Indonesia, November 2012"The following article has been translated by RCT; its content has been extracted from Remote Control Dozer article published on front page of Freeport news November 2012."
"At PT Freeport Indonesia, the operation of Bulldozers is part of our daily life. This sort of work deals with shifting material in the construction areas, mining areas, waste disposal areas, stockpiles and the concentrator. In general, the job of a dozer operator is to cope with fairly challenging risks such as the limited view of the operator, dangerous machine movements, repetitive strain, shifting ground, fatigue, falling rocks, noise and impact of dozer vibration on the body. In addition, Freeport dozers are also working in difficult weather and terrain, which is often more challenging than most other mines in the world.
With high risk jobs like these, the commitment from Freeport is to prioritize the safety of its workers. The Grasberg Mines Operation and Maintenance Departments recommended the use of a remote control dozer, which locates the dozer operator at a safe distance from the dozer while remaining within the radio range.
In implementing the recommendations, the team worked with Remote Control Technologies P/L (RCT), an Australia-based company that has been creating and developing this kind of technology for approximately 30 years. As the first customer in Indonesia to apply the remote control system, Grasberg Maintenance at PT Freeport Indonesia now operates 5 bulldozers fitted with RCT remote control systems.
The remote control dozer can be operated from one kilometer away, but with the weather conditions at the Grasberg Mine always rapidly changing and with safety taken into consideration, the Grasberg dozer is controlled within plain sight of the operator.
The dozer is also equipped with a security system called a laser barrier system, which is located around the area of operation. The laser barrier system consists of a pair of lasers set side by side at entry to the work site. If someone enters the site without the knowledge of the operator, the barrier system will send a signal to the operating dozer to shut it down. If this happens then the operators and field supervisors check to see that the work zone is safe and then will re-set the system to allow the operator to keep working.
This remote control system not only helps reduce the risk of fatality, but in terms of maintenance the system is very effective and reduces maintenance costs compared to the other systems on the dozer. This is because the system uses electronic components that last longer. Replacement of the electronic components is practical and economical, and requires a relatively short change out time.
Reducing operator fatigue by working in comfort will result in increased production due to a more effective operation. Implementing the remote control dozer it in the work area of the Grasberg Open Pit is part of the plan for increasing production and performance and helps meet the company's commitment to employee safety."