safety and productivity, units feature built-in dust suppression systems. Additionally, Pilot Crushtec provides a 24-hour response service and an extended protection service warranty programme, ensuring minimal downtime.

In South Africa, the company has expertise in coal crushing and screening solutions, including specialised mobile and modular crushers designed for the coal market, meeting strict product gradings.

PILOT VS100 CRUSHER GAINS RAPID TRACTION IN NEW ZEALAND

Sanland Equipment, the Pilot Crushtec dealer in New Zealand and the Pacific Islands, reports a rapid uptake of the Pilot Modular VS100 vertical shaft impactor (VSI) since its market launch in 2021. The crusher fits the bill for both the type of applications and production requirements in these territories.   

For nearly 20 years, New Zealand, a popular VSI market in the world, has been one of the most consistent markets for Pilot Crushtec’s Twister VSI crusher range. Sanland Equipment’s Trevor Heaphy, who sold the first TwisterTrac VSI in New Zealand in 2005 and has personally been involved with the Pilot Crushtec brand for some 18 years across three companies, says Twister VSI crushers have, in the past two decades, proven themselves as cost effective and high performance solutions for tertiary, and also quaternary, crushing requirements in New Zealand and the Pacific Islands.

The bulk of the machines, confirms Heaphy, have been sold during his ten-year tenure at Sanland Equipment. In fact, the New Zealand and Pacific Islands market has accounted for 10 Twister VSI units since 2018. “In the last couple of years, I would be confident to say that we have sold more VSIs than any other supplier in New Zealand,” stresses Heaphy. 

Since its introduction in 2021, the Pilot Modular VS100 has been particularly successful in the New Zealand market, with five units delivered in just under two years. The machines are predominantly deployed in hard rock quarrying and sand processing applications. 

“In our market, sand has traditionally been obtained from natural sources such as coastlines. However, in recent years, sourcing sand from riverbanks and shorelines has been severely restricted because of the dire environmental consequences. On the back of growing demand for manufactured sand, the VS100 is proving to be the ideal solution for sand processing operations,” he says. “In addition, customers are pleased with its ability to enhance the shape and quality of aggregates.”

One of the quick success factors of the VS100 in this market is its size, says Heaphy. With a production capacity up to 100 tonnes per hour, the machine is ideally suited to the size of customer operations and production requirements found in this market. “The VS100 is also the right fit for our market because of the 110 Kw rated power. In the Pacific Islands, for example, some of the countries are very small and don’t have power reticulation to run anything bigger than that,” explains Heaphy. 

While the VS100 comes at a higher price than the predecessor AC06 and AC07 machines, Heaphy says the machine is a complete package which comes with many more features and benefits. Among the key talking points is the hydraulic lid lifting. The hydraulic pack opens and automatically rotates the lid, revealing the modular rock chamber and rotor, making daily inspections easy. 

Heaphy also makes special mention of the on-board jib crane installed as a standard item for safe removal of the rotor. 

“The VS100 has a special design focus on ease of maintenance. The discharge chute on the machine is primarily rubber, which reduces wear. The adjustment of the motor for belt tensioning purposes is also very easy. It’s also important to point out the smart design and simple operations of the crusher,” he says. 

Apart from ease of maintenance, Heaphy says the VS100 comes with more safety features, making it compliant with international safety standards. These include a new inclined staircase and a three-sided platform that is both non-slippery and chemical-resistant. The galvanised handrails and non-metallic walkways are a great benefit to New Zealand and Pacific Islands’ customers who operate close to the ocean where machines are susceptible to rust. 

To ensure high uptime for its customers, Sanland Equipment not only keeps a substantial stock of wear- and spare parts, but also major components such as complete rotor and bearing sub-assemblies. Having these items off the shelf is critical in the event of any major failures. 

Francois Marais, Sales and Marketing Director at Pilot Crushtec, says years of experience and advanced manufacturing methods have resulted in the Pilot VS100. Among some of the key features, he says, is the modular rock chamber, which allows you to go from autogenous crushing to anvil ring crushing configuration, and is designed for efficient rock-box build up.

