To assist in the removal of a four-foot layer of subsoil, the Coteau Properties Company recently purchased a Hitachi EX1900-6 BE for its Beulah, North Dakota-based Freedom mine.
The mine, which is part of North American Coal Corporation, is the largest lignite mine in the United States and recently reached the 400-million ton milestone for coal deliveries.
The EX1900-6 was delivered in June, 2013 and is used to clear the topsoil and subsoil in order for the mine’s electric loading shovel and dragline to remove the more than 100 feet of overburden.
“For our application, this size class machine works best,” said Mark Haugen, engineering manager for The Coteau Properties Company. “The machine we were running before was bigger but not as cost effective due to fuel and maintenance costs.”
Maneuverability of the EX1900-6 was another key selling feature. With its two pits, Haugen and his team wanted a machine that would be relatively easy to move from one location to another.
“This Hitachi is very quick and responsive to move,” said Will Lloyd, operator at Coteau. “The cab is very nice, and the controls are nice because they are shorter and you don’t have to move them as much. Also – the arm rests are adjustable and for a 12-hour shift that little stuff means a lot.”
Coteau Properties Company is serviced by RDO Equipment Co. in Bismarck, ND.