Lack of skills … causes a costly mistake

2011-05-01 15:11

A recent incident occurred when a multi-load bulk lubricant tanker was dispatched to an open cast mine to deliver bulk loads of two different lubricants. The wrong product was pumped into the engine oil tank, and although the driver realised the mistake, he thought that he would “fix’ the problem by ensuring that the correct volumes were pumped into the respective tanks. Both mine bulk tanks then contained various mixtures of lubricant, but the driver’s paper work balanced.

Unfortunately, due to the significant differences between the lubricants, the mine was brought to a standstill, as all vehicles that had received services or top-ups needed to be drained. Fortunately, however, the error caused a rapid increase in blow-by on some trucks, or the incident would have been significantly more severe.

The cost of this incident in lost production and equipment repair costs was approximately R3-million; this could have been resolved for a few thousand Rand if the driver had had the skill and knowledge to determine the mistake initially. Additional costs are now being incurred to prevent further multi-load deliveries mix-ups, and each lubricant delivery needs to be tested on site.


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