Able to carry loads of 450 tonnes, the BelAZ 75710 is the biggest dump truck on the planet and is built on advanced high-strength steel (AHSS)
Running at $6m a piece, these massive 360-tonne haulage vehicles are six times as powerful as an F1 racing car and are more than 20 metres in length. Run by two 16-cylinder, four stroke diesel engines that each have 2,300 horsepower and produce electricity to power four electric motors, they can reach maximum speeds of 64kph.
Moving massive payloads is a fuel intensive process, and diesel consumption for the 75710 is estimated at 1,300 litres per 100km but can be run on a single engine when not loaded to save on fuel.
This kind of resource efficiency is central to the design principles underpinning the world’s biggest dump truck.
Video: © Telegraph Media Group Limited 2016
Bigger is better
The manufacturer BelAZ created this gigantic vehicle with the aim of increasing the efficiency of quarry and mine production. By designing a truck with a payload capacity that is 25% larger than conventional dump trucks, they were able to keep fuel consumption to a minimum, resulting in lower costs per load.
“The main motivation was to produce the biggest dump truck that could deliver the most capacity with the lowest fuel consumption,” says Leonid Trukhnov, BelAZ’s Chief Designer for Mining Vehicles.
“We saw that high-strength steel was the best choice when we began discussing the movable suspension”
Vladimir Zagorsky, Suspension Design Engineering Department Chief, BelAZ
Achieving this represented a serious engineering challenge as an increase in payload typically requires a corresponding increase in tire size and large enough tires were not available. BelAZ’s solution was to shift the weight distribution for the 75710.
Around 70 per cent of a conventional dump truck’s payload sits on the rear axle, so to increase the carrying capacity this weight would have to be evenly distributed across the truck’s frame.
To achieve this the 75710 has four tires at the front and at the rear, with a moveable axle system that allows for adjustments based on payload characteristics.
A steel-built behemoth
Due to the extreme physical requirements of a 450-tonne load, advanced high-strength steel was chosen for the production of the swivel carriage that forms part of the suspension system connecting the frame and axle.
“We saw that high-strength steel was the best choice when we began discussing the movable suspension,” said Vladimir Zagorsky, Chief of BelAZ’s Suspension Design Engineering Department. “The design called for four tires in both the front and rear, together with four-wheel drive, which required a new suspension solution.”
The steel used in the axle suspension system is SSAB’s Weldox 700F, allowing for reduced thickness while retaining the ability to handle huge loads. Weldox combines its extreme strength with high weldability, meaning the parts could be prefabricated by SSAB in Sweden and then assembled at BelAZ’s site in Belarus.
The truck’s frame is formed of a welded structure of Hardox 450 – another of SSAB’s high-strength steels – giving the body extreme resistance to abrasive wear, fatigue and impact damage.
The 75710 represents the apex of load-carrying vehicles, able to operate in some of the harshest conditions in the world, down to -60°C and almost 5km above sea level. It also outperforms its nearest rival in terms of capacity by a clear 90 tonnes.
The physical resilience to transport such monumental payloads, and provide the efficiency gains that go with them, would be impossible without the high-strength steels that form the core of this ultra-class dump truck.