In conclusion, Marais says the success of the Pilot Modular VS100 and the Pilot Twister range in New Zealand is testimony to Pilot Crushtec’s rich heritage in the design and manufacture of VSIs, which dates back to over 30 years ago. He also believes this success speaks highly of South Africa’s manufacturing capabilities. 

“Despite the array of challenges that local manufacturers have to contend with, such as labour, power supply and lack of infrastructure, potential still exists for South Africa to manufacture and export world class products. Pilot Crushtec’s success in a competitive VSI market like New Zealand is testament to the experience and expertise in our country,” concludes Marais. 

TROLLOPE MINING SERVICES EXPANDS FLEET WITH METSO MACHINES FROM PILOT CRUSHTEC

Amid growing demand for its crushing and screening services, Trollope Mining Services, one of the largest opencast mining contractors in Africa, has in the past three years taken delivery of a large fleet of Metso machines from Pilot Crushtec. 

With nearly 500 pieces of equipment in its fleet, Trollope has over the years established itself as the go-to contractor in the opencast mining sector in southern Africa. Currently operating in South Africa, Namibia and Botswana, the company has also previously executed projects in the DRC and Guinea. The company operates across commodities including but not limited to coal, platinum, copper, andalusite, gold, phosphate, lithium, iron ore, manganese, diamonds and limestone.

To establish itself as a total solutions provider in the opencast mining contracting fraternity, Trollope Mining Services added a crushing and screening division to its business in 2016. Managing Director, Guy Hopkins says that in the past three years the division has seen exponential growth on the back of some major projects, necessitating an expansion of the crushing and screening fleet.  

Following the fleet expansion programme, Trollope Mining Services now operates a total of 15 machines. Of note is that the whole fleet is made up of only Metso machines. “We prefer Metso machines because of our experience with the equipment,” he says. “Fundamentally, the design and build quality of these machines are unmatched. Our buying decision is also influenced by the technological evolution of the Metso offering, which allows us to run ‘hands off’ operations. Apart from improved efficiencies, technology paves the way for improved safety on mining sites.”

Of its 15 Metso machines, six are dual-powered units, making Trollope Mining Services the biggest operator of Metso hybrid crushers and screens in southern Africa, confirms Charl Marais, Sales Manager at Pilot Crushtec. The dual-power fleet comprises two Lokotrack® LT120E™ jaw crushers, a Lokotrack LT330D™ cone crusher and three Lokotrack® ST2.8E™ scalping screens. These were expressly purchased for a project in the Northern Cape Province of South Africa. 

With their ability to have both electricity and diesel as power sources, Marais says dual-power solutions provide the best of both worlds – significant fuel savings and a marked reduction in carbon emissions. “Significant cost reduction is achieved when the machines are connected to the grid,” explains Marais.

“Given the high cost of diesel, dual-powered solutions help reduce operating costs for our customers. In our experience, the cost of running bi-power machines off the grid is 1/20 the cost of running them off a diesel engine. There is therefore a major cost benefit for our customers’ operations,” says Hopkins.

Apart from the Metso build quality, Hopkins says the complementary aftermarket support from Pilot Crushtec is crucial to ensuring high uptime. “In all our buying decisions, having a partner that we can trust for the long term is fundamental. Pilot Crushtec plays a crucial role in supporting us with all the necessary spares and technical expertise to keep our Metso machines running,” concludes Hopkins. 

THE IMPORTANCE OF SKILLED CUSTOMER SUPPORT TECHNICIANS IN CRUSHING AND SCREENING

Crushing and screening on mines and quarries often entails 24/7 operations where downtime is out of the question. The importance of skilled customer support technicians in maintaining high machine uptime cannot therefore be stressed enough, states Jorge Abelho, Director Technical Support at Pilot Crushtec International. 

“Given that South Africa is a major global producer of several minerals such as gold, platinum group metals (PGMs), chrome and manganese, amongst others, it is vital that the crushing and screening sector plays its part in keeping the industry running smoothly,” Abelho says. “Skilled customer support technicians are therefore a non-negotiable in crushing and screening operations.”

