ML Contracting Testimony

How to Reduce Hose Bills for Mining Industry

Learn how to reduce your hose bills for the mining industry heavy machinery.  

ML Contracting is a mining company on the West Coast that shared its secret on how they were able to save money for their hose repairs. They talked over how their onsite hose repair solution has reduced their hose bill from $30,000 down to $5,000.

About ML Contracting

I'm Louie Nel, we're operating ML Contracting and we're gold mining here on the West Coast. It's only me and my son involved. 

Employees we got about 19 employees working for us. And gear, about 45 pieces of gear, our biggest is a 120-ton Hyundai and a 100-ton Liebherr. And the rest are all 50 tons down to 30 tons. We just are running a normal ship from seven to five, because our consent only allows us from seven to five. 

Benefit of the BOApod

Well, you know, since we got the trailer our turnaround time on our hoses is like on the spot, you know, immediately. We don't have to call in somebody, so that helps us a lot. So, our standing time, you know, is maybe half an hour to an hour. It depends on which pipe it is, but yeah, the turnaround time is much faster, and we can go immediately again. 

Probability, production, you know, you don't come to a standstill. I would say we're running about... you know, especially on hoses, downtime is nearly zero because we got it all on-site, so yeah, it's a good thing. On the big digger, you know, let's say you're down three or four hours your loss on production is enormous. But now, like I say, our turnaround time is fast You can get it back to work immediately and get the gravel out.

It's worthwhile, honestly, if you take your standing makes a big difference for us definitely 

What were you spending monthly on hose repairs prior to having the BOApod onsite?

In a month - 25 to 30k 

What is your monthly spend now?

Between four and a half to five (thousand) max. It's quite a big saving to be honest. We're happy as. The trailer (The BOApod) is working for us. In the past when you're busy, you know, you got to wait until they are onsite and it's a bit of a hassle, but now with the trailer, it's easy mate. It's fully equipped from you guys. 

Cynric can tell you more about it. 

Mine Maintenance Manager

Cynric, I work for ML Contracting. I look after the maintenance for them and that ranges from anything from small repairs to the more major repairs and any in-house work that we do. The trailer has proven quite useful from BOA. It's stock with pretty much every fitting that we use on a day-to-day basis. It's kind of knocked down our downtime to minimal margins and to be honest it's normally always stock with what we need. You don't normally run low on fittings. 

I suppose the best thing about it is as we change the fleet - the fleet constantly changes between brands and what not - and as we change, we can change out the selection in the trailer to what suits the other models. 

Some run a lot of step-down fittings and whatnot and we can change out the stock and swap it out and suit it to the gear that we have on-site at the time, which makes it a lot more versatile. The trailer's got everything inbuilt, even a solar panel on top, so we don't have to touch it. It just sits here and charges and as [a hose] breaks we just bring a hose to it and build it. 

It's easy. Making hose is pretty basic, really, to be fair. 

I suppose as long as you know what the hose is intended for and what it's going to be used as, and the pressures and whatnot around it and obviously how you're going to run the hose, then, I mean, it's really not too difficult. As long as you cut it right, and put on the fittings right, it's not really much of a drama. 

The Problem in the Mining Industry

Now when we get time we do like to chop and change a wee bit. So we will, for some of the dump trucks and stuff, we will change the brake cooling lines and things like that. Just some of the hoses run hot continuously, so we'll change them out before they fail, because the oil and stuff for that side of the trucks is quite expensive. The oil is probably three or four times the price of standard oil. Where we can we always look to keep on top of that kind of stuff.  

The Solution for the Mining Industry Downtime

It's made it a lot easier in the fact that the hose is a lot cheaper. Some of them are reasonably long lengths, so it cuts the cost down a lot, because obviously, we don't have to pay for the extras of someone driving to the site, building it up, and then paying the profit margin on that for them, and all the rest of it. So yeah, when we do three or four hoses there's a hell of a difference in price. And if you're doing three or four at the same time it's a lot quicker too, so it does save a lot in the long run. 

We just use the app (The BOAhub App), which is pretty good, to be honest. As long as you've got cell phone service it works pretty well. We just order it, and it's normally there the next day or the day after. It works effectively really. Gives you the price and whatnot, so there's no unknown to it. 

The trailer saves us a lot of downtime with the hoses. The hoses are probably the biggest issue. We run a few electrical issues, but the majority of the time it'll be a blown hose that will hold up a machine. And depending on where it's blown – even a dump truck can hold the whole operation up. Because if a dump truck blows a hose in the middle of a ramp or on its way out the pit then obviously, we don't get much past it, so then that pulls everything to a stop. Then we could have as much as six trucks down and a digger and all the rest of it, so she's a hell of a flow-on effect. 

So having the stuff ready to go is pretty good because 90 percent of the time a breakdown will be from a hose. If it breaks the hose on the bigger digger then it'll park up to four trucks at least. So there's a flow-on. There's five operators standing around doing not much and obviously five bits of kit which is a lot of money worth of downtime and a lot of production lost. The carts short, so you can move a lot of dirt in an hour. So by the time you get someone down from Greymouth we're probably saving an hour and a half at least per hose. So it's a lot of downtime saved, which depending where they're digging and what they're doing, it's different dollar values, but it's a saving no matter what really. 

Will you recommend using the BOApod?

It's a hell of an asset, really, at the end of the day. 

Even just having the adaptor fittings and whatnot in it and stuff is useful for other things. Even making up grease lines and stuff like that. It saves a lot of time. And making grease lines out of hydraulic hose last a lot longer and they're not much more pricey that way, especially when you're making it yourself. 

So there's a hell of a saving there, and they last a lot longer, so it's a winner all around really. 

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