Sandvik presents ‘world’s first 18-t battery loader’

Sandvik is introducing its new battery-electric loader, the 18-t LH518B - in what is believed to be a first in the world.

According to the manufacturer, the machine has been designed entirely around the loader’s Artisan battery system and electric driveline to best utilise the possibilities that the battery technology brings. “It was not enough to replace some components or redesign only a part of the equipment, the designers were compelled to rethink the whole machine,” revealed Sandvik.

The LH518B battery-electric loader can fit in a 4.5 x 4.5 m tunnel and carry 18 t loads. In addition to an innovative boom and bucket system, the machine features independent front and rear drivetrains, resulting in high payload capacity while keeping a low overall height.

For excellent productivity, the LH518B has three 2,000 Nm permanent magnet motors. With no torque converter, transmission or engine to rev up, the loader is fast and agile. Sandvik said there are no emission restrictions based on installed power to limit the electric motor selection, which enables the use of the most powerful motors available that are suited for underground conditions.

The LH518B is equipped with AutoSwap, a self-swapping system for the Artisan battery pack. This allows for fast and easy battery swapping with minimum amount of manual handling. Sandvik said changing the battery only takes about six minutes, and it can be done in a passing bay or old re-muck bay with no overhead cranes or external infrastructure needed.

The brand new AutoConnect system on the LH518B makes swapping even easier and faster, by automatically connecting and disconnecting the battery pack to the machine. Aside from unplugging and plugging in the charger, the operator does not need to leave the cabin, thus saving minutes on the swapping procedure and decreasing effort and risk in the swapping process.

The battery-powered loader helps to reduce heat and emissions underground, added Sandvik, and so helping mines reach their sustainability targets and reduce ventilation costs. The robust battery pack uses Lithium Iron Phosphate chemistry (LiFePO4) and is purpose-designed for use in underground mining.

Currently, Sandvik is expanding the BEV loader and truck offering and prepares to enter new market areas. The move is expected to take place in phases and model by model, said the manufacturer. It concluded, “When the battery loaders and trucks are introduced to new markets, Sandvik will be ready to provide full product support and aftermarket services for its customers.”