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ELKO – People attending NPK Mining Equipment’s recent grand opening got a chance to climb into some of the company’s bright, yellow transport vehicles and underground mining equipment that is displayed in front of its building at 1850 Idaho St.

The MinCa is a multi-purpose transport vehicle that can be used by mechanics, surveyors, electricians, and various other mine personnel, explained Dan Tyrrell, president of NPK.

“It has many different applications, but it’s a heavy-duty mining vehicle,” Tyrrell said.

Joined by Franz-Josef Paus, co-owner of Hermann Paus Maschinenfabrik along with his brother, Wolfgang Paus, Tyrrell opened the door of the vehicle, pointing out its design and safety features.

“It has a back-up camera, heavy-duty suspension, ROPS/FOPS, and hydrostatic drive which helps with braking,” Tyrrell explained.

Hydrostatic all-wheel drive uses hydraulics to power the vehicle, which saves fuel, reduces emissions, and is optimal for driving underground, especially during long descents and steep grades.

“When conditions get tough, you need tough machines,” said Franz-Josef Paus.

One of the vehicles on the sales lot is an underground grader. It has a low profile with a tight turning radius, and is equipped with hydrostatic all-wheel drive, full vehicle auto-greasing system, ROPS/FOPS and an oscillating front axle. Options include heating and air conditioning within the enclosed cab, multiple engine choices, blade extensions and radio controls.

Cost-saving engineering

Paus and NPK Engineers collaborate to meet customers’ needs and requirements, said John Rodighiero, Elko branch manager.

“Heavy equipment in general, whether it’s surface or underground … if there are lower operating costs, we are doing our job to help the mines save money – as long as it doesn’t compromise safety,” Rodighiero added.

NPK has an extensive product line such as personnel carriers, utility trucks, loaders, graders and other types of mining equipment. The full-service dealership, located in Elko, is staffed with five employees, including a field service technician.

A fully stocked parts warehouse, a maintenance shop, and a mobile service truck are also on site, ready to go when a vehicle needs to be repaired, either in Elko or at the mine site. The main NKP parts warehouse is located in Walton Hills near Cleveland, Ohio.

The overall goal of NPK and Paus in serving the mines of Northeastern Nevada and the western part of the U.S. is to sell and service a product that reduces downtime, added David Kuegler, NPK Elko operations support specialist.

“Mines have their cost down to per minute, per day,” Kuegler said. Reducing time “saves the mine a lot of money and a lot of headaches.”

“Our goal is to provide service to our customers’ equipment with parts on hand and availability of skilled service technicians who can take care of customer needs on time,” Rodighiero said.

“Basically, anything they might need here doesn’t need to be shipped from Germany or Ohio,” Paus added. “The units, the parts and the service are here.”

Elko was NPK’s “first choice” when the company began looking for another location, Tyrrell said.

“We know Elko is the mining hub of the West, and we had to be here,” he explained.

To further support the Paus mining vehicles, NPK also works with customers to configure equipment to meet the requirements for individual mines. A team of engineers collaborates with clients to custom design any vehicle or piece of equipment to the needs of the operation.

“As long as it doesn’t compromise safety,” Rodighiero added.

“Every mine has unique needs and requirements, which we acknowledge and address to keep the customer happy,” said Kuegler.

Nippon Pneumatic Manufacturing Co. was founded more than 100 years ago in Japan. It began focusing on the design and manufacture of construction equipment attachments in the late 1950s. More than 25 years later, it was best known for producing hydraulic hammers, crushers, shears, and pile drivers, according to the company’s website.

About six years ago, NPK partnered with Hermann Paus Maschinenfabrik to expand the mining product line to North America.

“Our vision is to add personnel and expand the mining branch regarding equipment utilization within the mining industry,” Rodighiero said.

Elko Mining Expo

Visitors to the 34th Annual Elko Mining Expo June 6-7 at the Elko Convention Center will see about six pieces equipment at their booth, including a special rescue vehicle that will be the first of its kind to the United States coming in just for the Expo.

“We are going to announce the unveiling of a new vehicle at a ceremony on June 6, 2019. This is the first one in the United States,” Rodighiero said.

Paus support staff from Germany and corporate representatives will also be available at the NPK booth.

“We welcome anyone curious about the yellow, low-profile mining equipment to stop by for a visit, we’d be happy to show you around,” Rodighiero said.

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Courts, K-12 schools & Spring Creek reporter

Staff writer for the Elko Daily Free Press

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