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US mine switches to new truck lubricant and optimises performance

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Global Mining Review,

ExxonMobil has helped an opencast mine in the US save more than US$2.1 million annually by switching to its high performance synthetic gear and bearing oil, Mobil SHC™ 630. The lubricant helped optimise the performance of almost 50 CAT 793 haul trucks, leading to fuel economy, productivity and safety gains.

ExxonMobil field engineers partnered with the mine in Minnesota to identify a lubricant solution that would help optimise the performance of the differentials and final drives in the drivetrains of the 226 t (250 short t) payload trucks, particularly in cold temperatures.


The mine site in Minnesota previously lubricated these components with a conventional mineral oil. But, as the fleet evolved to include newer, more advanced CAT haul trucks, the increased horsepower and load of these vehicles caused extra stress on the drivetrain. This meant the lubricant could not protect the equipment as effectively, leading to premature wear and elevated drivetrain temperatures reaching as high as 88°C (190°F).


The team recommended conducting a fuel economy test using Mobil SHC™ 630 in the differential and final drive compartment. The advanced lubricant is specially formulated to provide excellent high temperature thermal/oxidation resistance and low temperature performance, as well as outstanding equipment protection and trouble-free operation.


The operator reported that Mobil SHC™ 630 helped reduce drivetrain operating temperatures and improve fuel economy by 5.5%. The enhanced protection also helped reduce maintenance, reduce costs and enhance safety by reducing human-machine interaction by 326 hours. These improvements helped generate a company estimated saving of more than US$2.1 million.


“This is another prime example of when choosing the right lubricant was the million dollar question that resulted in huge savings, as well as improved productivity, safety and uptime,” said Pat Kelly, Americas Mobil SHC™ Advisor at ExxonMobil. “With mine site operators under constant pressure to cut costs and increase productivity, knowing that a simple change in lubricant can deliver such significant benefits could be a real competitive advantage.”

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US mining news Mining truck news