Given that these Pilot Crushtec individuals spend most of their time at different sites and environments, customer support technicians develop profound knowledge of machines and applications. Crushing and screening customers, says Abelho, should therefore tap into this knowledge bank for advice on equipment setup, operation and efficient maintenance. This helps minimise equipment failures and subsequent downtime which, by its very nature, is costly.  

With the crushing and screening industry constantly evolving on the back of advancements in technology, Pilot Crushtec invests heavily in training to keep its customer support technicians up to date with the latest equipment and industry trends. 

“As machines get more complex incorporating more automation, onboard diagnostics and remote telemetry solutions, we continue to invest in the multiskilling of our technicians to enable them to diagnose and set up machines quickly and safely,” he says. “This builds trust with our customers knowing that we can deliver and support our equipment. Our customers, both experienced and inexperienced, appreciate this level of technical expertise and that in turn has been key to the growth of our business.”

“In my opinion, the starting point is training. We have developed a very detailed training matrix for the customer support team – a live document which we update on a monthly basis. Our Corrective Action Request (CAR) is also an engrained process in the organisation that often provides input into our training matrix,” Abelho explains. 

Pilot Crushtec’s matrix identifies training requirements within the customer support team, indicates which individuals are being trained and which technicians are already competent. The company also conducts formal weekly training sessions, which vary from a formal structural training session to less formal discussions about an activity or experience gained during the week.

In addition, as the Southern Africa distributor for Metso crushing and screening equipment, Pilot Crushtec has access to this global player’s online eLearning portal with well over 100 courses. The goal is to get RICO certification for every Pilot Crushtec customer support technician, which takes about a year to acquire and requires a formal assessment by a Metso engineer. 

While training presents a prime opportunity to expand the knowledge base of field service technicians, it is, however, not cheap – it takes time and money to develop technical skills. Given the dearth of these skills in the industry, Abelho notes that it is a challenge to retain skilled technical people as they are in great demand globally. 

“Some years ago, we had to come to terms with the fact that there is a massive technical skills shortage in the country and the world at large. Instead of moaning about it, we decided to be part of the solution. We therefore invest in a training programme for university of technology students which has, over the years, provided us with a sustainable pipeline of technical skills,” he says. 

During the past 13 years, more than 70 engineering students have gone through the practical phases of their mechanical and electrical engineering studies at Pilot Crushtec’s Jet Park, Gauteng facility. The programme plays a critical role in developing Pilot Crushtec’s talent pipeline and is also a deliberate effort to foster skills development and transformation in the engineering and mining sector as a whole. 

“About 10 of these graduates were permanently employed by Pilot Crushtec after demonstrating an in-depth understanding of our products’ mechanics, electronics, performance and maintenance. For these efforts, Pilot Crushtec has received the coveted Employer Excellence Award from KwaZulu-Natal-based Mangosuthu University of Technology for the practical support it continues to give to engineering students, which is testimony to our efforts to plug the technical skills gap in the country,” concludes Abelho. 

FIRST LOKOTRACK LT200HPS WITH A HANGING SCREEN WINS THE DAY FOR ZIZWE

A newly acquired Metso Lokotrack® LT200HPS™ is winning the day for a leading South African mining contractor, Zizwe Opencast Mining, at one of its strategic chrome mining projects in Steelpoort, Limpopo. 

With productivity high on the agenda in a highly abrasive chrome-processing application, a three-machine train of Metso mobiles – comprising a Lokotrack® LT120™ jaw crusher, a Nordtrack® S2.11 scalping screen and a Lokotrack® LT200HPS™ cone crusher – is making light work of the 200 tonnes per hour (tph) production target.  

Joe de Beer, Crushing and Screening Plant Manager at Zizwe Opencast Mining, has been impressed in particular by the new Lokotrack® LT200HPS™ cone crusher, equipped with a hanging screen. By featuring a detachable screen and return conveyor on one tracked chassis, he says, the LT200HPS is basically ‘two machines in one’, thus eliminating double-handling on site. 

“The fact that the LT200HPS™does the job for two machines was central to our purchasing decision. It features a detachable screen and return conveyor which guides screened oversize material back to the cone crusher. It is essentially a cone crusher, a screen and a conveyor on one tracked chassis,” says De Beer. 

