At 200 tons (181.4 T), the Vermeer T1655III is significantly larger than its predecessor — the T1255III Terrain Leveler SEM. It stands 17 ft. (5.2 m) high from ground to the top of the cab at full extension. Its length spans 44 ft. (13.4 m) and its width is 21 ft. (6.4 m). The T1655III is designed specifically for precision surface mining, a process that allows mine operators to selectively extract mineral seams in surface mining applications. Operators can also influence material sizing — producing consistent-sized material in a uniform configuration so minerals can be handled more efficiently than product produced by drilling and blasting. The uniform product size allows more efficient settings on secondary and tertiary crushing systems; savings that can continue well past the primary crushing stage.
The T1655III is the newest generation of Terrain Leveler, modeled after the Vermeer Commander Series of tough track trenchers but with specific technology for seamless operation. An important feature contributing to the ease of operation is the TEC Plus display, which allows the T1655III to communicate with the various control modules situated throughout the machine, as well as the engine. The TEC Plus display allows the operator to easily monitor and control machine functions and improves the onboard diagnostic capabilities.
Vermeer also designed several enhancements to the cab for operator comfort. An air-ride suspension system provides a smoother, more comfortable and quieter ride for the operator in the typically harsh environment of a mining operation. The enclosed cab features a filtered air system, dual heating/cooling systems, sound attenuating foam, as well as dual full suspension seats for optimum operator comfort and training. Not only does the cab elevate to a maximum height of 17 ft., it also expands out an additional 23 in. (58.4 cm) for enhanced visibility. The cab is designed to be a structure in itself and meets the standards of a roll over protection structure (ROPS).
The productivity of the T1655III centers on the direct drive drum with the drive motors attached directly to the cutter drum. This not only improves cutter drum efficiency, but it also reduces wear costs associated with chain, sprocket or belt transmissions. The cutter drum is located on the rear of the machine, allowing the drum to cut material while the tracks remain on uncut ground so not to spoil the excavated material. This, and the machine’s low center of gravity, provide ample traction and keep the T1655III balanced and stable. The cutter drum has a patented tilt feature that allows it to tilt 5 degrees in either direction for a smooth excavated area.
The T1655III has dual hydrostatic tracks for independent rotation in either direction. The machine can quickly reposition up to 360 degrees in either direction for the next cut. The load control feature allows the machine to automatically adjust ground speed to use full engine horsepower, thus making the machine more productive. This provides a stable ground drive speed for maximum productivity in varying conditions.
The T1655III features two Cat C18 ACERT engines for a total of 1,200 hp (894.8 kW). The dual engine configuration provides power to a common pump drive so that each engine provides power equally to the machine; however, if one engine is not operational, the machine is still able to function on a single engine. An 800-gallon (3,028.3 l) fuel tank provides 13.2 hours of continuous operation at maximum horsepower.