Atlas Copco is celebrating the 100th sale of its Scooptram ST7 loader, confirming the international success of this new generation LHD in terms of underground loading technology and design. Vostok-Metall TransLLP of Kazakhstan placed an order for the world’s 100th and Atlas Copco’s bestselling loader Scooptram ST7. The loader, to be delivered in July, will be used for contracting underground development work at the Ridder-Sokolnyi mine, which is a Kazzinc gold mine, located in East Kazakhstan region.

The ST7’s journey began in the field test stage when Sweden’s Lovisa mine gave it top marks for productivity, serviceability and comfort, reporting dramatic improvements in loading operations as well as the operator’s underground working environment. A steady stream of accolades for comfort, safety and fuel efficiency followed, most recently from the German industrial minerals group, Geomin Erzgebirgische Kalkwerke. Geomin became the first in Germany to introduce the Scooptram ST7 at its white marble mine in Hermsdorf near the Czech border, and now also has a second unit at work in a new fluorspar operation in the same region.

Service intervals are longer than for older generation LHDs at the mine, and fewer spare parts were needed due to engineering improvements. The vehicle features an air conditioned cab, lower noise levels, improved lighting and more efficient emergency/alarm systems. It also has excellent traction control which is easy on the tires, meaning fewer tire changes or longer tire life.

Perhaps the most significant advantage is fuel efficiency. The Scooptram is reported to consume just 10 liters per hour with its water-cooled Cummins QSB6,7 193 hp, EPA Tier 3/Stage III engine, which is typically half that of the mine’s older LHDs. The on-board computer calculates the optimum power needed at any one time during operations, resulting in lower fuel consumption and lower emissions, compared with operating on full throttle for most of the time.

Key safety features included traction control, reduces tire wear and helps the operator in mucking and saves fuel, spring-applied, hydraulically released (SAHR) brakes, automatic brake testing with diagnostics and logging and an oil-free cabin environment. Safety is further enhanced by three emergency machine stop buttons and a system that applies the brakes, blocks steering and prevents bucket movement when the cabin door is open. The new control system is also a key feature.

All this has clearly made the Scooptram ST7 a favorite among operators such as Hermsdorf’s Dirk Thiele. “The machine is very fast, especially on corners,” said Thiele. “The noise in the cab is much less and the air conditioning makes it very comfortable. It is also very easy to load at more difficult faces using the onboard traction control. The machine is also the only one here to have automatic gears, meaning you can concentrate only on the main task of loading instead of driving.”

The new Scooptram ST7 is a high performance loader with a 6.8 ton tramming capacity, articulated steering and oscillating rear axle. It has a comfortable and ISO FOPS/ROPS certified cab, a tramming height of 2,160 mm and a width of 2,280 mm.