The Bowen Basin is a region of Australia that provides the largest amount of coal that is needed for the area. The huge coal capacity means that machines hauling out loads of it have to be big. That is why something called a “dragline” is used.
While there are small draglines that consist of nothing more than a rope and a bucket, the one used in the Bowen Basin is a whole lot bigger. The excavator alone weighs 6,950 tons, and it can hold up to 240 tons of coal in one haul. Stopping the giant machine takes serious strength and very strong brakes. It has eight swing and four propel motors, all with 1,045 horsepower each, that hoist and drag the coal, and all of them have several disc brakes to them. The brakes get put through a lot, so when the mining company working in the Bowen Basin recently saw that it was time to change them out, they turned to one of the best brake companies around to repair them, Twiflex.
Twiflex installed some new easily changed out modular brakes with 46 inch diameter discs and GMR-SD calipers to them for the dragline. The torque for the brakes can be easily changed to adapt to various environments. With the new brake system, the brake pads can also be more easily replaced, which is a plus considering how frequently that it has to be done. The GMR-SD calipers are very popular for mining operations with heavy hauling. They have bronze brake pads that are very strong and resist the weather and changing temperatures well. Bronze does not warp like some metals can with constant force and pressure.
A slightly smaller dragline in India weighing 4,500 tons recently had some installed by Twiflex too. It had only four swing and four propel motors, so the disc brakes were not as large as the Australian dragline, but they still performed at peak performance.