This work evaluated the effects of bucket orientation and operating parameters on resistive forces and penetration for rubber-tire loaders (RTLs), such as load-haul-dumps (LHDs) and front-end loaders (FELs). The work used a 1:16 scale LHD model to test an RTL bucket operating at different levels of traction (tractive effort), speed, digging height and rake angles in a full factorial design experiment. The test was repeated on two muck piles with different particle sizes, and generalized regression modeling was applied to test the association of rake angle, tractive effort, speed and digging height on penetration and resistive forces for RTL buckets. The results show that speed and tractive effort are more important in explaining RTL penetration and resistive forces than height above the floor and rake angle. Speed, tractive effort and height above the floor are positively correlated to bucket penetration, whereas the rake angle is negatively correlated to penetration. Similarly, speed, tractive effort, rake angle and height above the floor are all positively correlated to resistive forces incurred during initial penetration. The results show that the combined effect of speed and tractive effort is negatively correlated to penetration and resistive forces — a novel finding that enhances our understanding of RTL loading. The results also show that the effects of speed, tractive effort and height above the floor all change with changes in particle sizes. This work provides insights into the effects of rake angle, height above the floor, tractive effort and speed on penetration and resistive forces for RTLs to facilitate better design and efficient use of these loaders.
Mining, Metallurgy & Exploration (2020) 37:1423–1435, https://doi.org/10.1007/s42461-020-00288-5