Mine Specialist Appointed as Champion Dealer
for Underground Grader Applications in Canada


Recognizing the unique service needs of underground mine equipment, Champion Motor Graders has assigned an underground specialist as its sales and service agent for mine sites throughout Canada.

Miller Technology, based in North Bay, Ontario, will represent Champion equipment for mining applications in cooperation with Champion's regional Canadian dealers, who will continue servicing Champion's traditional customers in paving, construction, landscape and municipal markets.

Bryan Abernathy, vice president Sales & Marketing at Champion Motor Graders, says that Miller Technology offers a valuable addition to his company's service capabilities. Since 1979, Miller Technology Inc. has become widely recognized as an innovative designer and manufacturer of custom personnel and utility vehicles for underground mining. As well as manufacturing its own equipment, Miller and its affiliate companies maintain an extensive service organization across Canada. "Chad Miller and his people are down in the mines on a daily basis, so they can stay on top of customers' service needs," Mr. Abernathy explains. "More importantly, they understand the underground work environment, so they can work effectively around mine staff and equipment as an experienced part of their service team."

"Ready to rock!"
With support from Miller, Champion's first underground grader is already on the job. A Champion C86C Compact Grader is now maintaining haul roads for a gold and copper mine in Red Lake, Ontario. Operating one mile underground, the grader is working to improve the haul roads that run between the rock face and the crusher, where the ore is reduced for transport to the surface. The wet, rough condition of the roads have exacted a cost on the mine as a result of ore spillage en route and the cost of wear and tear on haul trucks ­ not to mention wear and tear on their drivers!

"Until now, the mine was relying on a wheel loader to maintain the roads as well as it could," Bryan Abernathy says. "Not really the right tool for the job. But conventional graders aren't a practical option for underground work, either. Our Compact Graders were the first to offer a machine that really fit the requirement, affordably."

Traditional full-sized graders become too costly for mines after the extensive preparation work is completed to bring the machine down to the work area. Cab heights need to be cut down, while the frame, drivetrain and front end components have to be disassembled to fit down the shaft. Once it arrives at its assigned working level, the machine has to be rebuilt.

According to Mr. Abernathy, mine customers have been quoted as much as $100 000 in extra costs, over and above the base cost of the grader.

"We can deliver a compact C86 Grader ready to rock!" Bryan Abernathy continues. The Red Lake machine was supplied with no roof. Its tires and modular circle-turn assembly were removed, making the machine compact enough to fit the mine's elevator, as is. Its only other customizations were to equip it with foam filled tires and a specialized muffler for underground work. Champion offers its machines with various engine options to maximize parts compatibility with other equipment working in the mine. For Red Lake, the grader was fitted with an air-cooled 6-cylinder Deutz engine.

The Champion C86C model grader is a tandem-axle 110 hp All Wheel Drive unit whose standard configuration weighs in at 7030 kg over a length of just under 6,35 m. Its compact length is another advantage for the confined work spaces and lanes of underground applications. The articulated frame and a newly engineered front axle give the C66 the tightest turning radius in its class, at just 5,8 m. The new "C-Series" front axle also allows 50° of steering angle left and right and 56 cm of ground clearance.

Source: Champion Motor Graders,
Miller Technology Inc.

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