The importance of haul road design

They are relied upon every hour of every day. They are crucial to the operation of all open cut mines and massive loads are transported back and forth. Yet, haul roads can be under-designed and not constructed properly and no amount of maintenance will fix a poorly designed road. 

How the haul road is designed will have a considerable effect on tyre life and fuel efficiency in a mine. Poor design will mean increased cost for replacement tyres and fuel consumption and can be very unsafe. 

Haul roads begin at the loading face and end at the dump point. Proper design should allow the trucks to be able to quickly come in, turn around and then back up. The road should be 3 times the width of the widest truck, with super elevated curves, crowned straight sections, safety berms and drainage ditches on both sides. 

Suitable material should be used to prepare and maintain the roadbed. If the haul road is too soft, rolling resistance is high and the tyres are likely to sink which will wear away the rubber from the tyres. 

An inadequate road will mean lost production time through damaged trucks and damaged tyres, so the initial investment and design is critical.

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