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Open Pit Case Study


The particular open-pit mine where the study was conducted is one of the largest of its kind, covering an area of more than 170,000 acres. This mine produces over 32 million tons of coal per year.



The Study

In late 2013, a coal company conducted a year-long study of idler life. The mining company tested idlers at their shipping port. The idlers were from five different idler manufacturers as well as Van Gorp. The idlers were tested on 96” wide, BC – 408 conveyor with a belt speed of 1,056 fpm (12 mph). The belt had an incline of 4 meters and carried 12,000 tons per hour. The total length was 1,600 feet, with trough idlers spaced every four feet.

The Results

Testing nine rollers (three idlers) from each company, the coal company reported that while some of the idlers from different companies lasted the whole year, one company lasted longer – Van Gorp. All three Van Gorp idlers are still in use after eighteen months. To date, the mine has not had to replace a single Van Gorp idler or even a roller.


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