A Step-by-step Guide to Buying a Mine Spec VehiclePublished Sunday, January 29, 2023
If you know anything about mining site conditions, you know that they aren't the friendliest to standard vehicles. If you took your typical car and attempted to navigate one, you may find yourself with maintenance costs that are through the roof.
That's one of the reasons that any vehicle today being used in mining conditions must be fully compliant with a set of established prerequisites. Non-compliance is not an option. These vehicles are known as mine spec vehicles.
We're gonna be covering light vehicle information today. For reference, a light mine spec vehicle is one in Australia that drives on mine sites but stays above ground.
West Side Auto have you covered when you're ready to buy your next car for the mines, but how would you even know how to approach this process? Do you have fit-out knowledge? Would you know how a bull bar may fit into the equation?
Have no fear! Let's take you through some crucial details, then we can talk about how to buy a vehicle for the mines.
The Difference Between Standard and Mine Spec Vehicles
Here's a good place to start. If any person or other sites tell you that a regular 4WD vehicle is comparable to a mine spec 4WD vehicle, don't believe them! That information couldn't be further from the truth.
While the typical 4WD that you'd buy for personal or business use is certainly off-road ready, it's not necessarily mine-ready.
Mine spec vehicles have add-ons or fit-outs that improve their function, performance, and safety in mine conditions.
Remember what we said before. Mines are pretty dangerous, which is the reason that there are mandatory fit-out requirements for vehicles that will be in them.
Add-ons on a Mine Spec (Light) Vehicle
Now, let's dive into the fit-out element of your new car a little more. The legislation will tell you that there are standard requirements that your mine-spec vehicle must meet.
However, it goes a bit further. Whichever mine company these vehicles will be driven on will also have their stipulations.
You'll typically find that whatever installation requirements there are correspond directly to protecting the health and safety of the driver and others on the mine.
Some of the fit-out requirements we often see are:
- Bull bar
- Fire extinguisher
- Safety triangles
- Wheel nut indicators
- Tow bar
- High visibility flag
Essential Considerations for a Mine Spec Vehicle
As you think about buying your vehicle and the accessories it will need, three core elements should always be at the centre of your mind. Once you've achieved your intended targets in these areas, there's usually not much to worry about with mine spec vehicles.
We may be a business, but we understand the importance of vehicle affordability to both our personal and business customer bases. It's one of the reasons we adopted a model that sees us operate at lower margins to better optimize costs for you.
You'd be hard-pressed to find even one company that can buy a fleet of vehicles, fit them out, and not put a dent in its budget.
We don't want you throwing money down the drain, so we will do our best to offer you reasonable deals consistently.
The variety of the vehicles we have on offer is also essential to bear in mind. For example, there may be applications in which a single cab works best, while others may require a double cab for optimal function.
Of course, this is only one example of the benefit of buying from us, but you get the point. Your fleet can be made up of different vehicles that are best suited to different needs. However, getting a reliable set can be a bother, and we simply want to take the hassle away.
This one is non-negotiable. After all, it's literally the biggest reason that the concept of a mine-spec vehicle exists. Maintenance will be a big part of keeping the car running optimally, but servicing and the other elements only work to keep a vehicle at peak safety and performance.
The vehicle would need to have been operationally sound by default, and meeting that requirement is yet another area in which we demonstrate the value that we provide.
Eight Steps to Buying a New Car That Meets Mine Specifications
Being frugal with money is important, even when the business needs mine spec cars. With that said, let's take a quick look at the steps to take before purchasing any vehicle for your fleet.
Step One: Research the Available Vehicles
This isn't even a vehicle-specific recommendation. if you're buying anything in life, it doesn't hurt to do some research to see what's out there first. Getting the details is the best way to do a comparison to see what may be right for you.
Of course, we can always assist you in understanding everything that we have available. Perhaps depending on exactly how and how much you plan to use a car, one may be better than the other.
Step Two: Secure a Test Drive
Whether you've settled on one vehicle or there are a couple of prospects that are making your decision difficult because of how good they are, a test drive is never a bad idea. It's one thing to see a car and hear about all the reasons it's right for you, but it's another to actually get a feel.
It's always good to schedule a test drive in advance considering things can get busy and you don't want to find out that what you came to test out isn't available.
While we understand that you may want to be courteous during your testing, a quick drive around the block probably won't tell you much about the vehicle.
Remember that there's no pressure from our end to buy as soon as possible. Cars are long-term investments, so take the time to ensure you're comfortable with your purchase.
Step Three: Understand the Mandatory and Mine Specific Fit-outs Needed
These accessories wouldn't need to be considered for everyday driving needs, but remember that the idea here is to get your hands on something that will be good for the conditions that the mine will present.
It would be a good idea to understand the baseline accessories that the fleet would need, after which you move on to the mine-specific needs.
While we have a broad range of vehicles you can add to your fleet that are compatible with the fit-outs, it doesn't hurt to confirm things.
Step Four: Choose the Specialist Team to Handle Your Fit-outs (if Necessary)
This is where you start thinking about how the installation of your accessories will go. Presently, we don't have a servicing department to handle this. However, we do stock several of the extras you will need to make your car mine ready. For example, we have bull bars, towbars, spotlights, and exterior protection options.
While you may not necessarily be getting the items for your fleet and the installation services at the same place, it does help to at least get the fit outs the same place you get the vehicles since we can assist in verifying compatibility.
With that said, we'd advise you to be decisive in selecting the specialist team that will be working on your fleet.
Step Five: Address the Budgetary Concerns
Now that you know which car you want, how it feels, and how you'll get it mine ready, you're in a better position to get the purchase process going. There will likely be a loan at play.
If you need it, you can check out our finance page for assistance. We have some great options available that feature same-day approval!
Step Six: Decide How Maintenance Will Be Handled
This is a lot like handling the fit-out installations. Remember that the vehicle will only continue to operate optimally for as long as it is maintained well. That means you need to secure the right maintenance services.
Again, we don't currently have a department that handles this, so it's a great time to decide who you will be working with.
Step Seven: Review
At this point, you want to review everything about the impending deal. This includes warranties, financing caveats, etc. We don't have to remind you that this is quite an investment, so you need to exercise the proper care at just about every step.
Step Eight: Closure
Once you're as comfortable as can be, the only thing that's left to do is close the deal. With your confirmation, the paperwork gets finalized and then the delivery element of things is handled as necessary.
On that note, you should know that we deliver anywhere in Australia. Once your purchase is complete, we'll have it delivered to your door!
You can't guarantee that a vehicle is ready for the rough conditions that a mine presents until the right customizations have been done.
Before you customize though, there's the matter of purchase. Follow the steps we laid out above, and you should have a straightforward experience.
Remember that you can always reach out to Westside Auto Wholesale at (08) 6145 0099 with any queries or concerns you may have!