Meiller tippers take the strain on South American roads

Bulk haulage company, Tambo, services the copper mining industry in Chile with Meiller tippers.

The Tambo fleet has reportedly grown over the years since its founding in 1988. The family enterprise led by Camilo González Pendola comprises 120 trucks and 90 diggers. About 80 of those vehicles are fitted with Meiller superstructures.

“Camilo González Pendola puts his faith in two powerful 4-axle vehicles, the classic rear tipper H436 and 50-tons P450 which, with a nominal volume of 20 and 22m³, can be relied upon to perform under even the harshest operating conditions,” Meiller said in a statement. “Heavyweights such as the P450 are a rare sight in Germany, as trucks weighing 50 tonnes are generally not permitted to use public roads.”

New business models have for some time now been transforming the haulage sector in Chile, according to Meiller, with major construction companies no longer investing in their own equipment and preferring to lease vehicles.

Tambo has taken advantage of these changes in recent years. The company relies on its own vehicles and drivers to transport soil, concrete and rubble. One new core business is the leasing of equipment, including the option of trained drivers should this be requested. The demands Tambo makes of its personnel are indeed high, with professionalism a prerequisite and regular training measures broadening the know-how of employees. This means that drivers with the necessary knowledge are available, along with mechanics who can remedy problems relating to vehicle superstructures on site, thus drastically reducing downtime.

It is with more than a little pride that Camilo González Pendola describes his fleet as the most modern in all Chile. Vehicles are replaced every three years, with earth moving equipment being renewed every five to six years. When it comes to tippers, Camilo González Pendola's exclusive preference is for robust tippers from Meiller.

“Quality has paid off in the shortest possible time, proving the superiority of this equipment to that of other manufacturers,” said Pendola. “In addition to the excellent workmanship of these vehicles, the service provided with regard to wear and spare parts is far superior to that of other competitors.”

Transport companies can only exploit specific time windows for accessing the mines, Meiller stated. The repair of vehicles on the mine site is prohibited, and a breakdown can easily mean that the tipper is out of service for two days. This does not apply to Meiller tippers.

“On the one hand, we've experienced a lot fewer technical problems since we've been using Meiller vehicles and, where a small repair is necessary, waiting times until the spare part is delivered are also practically negligible,” said Pendola.

As the company now also has a secondary line of business in the sale of used vehicles after a certain period of use, resale value is also an important issue, as Pendola explains: “After three years of use, Meiller tippers are in a significantly better condition than tippers from other manufacturers. Practically no investment in maintenance is required prior to sale, and repairs are also unnecessary. That's not the case with other vehicles.”

After years of trials and testing under practical conditions, Pendola is convinced of the quality of Meiller vehicles. He has already been at the IAA in Germany and visited the plant in Munich and Slany in the Czech Republic to see where his vehicles come from and how they are manufactured, an experience that impressed him greatly.

Chile is one of the most prosperous countries in South America due to the resource, copper, according to Meiller. “This is primarily extracted in the El Teniente mine in Rancagua, the world's largest subterranean copper mine. Estimates suggest that 100 megatonnes of fine copper lie underground in this location. A network of 3,000 kilometres of drifts has been developed to access this valuable major export, and around a half a million tons of fine copper are produced from the ore mined each year. However, ore, rock and soil first need to be transported to the surface, and this calls for a haulage company with vehicles designed to do the heaviest of work and continuous operation.”

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