Mining Contract: Engineered Solutions - Dump Truck Vibrations and Impact on Operator Safety in High-Impact Shovel Loading Operations

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Contract # 200-2011-40817
Start Date 9/1/2011
End Date 12/18/2015
Research Concept

Large machines are deployed regularly in various activities at surface mines. During operations, heavy mining machinery exposes operators of the machinery to extreme conditions that adversely affect the human body and thus, operator health, safety, and system performance. Huge mining shovels load enormous haul trucks with 100-ton passes. High-impact shovel loading operations (HISLO) can involve severe truck vibrations that expose operators to whole body vibration (WBV). The operator’s lower torso, lower back, legs, feet, and hands are exposed to these WBV levels. The operator seat, lumbar, and cervical regions are severely impacted by high WBV levels.

Topic Area

Contract Status & Impact

This contract is complete. To receive a copy of the final report, send a request to mining@cdc.gov.

The final report for this contract addresses the work, results, and findings for the following: (1) engineered operator seat, (2) impulse force reduction technology, (3) enhanced engineered add-on suspension system, and (4) aging truck suspension efficiency calibrator. The report also includes an appendix (Appendix D), which is a product manual.

The aim of this contract was to reduce WBV in terms of root-mean-square (RMS) acceleration levels from impact vibration exposures to operators of large, heavy haul trucks during HISLO. Exposure to severe truck vibrations during HISLO can lead to operator injuries. Improved vehicle seats and shock absorption to reduce impact vibration on large haul trucks can result in improved operator health and safety.

The overall contract objective was to create a safe, healthy, and comfortable working environment for haul truck drivers by lowering the weighted RMS acceleration to a level below 0.315 m/s2, which is described as the “comfortable” level in ISO 2631-1:1997. There is considerable potential for lowering the short-term and long-term injury risk to haul truck drivers/operators and for mitigating adverse effects from WBV due to jarring/jolting during HISLO. Moreover, this work has the potential to positively impact the number of neck- and low-back related injuries reported for haul truck drivers/operators. Nevertheless, more research is needed. Commercial availability still requires extensive modifications for the method of selecting, locating, determining the number of, and maintaining vibration isolator/damper pads for the truck bed/chassis interface; improving the damping and isolation characteristics of the enhanced-engineered add-on vehicle suspension system; improving further the seat design to attenuate WBV; and implementing impulse force reduction and precision dumping technology. Furthermore, each of these efforts still needs to undergo field evaluations.


Page last reviewed: 11/22/2016 Page last updated: 11/22/2016