Safety MITS presents the Tracked Elevating Device or TED, designed to
ensure safety during maintenance of bulldozers and other tracked vehicles.
Extreme hazard, downtime and expense are some of the problems associated
with removing belly plates from bulldozers and tracked vehicles requiring
maintenance of internal components. Made of hundreds of kilos of steel, these
plates are often weighed down further with debris build-up. Traditional
maintenance processes require the mechanics to crawl underneath the giant
machines to loosen the plates, resulting in crush injuries and even deaths.
Safety MITS’ Tracked Elevating Device has been designed as a solution to
this hazardous maintenance task, as it eliminates the human element from the
critical lift stage underneath equipment by operating the lifting device via
Timothy Lightfoot, Director of Product Development, Safety MITS Pty Ltd,
which markets the product to global markets including Australasia, Asia and
North and South America, says that TEDs can travel across any terrain and
safely lift up to 800kg. A 360° turntable at the top makes lining up ball
joints safer, quicker and easier than conventional methods using slings and
Mr Lightfoot explains that the belly plate can be locked, secured or
restrained, but the biggest safety concern is still having the mechanic placed
directly underneath the dozer, or heavy vehicle. If the plate is not
appropriately restrained or supported, uncontrolled movement can occur when
loosening nuts or bolts, posing a huge safety risk if the mechanic is working
directly underneath 500kg of steel.
In the event a dozer needs servicing in the field, problems can occur
from poor lighting, poor ventilation or inadequate space, creating significant
hazards for a mechanic who needs to be positioned underneath the dozer to carry
According to Mr Lightfoot, in addition to making belly plate removal
safer, TED also makes the process more efficient. Safety MITS collected
customer data from Thiess, Peabody Energy and Glencore over a one-year period
and found that they were able to reduce work time by 73.5% while employing one
less mechanic when using TED to remove and install belly plates.
Beyond belly plates, TED can be used for equaliser bars, cutting edges,
steer cylinders, load rollers, sound suppression equipment and engine sumps among
many other applications.
Designed and manufactured in Australia, TED is built to withstand the
harsh environments that heavy equipment operates in every day. Compliant with
globally respected Australian and New Zealand mining standards (ASNZ 4240), TED
comes with a range of attachments, which can be easily installed and removed at
a moment’s notice.
These include: Rhino Stand Locator, which allows users to locate stands
underneath elevated bulldozers without crawling beneath the suspended load; Cutting
Edge tool designed to assist in the safe removal and installation of cutting
edges on bulldozers, graders scrapers and loaders; Load Roller Cradle designed
to assist in the easy removal and installation of track roller components on
bulldozers, drills and excavators; Tie Rod and Steer Cylinder Cradle designed
to assist in the safe removal and installation of steer cylinders and tie rods;
and the Cradle, which conveniently bolts to the turntable on top of TED
allowing it to rotate 360 degrees.
Mr Lightfoot concludes that the multi-purpose TED machine, which has
been proven on some of the world’s busiest worksites, should be employed from a
safety perspective as well as to minimise downtime during maintenance.