Shand Mining Ffyndaff O.C.C.S?


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Shand Mining Ffyndaff O.C.C.S?

Post #1 by Mark Williams » Sat Oct 10, 2015 8:00 am

Hello everyone,
I am going to write about this site in segments,because of the long duration of this contract,of 30 years.I was only a young boy when it started & most of my stories come from my father & both my uncles long term employment on this site,with Sir Lindsey Parkinson Mining & Shand Mining.
Shand Mining,was awarded the contract in the early 1970s,where Sir Lindsey Parkinson Mining had been operating the site,called Dunraven Deep since the early 1950s.SLP lost the contract to Shand Mining & many rumors have said that this could have been to the sudden removal of a local area manager,for SLP called Harry Bryan,who had a very close relationship,withe the NCB.Pretty much after this happened,the SLP,Dunraven Deep,Tir Y Gof,Pengosto sites where all lost,in the area & Shand were the new contractors.SLP were gone.SLP were the main contractors in South Wales,after world war 2,with the Maegwyn,early Royal Arms,Hendre Fawr,Bryn Lea & Radar sites.
I can remember as a young boy of around 7 or 8 years of age,travelling to my aunties down in Swansea on the Red & White buses,where the bus mostly a double decker had to travel through the small village of Rhigos,where the Dunraven Deep site was.My excitement sitting upstairs on the double decker,was thrilling,because I could see the massive fitting shop up on the bank & may be I would get a glimpse of the Eucs,in for repair & may be get to see my father out in the yard.As the bus went slightly passed the fitting shop,further down the site up on the side of the worked tip was a Marion 7400 dragline,in SLP Minings dark green colour, that was parked for years with its boom dropped to the floor.This dragline was shipped up to the Leeds area & then up to the Blindwells site,in Scotland I am told.
I can then remember Shand Mining moving on to site & all SLP minings Dark green,as I call them Eucs (Terex R65,R50 &R45s) parked up in front of the fitting shop,near the road,redundant for months,before they left site.Some of these trucks ended up in Leeds & africa.
Shand Mining brought to site,2 x RB 150 shovels,a RB 71 shovel,this also changed to being a dragline.The trucks were Terex R50 & R45s.The dozers & graders were as far as I can remember, 2 x Cat D8Hs & 2 x early Cat 16s,owned by Lew Gravelle plant.There was also a brand new 155 Komatsu with a big single shank,parallelogram ripper,with blacked out windows,on hire from Johnny Locke Plant hire,that looked so cool.This was the first I had seen.
The coal navvies were 2 x RB30 shovels.I am almost sure that these were dark green with black booms buckets & muck poles.
There was a Hymac 580,that was set up with a crane boom on the site & was used where ever needed for lifting.This was on site until the end.
The coal was shipped out by local owner operators with their lorries to the Onllwyn coal disposal point.
After a few months of the site getting started,2 x new RB 195B shovels,1 of which my uncle operated for nearly the duration of the site were put to work.slightly after the 2 x new shovels went to work,a new Poclain 1000CK & a new Poclain 600CK backhoe was bought for the site.The Poclain 100CK had a 10 yard bucket on it.My father took me to work with him 1 weekend, to watch the French Poclain fitters change head gaskets on 1 of the 2 x V12 Deutz engines.I was in my oils,where they had me cleaning parts.At this same time, I'm quite sure? of the number, 14 x V16 Twin turbo V71 Detroit Diesel powered, Terex R70 dump-trucks were bought new for the contract.4 of these were,as referred to, were Canadians,with white steering wheels & the electric gear shift went in the opposite direction to the other 10,which were made @ the Motherwell plant in Scotland.The operators said that these 4, were a better made truck,for some reason.These Terex R70 trucks had Centrifugal steering & were terrible to handle in the wet weather.Shand Mining would rain the trucks off,@ the slightest,because of the huge tire wear caused with these trucks.I operated these trucks,that F Shephard'Hill owned 11 of.They were frightening.
My father surprised me,to my delight 1 day after school & took me up to site,where Shand Mining had some sort of Plant demonstration.The highlight was a big Michigan 475B wheel loader.I was climbing everywhere on that loader,wanting to know everything about it.I still have a salesman's spec sheet on it somewhere.There was also a First I had seen dark green Champion grader @ the show.
Shands support equipment on site @ this time was a 6 wheeler Albian lorry as a greasing plant & steam genny with a compressor for starting the Eucs.Ex army bedford 4 wheel drive lorries & fuel tanker & a very old AEC mammoth major,as a diesel bowser.The Land Rovers & these lorries were painted in Shands blue.
This part of my story has taken me up to around 1977.
Regards,
Mark Williams.