Yeshen Achary, Sales Engineer at Pilot Crushtec, explains that Zizwe Opencast Mining was looking for a single unit that could do the job of two machines. “Traditionally, we have always brought the LT200HP™ in a standard configuration. Because cone crushers by their nature are not 100% efficient, the added benefit of having a screen post the crushing chamber is that it allows for recirculation of any oversize material back to the cone crusher,” he says. 

This, explains Achary, eliminates the need for another machine to work in closed circuit with the cone crusher. Having a single machine doing the job of two machines offers significant cost benefits for the customer. 

“Apart from the obvious capital cost benefit, having the cone and screen on a single chassis means that the machine is powered by a single engine, making one less machine to maintain. Having a closed loop on a single chassis also makes it easy to transport the machine between sites,” concludes Achary.

Francois Marais, Sales and Marketing Director at Pilot Crushtec, explains that the LT200HP™ now comes in three different configurations. Apart from the standard cone crusher configuration, it is now available with a pre-screen called the HPX™, which is placed just before the crushing chamber or alternatively with an overhanging screen called the HPS™, located post the crushing chamber.  

“In traditional operations, you would need two machines – a cone crusher and a screen – to do the same job done by this single machine. In addition, you would probably have to deploy a minimum of two to three conveyor belts to recirculate oversize material from the screen back to the cone crusher,” concludes Marais. 

UNMATCHED QUALITY AND SUPPORT WITH LOKOTRACK® LT120™ MOBILE JAW CRUSHER

The Lokotrack® LT120™ mobile jaw crusher, supplied by Pilot Crushtec, is renowned across Southern Africa for its impressive performance and quality. The exceptional offer provided with this piece of equipment includes an unmatched five year or 10,000 hour warranty, something no other company can boast.

This robust, track-mounted primary crusher is optimal for quarrying applications, excelling as a standalone unit or within multi-stage processes. Its exceptional transportability enables easy movement between crushing sites.

The Lokotrack® LT120E™ is equipped with e-Power giving the choice to either plug it into the grid for quiet emission-free and economical scalping or to enjoy the flexibility of a modern low-emission and low noise diesel engine.
The Lokotrack® LT120E™ is equipped with e-Power giving the choice to either plug it into the grid for quiet emission-free and economical scalping or to enjoy the flexibility of a modern low-emission and low noise diesel engine.

The Lokotrack® LT120™ shines in the realm of efficient crushing and fuel economy. Designed especially for aggregates production, it can take the lead in a multi-stage crushing process or function as a standalone unit. With its track-mounting, it can smoothly navigate within a quarry and be easily transported between sites.

This high capacity mobile crusher revolves around the Nordberg® C120™ crushing unit, crafted for crushing hard rock types such as granite, basalt and gneiss. The crusher’s generous feed opening ensures outstanding capacity, further complemented by an excellent nip angle and aggressive linear stroke. Moreover, the hydraulic drive provides trouble-free operation and allows the crusher direction to be altered in case of blockage, helping to clear the cavity. The CAT® engine provides energy efficient power to the crusher, ensuring optimal performance.

For achieving the best crushing results, the Metso IC™ process control system is incorporated. This system optimises crushing outcomes, offers single-button start and stop, built-in troubleshooting and various parameter selections.

All Lokotrack® mobile crushers in the same crushing process can connect with Metso IC™. Moreover, the entire process can be conveniently monitored and controlled from the excavator cabin with Metso ICr™ remote control software.

Safety and ease-of-operation are paramount with the Lokotrack® LT120™ mobile crusher. The jaw die bolts are easily accessible, and the composite covers that protect the flywheels can be opened quickly and safely. With wide service platforms and easy access to maintenance points, the safety of daily operations is significantly enhanced.

In populated areas like cities, near schools, residential zones or other populated regions, Lokotrack® mobile jaw crushers are also available as noise and dust encapsulated Urban™ Series mobile crushers. These comply with stricter noise and dust regulations, enabling crushing closer to the public.

