Rokbak RA40 put to the test against strong competition in the market
9 July 2024

Earlier this year, Rokbak Product Manager, Charlie Urquhart made the long journey from Scotland to Indonesia to meet with our dealer, PT Uniquip and conduct an important benchmarking exercise. Charlie was joined by Customer Support Manager based in the APAC region, Chris Bensted – who had a much shorter journey!

Charlie joined Rokbak in November 2022 and with over 11 years’ engineering experience he brings great technical knowledge and has supported in implementing significant product developments improving telematics, efficiency and the sustainability of our haulers. With the majority of his background in designing and engineering automotive for global markets, he has brought a wealth of transferable skills and knowledge to the Product Manager role. He’s always keen to gain first-hand feedback from our customers, operators and travel to job sites gaining valuable learnings from seeing our haulers in real working conditions.

The mine site where the majority of the trip took place was located in Weda Bay, on the Island of Halmahera in the North Maluku region of Indonesia. This was a fair trek from where Charlie landed in Jakarta, across two more time zones using a variety of transport! After landing in Jakarta, he hopped on another flight, took a speed boat and drove four hours to finally reach the mine site.

The Rokbak team and PT Uniquip team on site in Weda Bay.

Charlie and Chris spent two days on-site carrying out a benchmarking exercise as well as being tasked with assisting the efficiency of the operation. The main exercise was to compare our Rokbak RA40 against a competitor machine. On day one, after the two-hour drive to reach the mining project, Charlie and Chris met with the team on-site, observed the operations and gathered feedback from technicians and operators. The site operates a staggering 20 RA40’s which are used for transporting limonite, saprolite and quarry rocks which are then refined for nickel and used to manufacture batteries for electric vehicles. It is a serious non-stop operation with the machines working for 20 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year!

Three RA40’s working on site in Weda Bay, Indonesia.

Day two kicked off with receiving feedback from the Operator Trainer, who had a wealth of information with helpful comparisons of both the RA40 and the competitor machine. The benchmarking exercise then began with noting the condition of the machines, tyre wear, any options/adaptations, and ensuring the tanks were full and that the operators understood the plan. To complete a fair benchmarking exercise, consistency was key across routes, hauling material and operators used to create an accurate comparison. On the day, the weather was dry and sunny, ground conditions were good, with dry compacted earth on most of the haul route. For the exercise, both Charlie and Chris rode in the instructor’s seat with Charlie in the Rokbak and Chris in the competitor machine. They had two stopwatches each to record the moving and idle time of each cycle, whilst the Uniquip colleagues were positioned at the loading and dumping areas to record those times and to ensure the same number of buckets were loaded into each truck. They spent 2 hours doing continuous cycles, before bringing the exercise to a close at the refueling station. Noting the fuel refill quantity and the closing machine hours and odometer.

The RA40 hauling rock to complete the benchmarking exercise.

We are pleased to say the RA40 not only performed well but received great operator and technician feedback, along with a few recommendations we will take to the product development team. Overall, the RA40 was preferred to the 40-tonne competitor machine. The initial focus was on truck cycle times, but the data gathered showed a stark contrast in fuel consumption, with the RA40 burning 14% less fuel but moving the same mass of material in a similar cycle time. Over a year this equates to a fuel saving of 25,404 litres! Similarly, the RA40 was 12.5% more fuel efficient than the competitor machine on a tonnes per litre basis. These are very positive results against strong competition in the market!

To round off the trip, Charlie and Chris attended PT Uniquip’s 19th birthday party where they were invited on stage to receive an award on behalf of the entire team at Rokbak for being a valued strategic business partner. A great way to end a fantastic trip!

Charlie, left, and Chris, right, accepted an award for Rokbak at PT Uniquip’s 19th birthday celebrations.