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Re: Shand Mining Ffyndaff O.C.C.S?

Post #2 by Mark Williams » Sun Oct 11, 2015 1:52 pm

Hello Again everyone,
I will carry on my story as per the site contract,as far as my memory allows me to.
The RB 71 shovel was moved from Ffyndaff & you can see on the Meadowgate Videos on Youtube that it was moved up to this site in the mid 70s.
The next 2 x new machines to arrive on site were Caterpillar D8Ks,1 had a single shank ripper & the other was just with a draw bar.This one was used mainly on tip duty & replaced a hired in Caterpillar D8H. The other was used mainly around the coal seams,baring the coal & ripping & cleaning up around the navvies.This dozer replaced the 155 Komatsu & I can remember that it used to have terrible problems with steering clutches & brakes.
Shand purchased 4 x new Terex 33-11D dump trucks in 1979 & while Blackwood Hodge were building them on site,@ the fitting shop,there was a mishap,where 1 of the new trucks reversed over a BH Opel service van.No one was hurt luckily.These were very good trucks & well looked after.
The Poclain 1000CK backhoe was disassembled in 1980 & transferred down to the Shand Mining East-Pit coal site.The Poclain 600Ck did mot stay @ Ffyndaff for long & I don't know where it was moved to.
The 4 x Terex 33-11Ds also joined the Poclain 1000CK down @ East-Pit for a while,but they came back up to the Ffyndaff site.It was @ this time that Shand purchased the 2 x new Caterpillar 777s to add to their other 8 777 trucks @ the East-Pit site.
Stokey plant had a Caterpillar 245 backhoe on hire,loading the last over-burden on top of the coal seam in to Terex R45s & R50 dump trucks.They also had on hire for a short time 1 of thier caterpillar 245 front shovels.
I also forgot to mention,there was a Caterpillar 814 wheel dozer on site owned by Shand,from the beginning of the contract & this, I can remember spent most of its time pulling coal lorries out of the wet & steep coal cuts.
I can remember C.A Blackwell being on hire next,I think I can remember 8 x scrapers,Caterpillar 631Ds & their Komatsu 23S machines with 2 x cat D9H pushers.They also had a Cat 16G grader there as well.They were in stripping top soil,for the summer for opening up the new site area.
Also @ this time,Johnny Locke plant hire,delivered to site a new Akerman H25 backhoe & 3 of his new Euclid R50 dump trucks.They were on hire for quite a time.
As I mentioned in my previous posts,it was about 1980 & this was the time that Meadowgate & Killamarsh came to an end.The RB 30 coal shovels on site were replaced by 2 x Hymac 1290 coal shovels that,I would have thought were relocated to the Ffyndaff site.These shovels had Cummins NH220 engines in them.There was also a Hymac 580 that came with them.
At this time of 1980,Shand Mining was awarded the new contract,which was called the Ffyndaff revised extension.The yellow Lima 2400B shovel that had been transferred from the Meadowgate site had been working for a few months on the previous Ffyndaff extension.I sat for hours watching that shovel dig the roadway on its own loading Terex R70,R50 & R45 dump trucks on to the new contract.It was working for months opening up the first cut,for the 2 x RB 150 shovels to come across,as it was about half a mile on to the new site.
Then to arrive on site was 8 x Terex R45 & R50 dump trucks,again from Meadowgate.I can remember that the Wimpey Mining Maesgwyn site came to an end @ exactly this time & Wimpey truck drivers were employed on these newly arrived dump trucks.
There was also a Caterpillar D9H with ripper that came to site @ this time.
It was also @ this time,that Shand Mining (or as they were officially called Lehane Macenzie & Shand) had been awarded the new Coalfield North Extension.I know a little about the history & plant on this site,but it would be nice if someone with more knowledge than I could write a post on the forum,about this contract.
My story is now up to the early 80s.
I hope it has been of some interest to you all,as we still have another 18 years to go.
Regards,
Mark Williams.


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Re: Shand Mining Ffyndaff O.C.C.S?

