This laser-based warning system developed by RCT warns drivers that the equipment they’re operating may be too tall to enter the mine portal, a common problem encountered when drivers forget to lower the truck body on re-entry.

Autonomous solutions specialist RCT, in response to requests from mining clients, said it has developed a unique warning system designed to prevent oversized equipment from getting stuck in underground mine portals.

Staff from RCT’s branch in Kalgoorlie, Western Australia, were separately approached by two major gold-mining mining clients and asked to devise a solution to prevent portal blockages, which can severely disrupt regular mining operations. Branch technicians subsequently produced the Over Height Portal Warning System, which consists of a laser mounted at a particular height connected to a unit placed at the portal entrance. The unit produces an audible alarm and flashes stop to alert machine operators and nearby site personnel to a potential over-height hazard.

Site personnel are able to determine the system’s field of view and isolate areas such as a corner or pole so the system will only activate when it senses new objects.

RCT Kalgoorlie Branch Manager Rick Radcliffe explained, “Occasionally, underground haul trucks try to re-enter the portal with their trays accidentally in a raised position and this causes the trucks to get wedged in the portal. The time needed to dislodge the haul truck from the portal is very costly to the mining operation. Therefore, the Over Height Portal Warning System is a cost effective and easy solution that will help keep mining operations running smoothly.”

RCT said since its development, the Over Height Portal Warning System has been sold to 10 mine sites throughout Western Australia’s Goldfields district.