Scalping the competition – The Metso ST2.8 and Pilot Crushtec prove why they’re the best in the industry


The old adage ‘people fear change’ has been borne out again and again. We are creatures of habit and stick to the saying; if it’s not broken, don’t fix it. This does create a conundrum for companies wanting to showcase new products and innovations in a traditional industry. Fortunately for Pilot Crushtec, they have the best products, skill sets and infrastructure to sway even the most demanding of clients needs. As is the case with the demanding Alluvial diamond mining operations in the Northern Cape. With very sticky materials, large oversize river boulders and challenging conditions, these operations require reliability, efficiency and high production consistently.

The last few weeks has seen a unique product demonstration undertaken by Pilot Crushtec to showcase the Metso Lokotrack ST2.8 Mobile scalping screen’s capabilities to the industry. “We understand that machinery is expensive and a loss of production costs money. Buying a new machine on the off-chance that it may deliver better results, is a gamble most operations are not willing to take,” says Bradley Karolus, sales engineer at Pilot Crushtec. “It is with this in mind that we decided to run a number of product demonstrations on clients’ sites at no cost to the client. Some people would consider this a gamble, but we understand that the Metso ST2.8 Mobile scalping screen is the very best in the world at doing scalping jobs.”

Putting their money where their mouth is, Pilot Crushtec went out to a number of alluvial diamond sites in the Northern Cape and put the unit toe-to-toe with established competitor machines already on site and stood back to watch the results.

“The first site we set up on was primarily Kimberlite, an extremely wet and sticky substrate. The demo machine we used was set up for generic purposes, with 55mm and 75mm Bofar bars on the top deck and 35mm Rapid screen on the bottom deck. This proved to be effective in removing the clay clumps from the Kimberlite and our production figures averaged 500tph. When it comes to media selection – this can change from site to site, and we needed to be able to ensure the machine would work in all environments. With the ST2.8 you have easy access to the bottom deck, making media changes fast and efficient.”

Moving onto the second site the conditions changed radically. From wet and sticky media, the material to be processed was very dry. “The material which went through the machine contained a high-percentage of iron ore and is commonly called, ‘Rooikoppie’ which is heavier than normal. We managed to process at best a maximum of 850 tons per hour. Increasing from an average on the site of around 670tph. This is a conservative increase of 25% in productivity and we managed to supply two shifts with product in a little under three and a half hours – a task that usually takes eight hours. This goes a long way to highlighting the reliability and efficiency of the machine. The saving on operating costs from decreased running time and the efficiency of scalping provided by the aggressive 15mm stroke, ensured that the ST2.8 was the star of the show.”

The third site tackled really put the machine through its paces, by being exposed to a mixed material input from very wet to very dry. “The client told us to stretch the machines capabilities and push it into the worst applications they had. No problem for the METSO ST2.8. We managed to set up and process 37 buckets of 1.3cubes in 10 minutes without blinding off on the meshes – a problem usually experienced with their current machines. We then went over to a dry run, and the machine powered through the processing with no hassles. Finally, we went over to a de-sanding process with no problems at all, effectively showing that the versatility of the Metso ST2.8, and its ability to transition between a scalper to a sand screen with no problems. No one else has a machine with this capability, and all of this happened over the course of a week. The timeframes to convert the media is minimal which ensures you are always being productive.”

The last site Pilot Crushtec set up on delivered some new challenges. The client required a larger, more cubic shaping on their material for processing. The decision was taken at midday to strip and retool the machine, and by 17:00 they were finished stripping and replacing the bottom deck. After receiving the go-ahead, the following morning, we were up and running and ready for production by 12:00 the next day. “We managed to rebuild and get up and running without any lifting equipment or spares in a matter of hours.”

Essentially, the ease of use, aggressive 15mm stroke, versatility of media options, ease of maintenance, large 11m3 feed hopper, dynamic two or three way split and Pilot Crushtec’s back-up support and the ability to handle all types of media, prove why the Metso Lokotrack ST2.8 is a market leader in scalping. All of these benefits combined with the five-year, 10 000-hour Metso EPS (extended protection services warranty) make it an essential tool for the 21st century environment.

Every customer visited was beyond impressed with the units performance and agreed that the Metso ST2.8 is more than capable in demanding applications.

Discover more about the Metso ST2.8 at

The Lokotrack ST2.8 at a glance

  • The Lokotrack ST2.8 has the biggest eccentric throw on the market which makes it the ideal unit for scalping topsoil, coal, iron ore, manganese, demolition waste and river gravel to name but a few. Additionally, the ST2.8 can be fine-tuned for sand applications.
  • The clearance under the screen has been increased by 20% and the bottom deck area is 400mm longer than any competitor in its class.
  • In multi-stage crushing processes, the removal of fines is easy with a two-way split option. This feature combines material flow from the first and second deck to the main conveyor and maximises the capacity and efficiency of the crushing process.
  • Apron feeder & 11 cube hopper to allow for a bigger excavator to be used and chevron belts are standard features of Lokotrack ST2.8.
  • The Metso Lokotrack ST2.8 is ready for screening in minutes thanks to hydraulically operated conveyors and screen including a patent pending feeder mechanism.
  • The Metso Lokotrack ST2.8 is 25% lighter than similar machines because the weight is lower, transportation is cheaper.
  • The fuel-efficient scalping process can be started with safe push button.


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