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01 April 2008
8/2008
Commemorative Issue

Heavy Haulers

Australia
The biggest, the longest, the heaviest, the fastest. Machinery that surpasses the realms of the "reasonable" is often an object of real fascination. Such heavy machinery is not produced in Australia, but by large international companies. Perhaps not surprisingly, each of the brawny machines plays a vital role in Australia's minerals industry; an industry that includes exploration, mining and processing.

Face Shovel  

Face Shovel

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The gigantic face shovels that are so commonly associated with mining are an essential part of the industry. Used for excavation, these machines weigh some 700 tonnes and have an enormous bucket, with a capacity of around 60 tonnes. Working literally at the face of an open pit, these machines drop their payload into the back of the bulk hauler, which moves it to the crusher. Versions of these metal beasts get used in other industries, such as road making and drain digging.

Haul Truck  

Haul Truck

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The giant 200 tonne capacity haul trucks that work on mining sites are the biggest in the country - for example, the cab of the Komatsu 830E sits some 18 feet above the ground - the truck itself being 23 feet high and the same width. The truck's diesel engine drives an electric motor in each of its wheels, and it is these electric motors that really drive the vehicle. The fuel tank holds around 4,500 litres.

Road Train  

Road Train

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The concept of the road train, linking more than two trailers behind a powerful cab, was devised in Australia, apparently by a Dutch immigrant in the postwar period. Traditionally road trains were used to transport large numbers of livestock in remote areas. While road trains often consist of between three and six trailers, some trucks are known to haul nine trailers and are only allowed to be driven on specific roads in Australia's more remote areas

Ore Train  

Ore Train

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The ore trains used by the mining companies in WA are the country's longest and sometimes heaviest. They are commonly 2km long and have three diesel engines with 200 cars, each of which carries 100 tonnes of ore. In June 2001, BHP Billiton Iron Ore ran the world's longest and heaviest train for the Guiness Book of Records; it stretched 7.4km, had eight locomotives and 682 cars, and had a gross weight of almost 100,000 tonnes - far removed from the normal size and weight of ore trains used.

The MS Berge Stahl  

The MS Berge Stahl

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Ships are the world's largest moving machines and the iron ore carrier, the MS Berge Stahl, is the largest bulk carrier in the world. Built in 1986 by Hyundai, the carrier is a massive 364,767 deadweight metric tons and is managed by BW Bulk. Only two ports in the world are capable of handling such a giant vessel; the Europort at Rotterdam in The Netherlands and the Terminal Maritimo de Ponta da Madeira, in Itaqui, Maranhao, Brazil. The Berge Stahl visited Port Dampier in WA in November 2006.

Technical Information

Issue Date: 2008-04-01
FDI Withdrawal Date: 2008-04-29
Denominations: 5 x 50c
Designer: Jamie Tufrey
Printer: SEP Sprint
Printer (self-adhesive):
Paper: Tullis Russell
Paper (self-adhesive): B100
Printing Process: Lithography
Size: 26mm x 37.5mm
Performations: 14.6 x 13.86
Sheet Layout: 50/two panes of 25
Special Feature: Se-tenant strip of five; design in gutter
National Postmark: Rock Valley NSW 2480
copyright notice: This material has been reproduced with permission of the Australian Postal Corporation. The original work is held in the National Philatelic Collection.
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