The Bureau of Mines surveyed more than 35 dragline operations and selected the 25 most productive machines. Each site was observed, and the manager was asked what factors had led to the operation's high productivity. The most frequent response was the attention paid to the details of the dragline operation. This meant continually seeking ways to maintain or to improve the performance of this machine. From this study, several trends were noticed that may account for the superior performance of these operations. They included innovative bucket designs, effective use of support equipment, improved blasting techniques and good management-labor relations. According to the mine operators, attention to detail was the most important factor in keeping the dragline digging productively. One mine operator stated that planning affected as much as 50 to 60 pct of the dragline productivity. Although attention to detail arises from good engineering and good mine planning, it was clear that much more was involved. During this study, the Bureau found that (1) several operations were having great success with their own innovative bucket designs (2) other operators were very hesitant to experiment with any unproven ideas, regardless of potential benefit, (3) perhaps not surprisingly, blast casting was not a prerequisite for high productivity, and (5) all mine personnel felt some measure of responsibility for good performance.
Eng. and Min. J., V. 191, No. 10, Oct. 1990, PP. 16G-16k