Caterpillar's New R3000H Underground Mining Loader Provides Increased Payload and Faster Speeds

The new R3000H underground mining loader from Caterpillar features an increased payload, faster speeds and greater breakout force for improved productivity.

Caterpillar R3000 H Underground Loader
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The new Cat R3000H underground mining loader, which replaces the R2900 XTRA, provides added value for hard rock mine operators with a significant increase in truck loading capacity, enhanced digging and breakout performance, faster speeds on grade, a strengthened front frame, and an available Ventilation Reduction Package that can lower both machine and mine operating costs. These design refinements enhance the R3000H productivity, reliability and durability, while maintaining its predecessor's premium features, including optimal operator safety and comfort, field-proven powertrain and compact profile. In fact the R3000H is no larger than the R2900G XTRA and fits seamlessly in mines using such machines.

Design boosts production

The R3000H is the largest LHD (load-haul-dump) in the Cat line and is designed for a rated payload of 22 tons (20 tonnes) in both load-and-carry and truck loading applications. The new LHD has a 16% production advantage over the R2900 XTRA in truck loading applications. With its added capacity, the new loader provides an exact three-pass match with the new 66-ton (60-tonne) AD60 underground articulated truck.

Increased payload capacity results from larger, repositioned lift cylinders, which provide greater lifting force, and from a larger tilt cylinder that provides more aggressive digging and breakout characteristics. In addition, a redesigned torque tube (between the solid-steel lift arms) and new bucket stops (to reduce stress during bucket rack back) combine to add strength and durability to the front linkage.

In the R3000H drivetrain, the new lock-up clutch torque converter yields significant tramming speed increases on grade. This speed increase boosts productivity in uphill load-and-carry applications.

Ventilation Reduction Package

A chief concern in many hard-rock mines is reducing particulate matter (PM) emissions from the diesel exhaust of mobile equipment. The PM level in the underground environment is carefully regulated, and keeping the mine adequately ventilated to control underground air quality can account for a significant part of mine operating costs.

To address this concern, Caterpillar has developed the Ventilation Reduction Package (VR Package), which uses select engine hardware and software modifications to minimize PM emissions. Using the Canadian (CANMET) underground ventilation standard, the R3000H has a 42% reduction in ventilation requirements compared to the R2900G XTRA. Not only is PM minimized, the VR Package on the R3000H also delivers a decrease in fuel consumption and an increase in dual stall rimpull for better machine performance.

Proven foundation

The solid design of the R2900 XTRA is reflected in the new R3000H components, including the Cat C15 ACERT engine; Cat 4F/4R planetary powershift transmission with electronic control and manual/automatic shift modes; heavy-duty final drives; four-wheel, oil-immersed, multi-disc brakes; high-flow hydraulics featuring Cat high-pressure XT hydraulic hose and O-ring face seals; optimized steel frames, designed with extensive use of finite-element analysis to ensure resistance to twisting forces; and application-specific, durable buckets.