Mining Publication: Acceleration and GPS Data Monitor Truck-Haulage Jolts
Accelerometers and pressure transducers, mounted in suspension components, can be used to monitor the ride of haulage trucks. Presently, it is difficult to tell what caused a jolt to the truck using either pressure or acceleration data alone. When information from a global positioning system (GPS) is recorded at the same time as shock pressures or acceleration data, the exact location of an event can be determined. Mine management can then determine what caused the jolt to the truck. This research is part of a National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) project called "Engineering controls for reduction of jolting/jarring injuries in surface mines." NIOSH is investigating how the work environment of haulage truck drivers can be improved. The US Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) notes that, between 1986 and 1995, 60% of the back injuries were to haulage truck drivers in metal/non-metal surface mining. Personnel from Phelps Dodge suggested that combining acceleration data with information obtained from a GPS could generate results with a variety of uses. Therefore, researchers at the Spokane Research Laboratory (SRL) began investigating how to tie acceleration and GPS data together. It was originally thought that this tool would be used primarily for road and truck maintenance. However, as research progressed, it became apparent that it would also be useful in providing feedback about equipment operations and identifying unusual causes of jolting.