Post #3 by Mark Williams » Mon Oct 12, 2015 10:48 am

delHello Everyone,
I would like to mention in this post,as we have mentioned the Terex R45,R50,R70 &33-11 trucks.The Allison transmission,torque brake,as the name implies (retarder).The brake is applied by the operator & is a lever by the side of the gearshift (quite a big lever & manual up to the later R50s.The later ones were air operated).When the lever is moved to the desired position,(usually full travel)this closes a valve in the torque converter & the impeller compresses the transmission oil in that housing(threshes),causing a hydraulic lock in fact,there is a relief valve.to release excess pressure.slowing the entire transmission & drive line down to the rear wheels, depending on the grade of the haul road ramp,the operator drives against it,by giving it, in most cases full throttle.the operator has to keep viewing the torque converter temperature gauge,as this rises very quickly & will over heat the transmission.by releasing & feathering the lever the oil cools down quite quickly & then you start the procedure over again,until you can slow down & be in control.You would still have to use the foot brake on occasions,depending on conditions.These are air shoe type all round.
The torque brakes on the R45 & R50 were quite poor actually,but improved dramatically on the R70,(new & bigger transmission)there was a smaller lever( air operated),but the operation was exactly the same as the earlier trucks, what power you had to the rear wheels,on this model,you could boil the transmission oil up very quickly,if you wasn't careful & you could actually lock the rear wheels up on a slippery ramp.When you used the torque brake on this model @ full rpm & full lever travel on a steep ramp,there was a long,loud wee,noise of power until you released the lever When you released the lever,it would give a big hiss,of air relief.It is a very powerful retarder.
The retarder(not a torque brake)on the 33-11 truck was new to this series & I was told the patent was actually bought from Caterpillar.You could actually use 33-11 brake friction discs in a Caterpillar 777 brake housing,by grinding just 1 tooth off the disc.We used to use them,but found they didn't last as long as the genuine caterpillar discs.
There was still the same lever in the cab,by the side of the gearshift,but the operation was different.The brakes were now air over oil & in the rear wheel groups & were multi disc & plate & were oil cooled.There was 4 applications to these brakes by the operator,all controlled by different levers & switches,but 1 set of discs & plates in each rear wheel assembly.The fronts were shoe type & could be switched off,if not needed on the dashboard.The service brake & retarder worked the same piston in the brake groups & the park brake & emergency brake worked the other piston in the brake group,all by different levers & switches in the cab.This is exactly the same on caterpillar haul trucks.
When the operator moves the retarder lever in the cab to the desired position for retarding,air activates the hydraulic brake chamber to send brake oil pressure to the friction discs in the rear wheel brake groups (I will try & keep this as simple as possible,as there are many smaller valves controlling the system).Depending on how far the lever in the cab is moved,the greater the brake pressure.The correct way to drive,is to keep the engine rpm @ 1550,this sends brake cooling oil through the friction discs & plates, for maximum efficiency & long life,to stop premature ware & failure.The operator has to select the gearshift lever ideally to the desired gear,as the transmission on this model is fully automatic & will up shift, or downshift,depending on the operator & conditions.Whilst the operator is using the retarder,he or she has to keep an eye on the brake oil temperature gauge,as the brake cooling oil will get hot very quickly,especially if the revs are not kept up.The operator has to watch that the rear wheels do not lock up,which easily happens,this is controlled by (feathering)moving back & forward the retarder lever & when this occurs,the transmission can get a signal to downshift.This will lock up the rear wheels in slippery conditions,when this occurs.The operator of these trucks have to be multi tasking,& spin outs are quite common,even with the most skilled of operators.The skill is to keep the rear wheels in traction,while retarding,but this is a skill & difficult to keep up,especially in slippery conditions.These trucks,will quite easily do a 360 spin out on wet haul roads.(been there & got many tee shirts Lol)
Hope this is of interest to you,
Regards,
Mark Williams.

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Re: Shand Mining Ffyndaff O.C.C.S?

Post #4 by Holger » Mon Oct 12, 2015 1:54 pm

Thank you Mark!
Some resources:
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Re: Shand Mining Ffyndaff O.C.C.S?

Post #5 by Jeremy Rowland » Mon Oct 12, 2015 1:59 pm

Good reading Mark :thumbup: thank you.

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Re: Shand Mining Ffyndaff O.C.C.S?

Post #6 by plantman » Mon Oct 12, 2015 7:45 pm

Great story Mark, very interesting, thanks for posting.


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Re: Shand Mining Ffyndaff O.C.C.S?

