Another monster machine lands at Talana Museum

Talana Museum has added yet another monster to its already impressive mining display. Weighing in at 55 tons and 11 metres in length, the AM 65 Road Header, used to cut coal underground, trundled into the Museum last Thursday afternoon following a journey from Zululand Anthracite Colliery, ZAC, near Ulundi, that started at 6am.
A tyre blow-out was just one of the hazards the crew was faced with. When the rig arrived at Talana, complete with an escort to warn other motorists of the abnormal load, the gates to the Museum grounds had to be removed to allow access to the driveway.

With irrepressible Museum curator, Pam McFadden, helping to guide the delicate operation, the rig made its way up to the parking lot. Getting the Road Header off the rig was no mean feat either. The operation had to be postponed until the following morning, when it could be finally driven off the rig and to its new home – a concrete plinth donated by Buffalo Coal.
Jan Buys of Sandvik, suppliers of underground coal mining machinery – the company that donated the Road Header via ZAC – said the machine is 30-years old.
“In its day this Road Header was state-of-the-art machinery. It was built in Zeltweg, Austria, and would have cut thousands of tonnes of coal,” Mr Buys remarked.
Thanking Sandvik and ZAC for the donation, Pam said the machine would be officially unveiled on Friday to coincide with a meeting of the South African Colliery Managers Association at Talana Museum.

T Worley

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