CASE STUDY: Liebherr T236


Liebherr has introduced its new 100 metric ton mining truck – the T236 – which incorporates the company’s Litronic Plus Generation 2 technology, built on 10 years’ application of vertically integrated electric drive technologies. The vehicle is the world’s first diesel-electric truck with four-corner oil-immersed brakes.

The new truck, says Liebherr, demonstrates the company’s continued innovation in design, together with the evolution of its own high-quality components and class-leading technology. The combination results in increased productivity, more efficiency, and improved reliability and safety, while lowering the cost per ton.

Benefiting from Liebherr’s decades of experience in off-highway truck technologies, the T236 features the company’s electric drive system innovations with the vertically integrated Litronic Plus Generation 2 AC drive system

Built to perform

“This revolutionary machine provides the industry with a new benchmark in the 100 metric ton class for off-highway haul trucks, focusing on top performance, maximum uptime and the lowest possible operating costs,” says Dr Burkhard Richthammer, general manager for midsize trucks at Liebherr. “All components on our truck are designed and built to perform and last in the most extreme mining conditions. As a result, Liebherr trucks run much longer between component overhauls, saving time and money.”

To help ensure the safety of technicians and bystanders, the T236 is equipped with a double pole battery, starter motor and hoist system isolators as standard. In addition it provides an innovative drive system inhibitor, where the electrical drive can be isolated completely from the machine during maintenance while operating the engine. Also, the machine features a world first – an electrically interlocking, grounding device for each plug-and-drive power module. This feature also helps ensure safe handling for electricians and mechanics when servicing the electrical drive. The drive operates at 690V AC and 900V DC – consequently in most countries regular site technicians can carry out the system maintenance. “An industry first, Liebherr’s Litronic Plus Isolation system ensures the safety of maintenance personnel through the elimination of hazards by design,” says Scott Bellamy, senior product manager for Liebherr Mining Trucks.

The in-line electrical powertrain layout minimizes cable length, while the maintenance-free IP68-rated plug-and-drive power modules help provide reliable operation in all weathers. This is combined with extended-life service intervals and minimal maintenance time provided by ground-level service points.

The hydraulics package covers the fan drives, blower and electrical traction motors. The powertrain comprises the diesel engine and remote-mounted alternator providing a 690V AC tension level – below the level that would require specifically certificated electricians for maintenance.

The three frequency converter modules installed in the rear of the machine are also rated to IP68 and can be easily removed and replaced.

Ergonomics inside

Richthammer says Liebherr is committed to designing mining trucks that operators want to drive: “The ergonomic T236 cab and the superior properties of the front-wheel suspension system fulfill this commitment and promote driver efficiency with superior comfort, safety, acceleration and handling for increased performance.”

Billed as an evolution in electric drive system design, the Litronic Plus Generation 2 features active front-end technology. The drive system is able to deliver controlled engine speed with almost no fuel consumption by making efficient use of electrical energy during retardation. Vertical integration of components ensures that the T236 powertrain achieves optimal system efficiency and performance throughout the full range of applications. The variable hydraulic system lowers machine parasitic losses (energy loss not contributing to power), maximizing the power available to the traction wheels, while lowering fuel consumption when power is not required.

There are two traction motors – one for each side – so that the speed of the wheel is controlled independently, which helps with efficient cornering.

With its high take-off torque and continuous power-to-ground capability, the T236 is not sensitive to grade and payload variations, while its oil-immersed braking system further improves safety.

The truck is designed to carry up to a 100 metric ton payload, when paired with the R9100, R9150, R9200, or R9250 mining excavators.

“The T236 provides a complete high-performance and scalable truck-shovel match, delivering the right combination for production requirements,” says Richthammer.

Not yet commercially available, the first prototypes are undergoing intensive field functional and performance testing. The truck is expected to be available in selected markets in 2018.

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James joined the Industrial Vehicle Technology International team in 2017. Previously he was Assistant Editor on an engineering title for several years and has worked for various other trade magazines before that. James is happily married and has a young daughter and son who keep him busy.

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