The Lokotrack® LT120E™ variant is powered by electricity, giving you the flexibility of plugging it into the grid for quiet, emission-free and economical scalping in urban areas, or using a modern low emission and low noise diesel engine in remote areas.

THE POWER OF A PROPER WARRANTY

The real rockstar carries a real warranty, and when properly executed, has the potential to revolutionise customer relationships. It not only instils trust and reliability but also differentiates a company from its competitors in the crowded market. One such example of a robust warranty is Metso and Pilot Crushtec’s five-year or 10,000 hour EPS warranty on its equipment, including the standout Lokotrack® LT120™ crusher.

Francois Marais, Sales and Marketing Director at Pilot Crushtec.
Francois Marais, Sales and Marketing Director at Pilot Crushtec.

“A warranty is much more than just a promise – it’s a demonstration of a company’s confidence in its products, and for us at Pilot Crushtec it is also a testament to the product’s durability and our commitment to stand by the equipment’s performance,” says Francois Marais, Sales and Marketing Director at this leading supplier of crushing and screening equipment.

“Take the Metso Lokotrack LT120 crusher as an example,” he says. “The assurance of a significant warranty such as the one we provide gives customers the peace of mind they need to invest in the product and use it to its fullest potential.”

The Lokotrack® LT120™, a mobile jaw crusher specially designed for aggregate production, has become the go-to choice for mining and quarrying applications. Built to last and designed for efficiency, the LT120™ provides high capacity crushing in an easily transportable form. However, while its features are impressive, it is the warranty that truly makes the difference.

With over 93 000 wear and spare parts in stock, Pilot Crushtec ensure minimum downtime when it comes to maintenance or break-down repairs.
With over 93 000 wear and spare parts in stock, Pilot Crushtec ensure minimum downtime when it comes to maintenance or break-down repairs.

Pilot Crushtec’s EPS warranty covers a span of five years or 10,000 hours of operation, whichever comes first. Marais says that this level of support is unparalleled in the industry, setting Pilot Crushtec apart from the competition.

“In a sector where downtime can result in substantial financial losses, this warranty’s importance cannot be overstated,” Marais continues.

This extended warranty reflects Pilot Crushtec’s confidence in their product’s quality, reliability and longevity. It shows the company’s belief in the LT120™’s design, the robustness of the Nordberg® C120™ crushing unit and the efficiency of the engine powering the crusher. It also demonstrates the company’s commitment to their customers’ success and their willingness to stand behind their products.

“With this comprehensive warranty, customers can purchase and operate the Lokotrack® LT120™ with peace of mind. It assures that should anything go wrong within the warranty period, Pilot Crushtec will be there to assist, reducing downtime and ensuring the continuation of operations,” he says. This assurance helps build a strong relationship between Pilot Crushtec and its customers, fostering long term loyalty and customer satisfaction.

In conclusion, the power of a robust warranty should not be underestimated. It not only showcases a company’s confidence in its products but also its commitment to customer satisfaction.

“In the case of Pilot Crushtec and its Lokotrack® LT120 crusher, the five-year or 10,000-hour EPS warranty is a significant differentiator, setting a new industry standard for support and assurance. It is not just about selling a product – it is about providing a service, a promise, and ultimately, peace of mind,” Marais concludes.

NUMBERS THAT MATTER DON’T APPEAR ON ANY SALES QUOTES, ARGUES PILOT CRUSHTEC

While the quotation for an item of equipment reflects its upfront price, it says nothing about the history, experience, product quality and service infrastructure required to sustain optimal production levels for the customer.

“Sustainable and reliable production is at the heart of any crushing operation, and this is what customers are really paying for when they purchase capital equipment,” says Francois Marais, Sales and Marketing Director at Pilot Crushtec. “For this reason, the numbers that matter are those that reflect a supply partner’s ability to help customers meet their vital deliverables.”

Marais highlights that Pilot Crushtec has spent 33 years building a reputation for its quality of product and its outstanding service levels. Its engineering prowess has already seen over 300 Pilot Crushtec modular plants placed into operation with customers, with over 2,000 mobile crushers, screens and conveyors sold and commissioned.