Post #7 by Mark Williams » Fri Oct 16, 2015 9:15 pm

Hello again everyone,
I would like to carry on the story of the above site.
The Lima 2400B & the 2 x RB 150 shovels were progressing along on the new contract.The previous contract was still being worked over the other side,where the 2 x RB 195B shovels & a now relocated Poclain 1000CKB bachhoe was in operation.This backhoe was 1 of the previous East-Pit Poclain 1000 front shovels,but it had been changed over to have a later style backhoe equipment,boom & stick on it.
There was a Cat 824 wheel dozer on site for cleaning up around the navvies & just 1 Shand owned Cat 16G grader.
The previous site was so close to the Treherbert mountain road,you could see the operation working while passing in your car.There was an extension awarded to this part of the contract,to go closer in to the Treherbert mountain,which would also move the site closer to the still working Tower colliery deep mine.There was a big concern with the miners underground,that they could actually hear the plant working,as they were so close to one another.
Most of the bigger trucks were working on the old site,while the R45s & R50s with a few R70s, now stripping off top soil on the new extension.The top soil tip was right along site the Treherbert mountain road.It was easy for me to just hop over the fence & jump in with my friend Big Tony & spend some time in the Terex R70 with him on afternoon shifts.Thats where he taught me how to operated the trucks.
The coal on the old site was now under contract by McDonald transport.They mostly had 8 wheeled Scammell Routemans & Constructors,with a few ERF & Seddon Atkinsons.The coal was still going to the Onllwyn disposal point in Banwen.I can remember that there was a huge stock pile of coal on site,around the time of the miners strike.I think it was a support of the Opencast coal sites towards the NUM.
It was about a year into the new contract & the Lima 2400 was way down into the bottom of the cut,it had finished digging @ its location & they were travelling it out to move to a new bench on the higher level.She was part way up the ramp & the digging locks didn't engage when she turned,she ran away backwards,crashing into a Terex R70.I am not sure what the extent of the damage was,but no one was hurt from what I was told.Both machines were repaired & went back to work.
As the site expanded,a huge overburden tip was formed near the Rhigos road,which also acted as a noise baffle
The weighbridge & coal road was now,relocated by the side of this tip,so traffic would not have to travel through the village of Rhigos,anymore.
There was a big change coming soon to Shand mining & the site,where the new owner Mr Shira,who owned Dyggor Gaylord,Murphy Brothers,WJ Simms & now the owner of Shand mining Currall Lewis & Martin.
We will follow up on this acquisition,in my next story.
Hope this is of interest to you all,
Regards,
Mark Williams.


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Re: Shand Mining Ffyndaff O.C.C.S?

Post #8 by Mark Williams » Wed Oct 28, 2015 7:47 am

Hello Everyone,
The site was now in full swing & 1 of the RB-195Bs that my uncle operates was working on the new site,while the other,along with the Poclain 1000CKB backhoe were working still over on the old site extension.
The Lima 2400B had now been changed over to dragline & was pulling cuts from the Rhigos,to Hirwaun direction & was baring the coal.I was in a Terex R50 with my friend Big Tony 1 night & we were being loaded with the last rasher of over-burden on top of the coal,by Stokey Plants, Caterpillar 245 Backhoe.It was mayhem down there,as they were out of coal & were desperately working hard to gain access to it.The Cat D8K with ripper was also pushing up in the same area to the Lima 2400 dragline.They were ready for coaling @ the end of the afternoon shift.
I can remember being so high up on the tip,over looking the Rhigos road & the dozer on the tip was 1 of Gravelles Cat D8Hs
The company was now acquired by Mr Shira,who owned Dyggor Gaylor,Murphy Brothers,WJ Simms & Cooke & Currall,Lewis & Martin.
I can remember my father saying that,the contract was Currall,Lewis & Martin,the plant was Dyggor Gaylord & the maintainance was Murphys.Slowly the name Shand was removed,from everywhere & replaced with Dyggor Gaylord.
There was a new Demag H185 shovel that came to site & the RB-150s were parked up near the fitting shop.
Not long after this Demag arrived,another new Demag 95 Backhoe arrived on site.This machine didn't stay long & was relocated to the Shands Park-Slip coal site.
There was 2 x new dozers now,a Cat D9N & a Cat D8N.These replaced the 2 x Cat D8Ks.
Also to come to site was 8 x Dyggor Gaylord Caterpillar 631D motor scrapers.These were put to use straight away,on back fill duties.I can remember the lead-driver,putting them loaded,straight over the side of the tip,@ a 4/5 degree angle down to the bottom of the dig,to save on travel time.Boy it was steep.Those scrapers were like locusts in that loose dig.
I worked on 1 job,where a scraper driver brought a Terex TS14 in saying the brakes are bad,the foreman fitter replied back to him,you've got the best brake of all & pointed to the middle lever in the cab (the bowl).Now get back to work,he said.
The other Dyggor Gaylord site,Coalfield North was coming to an end & their fleet of 19 Euclid R85s were relocated down to the FFyndaff site slowly.4 of these Eucs had Cummins 1710 engines in them & were later models,but the engines were troublesome.They were removed from site.The other trucks had 92 series V16 Detroit Diesels & were the engines of choice.
The Terex trucks also left Ffyndaff.I am told that the Terex 33-11Ds went to the Coalfeild North site.Eventually they all were parked up @ Giltbrook plant yard in Derby.
The trucks on site now were the Euc R85s & some Terex R50s.All the Terex R70s had gone to plant yard.
The navvys on site @ this time were 2 x RB-195Bs,a Poclain 1000CKB backhoe & a Demag H185 shovel.
The Lima 2400B dragline was the next to leave & was sold to Merriman & Meighan,who were operating a small open cast site,called Hendre Fawr @ the other end of Rhigos,about 2 miles away.This site had previously been worked by Sir Lindsey Parkinson mining in the 60s.Also on this site,was a Caterpillar 245 front shovel,2 x Caterpillar 773B trucks & a Caterpillar D9H.I can remember this dozer had the gasket blown on the fuel filter & could only clean the tip off & then you had to shut it down,to save the fuel.It was like this for days,until it was repaired.
The coal shovels on Ffyndaff had gone through a few changes.The Hymacs were now replaced with 2 x Poclain 160 CKB coal shovels,these were then moved to the East-Pit coal site & the 2 x Caterpillar 235B coal shovels & an Ederpillar 205 backhoe came up to the Ffyndaff job?
The site carried on,as with the above plant for years,with not much change,until the time of the back fill.
We will get to this,in my next post of the site.
I have some photos I have put together & will post soon with the help of my wife.
Kind regards,
Mark Williams.


