Industry spotlight mining

SmithCo mine trailers have been used in the mining industry for many years because of their superior stability, faster cycle times, and easier unloading capabilities. At first, transportation and mining companies used our standard on-road trailers to haul their materials. As the years went on, the mining industry demanded trailers with larger capacities for off-road hauls. Our team was ready to build a solution, and now SmithCo mine trailers are hauling gold ore, coal, iron ore, copper concentrate, and bauxite in locations across the globe.

Mine Trailer Design

Our first mine trailer design was the Mining Double Tub Series. These trailers were developed with two dump bodies (tubs) on the frame. By featuring two tubs, we kept the cost of the required hydraulic system low and allowed customers the ability unload into smaller hoppers. The tubs themselves were almost two feet wider than a standard on-road tub in order to haul larger payloads of 60 or 70 tons.

In the early 2010s, SmithCo began receiving requests for mining trailers with even larger capacities. Once again, we were up to the challenge. We went back to the drawing board and created a completely new design, the Mine Tipper Series. This series has helped us reach more mines than ever before, as they have larger capacities than the Mining Double Tub Series.

Our mine trailers are custom designed and built for specific applications, depending on the customer need. The tubs are sized to maximize payload, which is one reason mine trailers are much larger than any other kind of trailer we produce. We find our mine trailers are predominately used in off-road applications and can achieve payloads of up to 100 tons per trailer. For even larger hauls, Mine Tipper trailers can be trained together to carry up to 200 tons per train, maximizing efficiencies and payloads.

SmithCo’s mine trailers are engineered for the toughest jobs and harshest environments. In our world-class manufacturing facility, they are built to last using cutting-edge technology and the expertise of our highly trained staff.

Meeting the Challenges of Mining

One of the biggest challenges that mining companies face is figuring out how to transport deposits that are more than five kilometers from the processing location. Traditional haul trucks do a great job of taking material out of the mine to the processing facility, but when this distance becomes more than five kilometers, they become inefficient and ineffective. This is where the SmithCo Mine Tipper Series trailers shine.

mine trailer tipping

Mining companies that use SmithCo Mine Tipper trailers can haul their materials to the processing facility at a much lower cost than if they used a standard haul truck. In addition, the cost of developing and maintaining the haul road is greatly reduced. Mining regulations dictate that a haul road be four times the width of the largest vehicle using the road. The use of SmithCo Mine Tipper trailers reduces this cost because the footprint of our trailers is significantly less than a haul truck. Our mine trailers make opening satellite mines more feasible for this reason.

Customer Support

We put a huge amount of support into each one of our Mine Tipper trailer sales, because we take customer service very seriously. We are the side dump experts. We know what will work and what won’t. We walk the customer through the entire process, prior to the sale, so that the trailer design will be exactly what the customer needs.

We understand that the mining industry demands support after the sale as well. SmithCo has demonstrated the ability and commitment to be there when our customers need help. Unlike other manufacturers, when you call SmithCo, you will talk to someone. We don’t let calls go to voice mail. If the person you need to speak to isn’t available, we will take your information and you will receive a return call.

Building Custom Solutions

One example of how we create custom mine trailer solutions is our work with Baffinland Iron Mines (BIM). BIM mines high-grade iron ore on Baffin Island above the arctic circle and has well over 100 of SmithCo’s Mine Tipper trailers on the job. Before the company began its work, no other organization had attempted to mine so far north.

BIM needed a transportation solution to get this project started. Its goal was to build a railroad to transport the ore from mine to port, a distance of approximately 100km, but time constraints and costs prohibited this at the outset. BIM began using SmithCo’s Mine Tipper trailers as a stopgap to start producing revenue from this venture in 2013. To date, there is no railroad and SmithCo’s Mine Tipper trailers are still in use. We’re proud to say our trailers continue to meet the needs of BIM.

SmithCo mine trailers are changing the way that mines operate by providing custom solutions that simply can’t be achieved with traditional haul trucks. With superior stability, faster cycle times and easier unloading, side dumps trailers are an ideal choice for hauling nearly any material. Interested in seeing how we could design a custom mine trailer for your needs? Get in touch, and let’s get to work.

Blog Author

Scott Lovell
CEO & President

Scott Lovell graduated from the University of Iowa in 1992 with a degree in Education and a Coaching Endorsement. He began his career teaching and then became Program Director at the local YMCA while also coaching football and track at Keokuk High School. Then he pivoted into manufacturing through HR and Purchasing by joining SmithCo as Human Resources Manager in 2000. Prior to his current role as President and CEO, Scott served as Plant Manager and Operations Manager. When he’s not guiding the industry leader in side dump trailers, you can find Scott coaching his son’s pee-wee football team. He’s also a die-hard Iowa Hawkeyes fan.


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