This is what CAT's 794 AC truck can do for you

Caterpillar’s introduced its newest large mining truck, the 794 AC, at MINExpo International 2016.

The 291-tonne (320-ton) capacity truck uses the Cat C175-16 engine and Cat AC power train. According to the company, the system power is adaptable to accommodate changes in production targets and to work seamlessly in mixed fleets.

In conversation with at MINExpo 2017, CAT's Performance Manager for Larger Mining Trucks, John Ingle, said that the 794 AC comes in three power options: 2750, 3100 and 3500 hp, which are available using the same engine.

The truck is operating in four countries—working in applications ranging from deep pit copper in the U.S. to coal and copper in South America.

In Ingle's view, safety and fast speed on grade are the equipment's top features.

Full interview transcribed for clarity: Can you tell me about the 794 AC?

John Ingle: This is our introduction of the truck because it is now in production. It is a 320-ton truck, or 290-metric-tonne truck. It comes with different horsepower levels, between 2750, 3100, and 3500 horsepower. It’s all CAT AC drive system. Can you talk about the CAT AC drive system?

John Ingle: Caterpillar has always manufactured trucks that were all integrated, all Caterpillar systems, being all mechanical drive trucks, that we still do well with and emphasize. But when we entered the AC drive business, we also thought it’d be important to have all Caterpillar drive system, that allows us to have control over the whole process, ensure the highest efficiency, and provide the best support to our customers who will use the trucks.

cat-794-ac-hauling Can you talk about the brakes?

John Ingle: One of the things we bring from our mechanical drive trucks are the CAT oil cooled disc brakes, and they are on four corners of the truck and the operator can get into those at any time and use them. The brakes also help give us more stability and control and gives the operator a lot of confidence in running this truck.

Now, it still uses electric-dynamic retarding in the back, to slow the truck down in downhill situations but, again, the key is that the CAT brake system really gives the control and confidence the operator needs. Why are you introducing this AC truck?

John Ingle: So if you look out there in the industry, Caterpillar -for whatever reason- we really never participated in 320-tonne truck, maybe because our 793, which is a 250-tonne truck, has been very popular in the industry and actually customers tell us that it is their go-to when it comes to cost-per-tonne.

We’ve built bigger trucks and then we realized there’s a big market opportunity in this 320-tonne truck as the trucks that are out there are starting to age and there’s some replacement opportunity. So, we worked with a lot of customers and they were asking us to come up with alternatives for them to get into this business to use, so we developed this truck for that market.

cat-794-ac-truck-being-loaded-by-cat-6060-hydraulic-shovel Is this truck out on the field right now?

John Ingle: Yes, it is. We’ve got several of them running on the field. We were very careful about being sure to bring the truck out to market when it was ready. . It’s got over 2 million hours on that, and then we took our 785 drive system, which has got over 3 million hours on it -electric-drive system- and we integrated the two and we are very pleased.

Today, with the truck running out on the field, we’ve got over 80,000 hours on them and our highest trucks are punching 30,000 hours, so we have a really good understanding of what’s going on with this truck.