What is a Mantrip?

Mantrips transport miners in and out of a mine.

A crew is a small vehicle or transport used to transport miners in and out of a mine every day. These vehicles travel from washing houses on the earth’s surface to underground mining areas. Mantrips can be found in coal, metal and diamond mines and come in a variety of shapes to suit the needs of different types of operations.

Most crew vehicles travel on permanent tracks built into the mine floor. In many cases, these tracks have a steep slope, allowing the space shuttle to travel far below the earth’s surface. The crew is operated similarly to a cable car and can be moved in and out of the mine using an overhead cable. Vehicle operation is controlled by an electric or gas hoist located above ground.

Mantrips help miners get to their jobs quickly.

Some crew units do not ride on rails or tracks, but use rubber wheels to get in and out of the mine. These vehicles resemble pickup trucks and can use either a diesel or electric engine. A crew that does not require rails can travel farther into the mine than one operated with a cable winch. This results in a greater degree of flexibility, but it also makes travel riskier and less controlled.

Most mantrips feature a very low profile to allow the vehicle to fit into the low roof space characteristic of most mines. They can use a wide-body design to carry a large number of passengers, or they can be shaped like a standard truck or tram. Some feature open sides to allow easy entry and exit, while others are fully enclosed to protect miners from falling rocks or other hazards. Wire or screen can be used in place of glass to allow miners and operators to see outside the vehicle.

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Many of these vehicles include a number of safety features to protect workers in the notoriously dangerous mining industry. Most have built-in headlights to guide drivers and alert mine workers that the vehicle is coming. Those operating on a cable system include a series of brakes and safety cables in case the main operating cable breaks. A rubber or sand filled shock absorber is often used at the bottom of the mine shaft to cushion the impact if the vehicle loses control.

Mantrips help reduce travel time in and out of the mine, allowing workers to get to work sites faster. They also keep workers on a controlled path so they are less likely to be injured if lost in the mine. These vehicles also provide a relatively quick way to get out of the mine during an emergency, which can help save lives.

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