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Re: Shand Mining Ffyndaff O.C.C.S?

Post #9 by Dah » Wed Oct 28, 2015 11:37 am

Thanks for the info Mark.

Doesn't make any difference but the Giltbrook Yard was in Nottinghamshire near Eastwood. Can't remember any 33-11's being there, however, there were lots of R70's and Euclid R85's.


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Re: Shand Mining Ffyndaff O.C.C.S?

Post #10 by Mark Williams » Sat Dec 12, 2015 7:33 am

Hello Everyone,
This post on the Ffyndaff site,brings us up to the mid 90s.
I made a visit up to the site fitting shop 1 night to visit my father.He along with 2 other fitters,were busy into a first service of a new Caterpillar 16G grader,that had arrived that day,from another site.
There was now a Caterpillar 966E wheel-loader on site,to help out with the coal duties.I can't quite remember,but I think there was a Power-Screen down by the weighbridge.
Walters Plant Hire was also on site with a new Caterpillar 245D Back-Hoe & a new Caterpillar 773D.He also had a Caterpillar 320L Back-Hoe & 2 x Volvo A35C trucks on hire.
Taylor- Woodrow brought in 2 x Caterpillar 777B trucks.
Walters Plant was then awarded the final part of the contract,to do the reclamation.
Slowly the Dyggor Gaylord plant was moved out.The Demag went first,along with some of the Euclid R85s.These were relocated up to the Damside coal site in Scotland.The 2 x RB 195Bs & the Poclain 1000CKB back-Hoe,were moved down near the weighbridge,near the Rhigos Road,where after a long period of being up for sale,were cut up for scrap.
The Dyggor Gaylord operators,under site agreement,were employed on the Walters plant.This plant was a Caterpillar 375L ME Back-Hoe,2 x Caterpillar 245B & the 245D Back-Hoe.There was a Caterpillar 16G & about 10 of Walters Caterpillar 773B trucks.These were ex ECC trucks that the Walters group had bought for their other open cast jobs.
one thing I had not mentioned from the beginning,the on site drilling & blasting from an early stage,had been under taken by contractor Saxton Drilling.
The site is now reclaimed to outstanding pasture for grazing of sheep & cows.
The massive fitting shop & hard stand that had been there for nearly 50 years,from when Sir Lyndsey Parkinson had it built for their Dunraven Deep site, was demolished by the Walters group & any signs of open cast mining are not there.You can see about half a mile up on the mountain side,the fitting shop,for the Celtic Energy,Selar coal site.
I hope you enjoyed my story,which is as close as I can remember.
Regards,
Mark Williams.


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