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What’s Stopping You? The Role of Sheeting Material Selection in Safe Haulage Operations


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Author R Thompson and D Tulloch


Wet-weather or 24×7 wet-trafficability is a commendable design objective for unpaved mine haul roads, but practically often difficult to achieve, due both to the road sheeting material selected, and also its breakdown under the action of traffic and environment. Accidents allied to wet-trafficability issues, either due to rain or often more commonly, over-watering of mine roads, is increasing and especially the loss of control or uncontrolled vehicle movements categorisation. The dominant system failure is that once vehicle control is lost, control cannot be regained.

The friction supply, or ‘skid resistance’ of a mine haul road sheeting is critical to the safe operation of the road and data has to be collated concerning the variation of friction supply with sheeting material engineering or indicator properties. In the light of the paucity of data existing in this field, this paper presents the contributory research that informs the development of improved and validated unpaved mine road friction supply estimates, based on a number of mine site evaluations across a range of sheeting material types and characteristic parameters, leading to improved predictive models of friction supply.

Results from this preliminary review will enable operators to assess their road sheeting materials, improve and validate unpaved mine road friction supply estimates. This will contribute to improved road design, management and 24×7 operability decisions and contribute to a reduction in heavy vehicle loss of control incidents on gravel-surfaced mine haulage roads.


Thompson, R and Tulloch, D, 2016. What’s Stopping You? The Role of Sheeting Material Selection in Safe Haulage Operations, in Proceedings Ninth AusIMM Open Pit Operators’ Conference 2016, pp 253–264 (The Australasian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy: Melbourne).