Journal of the Southern African Institute of Mining and Metallurgy
On-line version ISSN 2411-9717
Print version ISSN 0038-223X
Any company operating a fleet of trucks will be greatly advantaged if the associated fuel costs can be decreased. The optimal tonnage that trucks should be hauling to ensure minimum consumption of diesel fuel has been investigated. The fuel consumption in litres per ton for a fleet of trucks hauling different tonnages of iron ore was recorded in a time-motion study and the optimal tonnage was determined. The following points emerged as a result of the research: ► The diesel fuel consumption in litres per ton decreased with increasing tonnage, which means that in order to improve fuel efficiency, the trucks should carry 21 t ► As a result of queuing, Africa Truck Hire (one of the two equipment contractors) loses R282.57 per day to diesel that the trucks burn when they are left idling. It is thus advisable that the company adopt a policy of requiring the drivers to switch their engines off while queuing at the stockpile ► Filling up the trucks during each shift or rationing the quantity of diesel to 200 litres each shift has a negligible impact on the trucks' fuel efficiency ► For the company to spend 35% of their revenue on fuel, the diesel price would have to be between R8.14 and R8.78 per litre.
Keywords : optimal tonnage; idling; percentage of revenue; fuel.