Heat stress does not just affect people. It affects machines too. Australia’s mine and quarry sites are often located in hot and arid regions and when equipment such as hammer drill rigs work for long hours in such climates, they are prone to failure.

Donnelly Blasting Services is a drilling and blasting company based in Jimboomba, in southeast Queensland. The company offers a full rock on ground service and has been part of multiple quarries and construction projects in southeast Queensland and northern New South Wales for over
15 years.

For its quarrying projects, Donnelly Blasting Services uses a fleet of Epiroc smart rigs and other specialised rigs, in addition to a number of mobile manufacturing units (or ANFO trucks).

The company’s owner, Jason Donnelly, says with the machines working long shifts under harsh environments, it’s critical for them to keep watch on lubrication. 

“These machines work very hard and if one system or one lubricant lets us down, the minimum cost to replace the hammer part is $120,000. If we don’t have the correct grease on the drill rods, they don’t come apart easily when it’s time for their scheduled re-build. When you have $10,000-$15,000 worth of drill bits down the hole that won’t come apart, it starts getting stressful,” says Donnelly.

His company has been using lubricants provided by Gulf Western Oil (GWO) for over 15 years – with GWO supplying all of the general-purpose and specialised lubricants to help the company maintain its fleet. 

“We’ve been using GWO from front to back. They’ve been with us from designing oils for our machines to checking that the oil is doing what we need. Because of that, we have not had any breakdowns in our machines. But it’s good to know that if anything goes wrong, they are just one phone call away,” says Donnelly.

As a leading name in lubrication supply in Australia, BSC has been supplying GWO lubricants to a range of different industries, including mining and quarrying. 

Steve Keown, BSC’s National Product Manager for Lubricants, says some customers, like Donnelly Blasting Services, prefer sourcing their lubricants from reputable and well-respected Australian manufacturers like GWO rather than international brands. 

“As a company with a history of nearly 100 years, BSC is seen by customers as a good channel for providing products that are built to a global standard and that are sourced locally at affordable prices. GWO holds some of the highest OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturer) approvals in today’s market. We have a lot of synergies with GWO in that both of our companies like providing excellent customer service,” says Keown. 

“Particularly at times when the global supply chain runs into troubles, such as in the case the current COVID-19 pandemic, it’s reassuring to know that we have a full stock of locally sourced products to cater for the needs of our customers,” he adds. 

While all of GWO’s heavy-duty oils and greases are made to meet the highest quality standards in the market, the company also offers products specifically designed for the mining and quarrying industry.

The GWO Black Tak Molyplex – popularly known as Black Tak Moly – is a heavy-duty grease that is used extensively by customers in the mining and quarrying industry. 

“The Black Tak Moly is a very versatile product. It is ideally suited to the lubrication of highly loaded bucket pins and plain and rolling element bearings, but it can also be used in hydraulic and pneumatic hammer applications,” says Chris Bright, National Account Manager at GWO.

In his over 15 years of experience working in the lubrication industry, Bright says he has come across many quarrying clients that don’t grease their equipment as regularly as they should. 

“People either tend to forget about their greasing or they don’t have enough time. However, any piece of equipment that doesn’t get adequate greasing, will break down. So, a regular greasing programme is an extremely important factor in ensuring equipment reliability and longevity,” he says.

Another good lubrication practice, Bright says, is to use products that are specifically designed for each application.

“When customers do not use the correct products, for example in their pin and bush lubrications, it leads to accelerated wear and poor performance. One of the things that we always tell our customers is to not be afraid to call us to seek advice. 

“GWO offers up to 18 different varieties of greases, ranging from specialised mining and quarry greases through to general greasing for other applications such as automotive, farming and even food processing applications. We also, through our partnership with national suppliers such as BSC, have access to over 600 varieties of greases, so there’s always a chance that we will have access to a product that’s required in the market,” says Bright.