Customer case

Bruce Rock Engineering fights corrosive wear in mining trailers with Hardox® HiAce

June 25, 2021 6 min read

A road train of side dump trailers in Australia

Case details

Country Australia
Company Bruce Rock Engineering (BRE)
Industry Trailers and body builders
Brand program Hardox® In My Body

When Bruce Rock Engineering (BRE) got wind of SSAB’s new wear steel for corrosive environments, the company saw the potential and ordered plates straight from the mill in Sweden to start manufacturing its first side dump trailer in Hardox® HiAce.

“We never hesitated for a minute before introducing Hardox® HiAce into a Super Quad mining trailer combination for iron ore transport,” says Brenton Verhoogt, Operations Manager at Bruce Rock Engineering. “When SSAB develops a new product, we know it’s been tested thoroughly before being launched. We were absolutely confident it would perform as Hardox® 450, with the added benefit of being corrosion resistant.”

Enormous side dump trailer with yellow covers
Bruce Rock Engineering was quick to embrace SSAB’s new corrosion-resistant wear steel Hardox® HiAce.

Campbell Transport sees the benefits with Hardox® HiAce

“Our mining trailers are subject to high levels of corrosion due to the mineral content of the iron ore transported and the coastal area we work in. We chose Hardox® HiAce for its high resistance to corrosion and its wear properties, which we anticipate will extend the life of our trailer bodies. Our Super Quad trailers operate 24/7, completing two trips per day from Iron Valley mine to Port Hedland, a distance of 680 kilometers (422 miles) per round trip. The climate of the Pilbara region is challenging, with rainfall, cyclones, dust storms, and summer temperatures often exceeding 45°C (113°F) in the Iron Valley region,” says David Campbell, Managing Director at David Campbell Transport.

An entire mining trailer body of Hardox® HiAce adds service life

The floor plate as well as the trailer sides of BRE’s new Super Quad side dump trailers for transporting corrosive loads are entirely made of Hardox® HiAce.   

SSAB’s own research and wear corrosion tests indicate a conservative estimate of a 20-30% increase in service life compared to Hardox® 450. Depending on the transport conditions, an increase of up to 50% is realistic. Considering these numbers, BRE recognized the immediate benefit of adding years and many thousands of kilometers on rough roads before any maintenance is needed, therefore lowering total ownership costs of equipment.

A mining trailer made in Hardox® HiAce against a clear blue sky
Campbell Transport’s mining trailer with bodies in Hardox® HiAce stands up to the tough operating conditions in Western Australia

“Changing from Hardox 450® to Hardox® HiAce hasn’t caused any challenges in the workshop. When plasma cutting, bending, machining and welding it’s business as usual. We haven’t changed the design and we keep the same thickness as with Hardox® 450. All that has changed is the higher resistance towards corrosive material.”

Brenton Verhoogt, Operations Manager at Bruce Rock Engineering

A huge side dump trailer opening its side
Hardox® HiAce can last up to 50% longer than Hardox® 450 when exposed to corrosive wear.

Super Quads trailers lighten the load in mining

Transport efficiency is crucial in today’s mining industry. More payload moved using less fuel adds up to greater savings for mining operations. BRE prides itself in manufacturing trailers and other custom transport equipment with some of the lowest tare weights in Australia. 

One of the many impressive trailers BRE produces using Hardox® wear steel is the 60 m Super Quad road trains with a payload up to 141 t – four trailers pulled by a powerful truck traveling vast distances on dirt roads. Most of the trailers are used to transport iron ore from the mines in the Pilbara region of Western Australia to the nearest port.

A road train made by Bruce Rock Engineering on the road in Australia
Australian road trains really take transport efficiency to a new level. With bodies made in Hardox® wear plate, load capacity is maximized.

Why iron ore is tough on steel mining trailers

Iron ore in itself is a quite neutral mineral. However, it contains some salt. To make matters worse, the iron is sprayed with water to suppress dust. Salt, moisture and extremely high temperatures in this tropical region create a perfect environment for corrosive wear. 

Up till now it’s been difficult to counteract this process. When steel corrodes, it creates a layer of oxides that are more susceptible to abrasion. Transporting corrosive materials can also cause pitting, small holes that can damage the steel’s deep structures. 

Other minerals extracted from Australian mines, such as lithium, nickel and copper concentrate, can also cause corrosive wear. Copper in particular is aggressive to steel, since it contains sulfuric acids.

Western Australia is the largest iron ore supplier in the world, accounting for 39% of global supply in 2018. Translated to weight this amounts to around 1,000 million tonnes in 2018-2019.

Hardox® In My Body membership for quality assurance

BRE is a member of SSAB’s quality programs Hardox® In My Body as well as My Inner Strenx®. Customers who take delivery of a trailer, or any other equipment with a Hardox® In My Body can expect a product that is designed and manufactured to the highest standards. Hardox® In My Body certified products exclusively use Hardox® wear plate for productivity, safety and a high resale value. BRE also belongs to Hardox® Wearparts, a worldwide network of companies offering wear services and wear parts made of Hardox® wear plate. BRE was the first company globally and the only Australian company to be a member of all three quality programs.

A big Hardox® In My Body decal on a mining trailer

More real-life proofs on the advantages of Hardox® wear steel

A Super-Quad road train with trailer bodies made in Hardox® HiAce.

Hardox® steel works hard for Bruce Rock Engineering

Bruce Rock Engineering is a die-hard user of Hardox® wear plate in its products. When the new hard and tough grade Hardox® 500 Tuf was introduced, the company quickly saw the opportunities to increase service life and payload.

Where there's wear, there's Hardox®

Hardox® HiAce

Bruce Rock Enginering is a die-hard user of Hardox® wear plate in its products. When the new hard and tough grade Hardox® 500 Tuf was introduced, the company quickly saw the opportunities to increase service life and payload.

Hardox® In My Body

The Hardox® In My Body sign on your equipment is a confirmation of quality, performance and reliability.

Hardox® Wearparts

Find out how upgrading pays off

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