Hitachi has now given details of its already mentioned new mining truck – the EH5000AC-3 – at MINExpo 2012. The truck is the first to feature the company’s brand new Advanced Hitachi AC Drive System, the only system available on the market that is designed and built by the same company as the truck. The EH5000AC-3 is Hitachi’s largest rigid frame truck and described as “one of the most technologically-advanced mining trucks on the market today.” It features a Cummins QSKTTA60-CE diesel engine that generates 2,125 kW) at 1,900 rpm and meets EPA Tier 2 emission requirements. The all-hydraulic actuated braking system provides precise braking control and quick system responses, and a new Hitachi system monitor provides display information and diagnostics of all onboard systems and controls.The most significant update, however, is the hauler’s new AC drive system. At the core of the new system is the advanced propulsion technology, which delivers a whole new level of efficiency, vastly enhancing machine operations for mining professionals everywhere. In addition, the new technology, which also powers Japan’s famous bullet trains, outperforms previous and competitive systems through its simplicity, improved efficiency, and enhanced dependability. It features slipcontrol for traction – similar to active traction control; slide control for grip – similar to an anti-lock brake system; pitch control for smoother ride control and control of bouncing when stopping; and skid control for stability in cornering when road conditions are slippery.While slip and slide control were already available on the existing Hitachi trucks with Hitachi AC Drive Systems, the new Advanced Hitachi AC Drive System now features sensors on all four wheels. It also incorporates additional feedback from the drive system, front wheels, steering, suspension, and other systems on the truck to enhance the slip/slide control feature. Pitch and skid control are brand new features. Hitachi is the only company in the industry that designs and manufactures all components of its drive control system. It started producing its own drive system four years ago with the introduction of the EH3500ACII, and believes it has created vast enhancements to this technology in that time span. “By specialising only on shovels and haulers, we are able to concentrate on producing highly-efficient machinery,” said Ryan Blades, Division Manager, Hitachi Mining. “The new AC-drive technology advancements are a perfect example of the superior quality and performance of this approach.”Hitachi also introduced SkyAngle at the event, a brand new camera monitoring system, developed in conjunction with Clarion, which takes synthesised images from several wide-angle cameras mounted on the truck and displays them in the cab. This results in a comprehensive “bird’s-eye-view” of the surrounding machinery. In addition to the proximity of machinery, the operator can switch to a “zoom display” or “wide display” mode, enabling more comprehensive monitoring of a wide area. “The safety benefits of the SkyAngle system are tremendous. It allows operators to quickly grasp what is occurring around the machinery, such as position of other equipment, service vehicles or people,” said Blades. “This technology is yet another example of how Hitachi – by focusing only on shovels and haulers – is able to produce highly-efficient and productive machinery for mining operators across the world. In 2001, the company was the first in the competitive landscape to launch a monitoring system that featured a rear-view camera and display as optional equipment for hydraulic excavators. And in 2006, Hitachi Mining was the first company to introduce this type of monitoring system as a standard feature on all hydraulic excavators that are 6.5 t or larger.