“Other numbers that matter include the 170 modular cone crushers and the 200 modular jaw crushers that we have sold into the market,” he explains. “We estimate that our equipment has to date processed about 5 billion tonnes of material – in around 1,000 different applications and processes.”

He notes that, all too often, equipment purchases are made purely based on capital pricing. Down the line, he says, it may be realised that the necessary technical assistance, experience or parts are not readily available to support the equipment. Pilot Crushtec has made a strategic philosophy of its customer commitment, by investing heavily and continuously in service infrastructure, spares and wear parts and continuous training of its people. 

“For instance, we train, develop and retain the skills necessary to keep customers’ equipment up and running – to avoid costly downtime that could threaten their contracts and reputations,” he says. “This includes our 15 full time service technicians, who travel a million kilometres a year to see customers and deliver quality support.”

Underpinning these superior levels of service – which are available 24/7 365 days a year – is the company’s parts and aftermarket infrastructure, which is similarly always open for business. This starts with a large stockholding of around 93,000 items, including about 2,500 wear parts alone. There are 20 dedicated parts personnel to efficiently manage this valuable resource, dispatching 6,788 parts on average every month.

“These numbers reflect the real value that we deliver to our customers and should be fundamental factors taken into account when any quotations are considered,” says Marais. “While the procurement function for equipment is often incentivised to save a little money upfront in a capital purchase, this can create unintended consequences for buyers when production is jeopardised.”

TOWARDS LARGER AND HYBRID MOBILE CRUSHING SOLUTIONS

Amid an evolving market landscape, customers in southern Africa are increasingly turning to larger mobile crushers and hybrid solutions, observes Francois Marais, Sales and Marketing Director at Pilot Crushtec.  

In the past three to four years, says Marais, there has been a noticeable preference for bigger mobile crushers such as Metso Outotec’s Lokotrack LT120 jaw crusher and the Lokotrack LT300HP cone crusher. 

“At the centre of this trend is the changing face of the contracting sector. Instead of the traditional three to five year contracts, most of the projects coming to market are barely longer than six months,” explains Marais. 

The Lokotrack® LT120E™ is a hybrid crushing plant with e-Power that can be operated by plugging into an external network or by the 420 kVA onboard diesel generator.
The Lokotrack® LT120E™ is a hybrid crushing plant with e-Power that can be operated by plugging into an external network or by the 420 kVA onboard diesel generator.

Contractors, he says, are therefore turning to larger mobile crushers to enable them to execute these shorter contracts quite quickly so that they can then move on to the next project. This allows them to increase the volume of work within a short space of time.

“In addition, larger crushing equipment allows contractors to minimise the number of machines that they have to mobilise on site. Having less kit to move between sites translates into reduced transport costs and quick setup on the next job,” he explains. 

With operating costs in mind, contractors in southern Africa are also increasingly seeing value in dual-powered crushing solutions. With their ability to have both electricity and diesel as power sources, hybrid solutions provide customers with the best of both worlds – significant fuel savings and a marked reduction in carbon (CO2) emissions.

“Significant cost reduction is achieved when customers can connect their mobile crushers to the grid or to the mine’s own renewable energy sources,” says Marais. “Contractors running these machines have seen a massive reduction in their cost per tonne of material produced.”

To provide context, a South African contractor running two Lokotrack E-models has seen a massive 30% fuel saving by switching to hybrid units. As a result, the company is converting its entire fleet to Metso Outotec dual-powered units.

With data being the new currency for crushing and screening businesses, telematics constitute an invaluable tool for gaining a competitive edge and remain one step ahead in tough economic times. 

To meet the growing demand for valuable operational data, Pilot Crushtec now offers the recently upgraded version of Metso Outotec Metrics, an innovative cloud-based tool for real-time monitoring of Lokotrack mobile crushers and screens.

“The new system moves from the traditional satellite feed to a GSM signal infrastructure, thus offering significantly better connectivity and optimisation benefits to customers’ crushing processes. Other features include CO2 tracking for sustainability benefits, 24/7 access to real-time data, a maintenance module, and critical dashboards for utilisation and geolocation,” concludes Marais.