The haul trucks at the BHP Mitsubishi Alliance (BMA) Daunia metallurgical coal mine in Queensland Australia shift around 226 tonnes of coal or overburden (soil and rock) every load.
The fleet of 16 trucks run 24 hours a day and each truck needs to be serviced every 250 hours, or about every two weeks.
The time it takes our maintenance team to service trucks is critical to our mine efficiency and productivity because it directly impacts how long they are out of action. And it is vital they are serviced safely, effectively and consistently.
That’s why we are excited about some recent improvements in the service time for the truck fleet.
We did three things to transform our work: introduced a dedicated service bay; allowed maintainers time to set up tooling and service kits before the truck enters the workshop; and introduced technology to design, monitor and improve the way we work.
The results have exceeded our team’s expectations.
We reduced the average truck downtime for a regular truck service from two hours to just 40 minutes. That’s a saving of one hour and 20 minutes for each truck a fortnight, or a potential 10 hours of extra work each week for the fleet.
Not only that, the service process is safer for our maintainers, more consistently delivered, and our team enjoys making a difference.
We are about to roll out a similar approach for our larger trucks (363 tonne payload) and will shortly progress to bulldozer servicing.
How did this transformation come about?
BHP is embarking on new ways of working to improve what we do every day. It’s called the BHP Operating System (BOS) and includes Standardised Work. This empowers frontline teams to solve problems and design solutions to streamline their processes. It also encourages greater collaboration to reduce waste, overloading and variation, and produces more effective and consistent results.
We started applying Standardised Work to truck maintenance at Daunia a year ago. We used technology to track our work and then analysed the process to find ways it could be improved. We then helped build a custom app that runs off an iPad or iPhone that walks a maintainer through every aspect of this scheduled maintenance in the most efficient, safe and effective way.
The app means we complete the service the same way every time and it is interactive, so we can continue making suggestions through it to improve what we do.
Using a Standardised Work approach to this important scheduled maintenance process has made our work quicker, safer, easier, and more efficient, consistent and collaborative.
Best of all, the truck service improvements and the associated technology are transferrable. It is being trialled at two other BHP mine sites and, with a few tweaks to suit each site, looks set to be implemented across all BHP-operated mine sites.