Autonomous trucks coming to Virginia aggregate plant

Caterpillar believes the technology could make industrial sites safer and more efficient.

Caterpillar Truck

A Caterpillar truck rolls along a site. – Caterpillar

Key Takeaways:

  • The Cat MineStart Command for Hauling system will be implemented on 77G trucks at the Bull Run Plant in Virginia.
  • It is Caterpillar’s first deployment of the technology in the aggregate sector.
  • The company said data collected from the site will help it better tune its technology for future aggregate applications.

The Whole Story:

Caterpillar Inc. is looking to push vehicle automation forward with a new collaboration in the aggregate sector. 

The heavy equipment supplier is working with Luck Stone, America’s largest family-owned and operated producer of crushed stone, sand and gravel, to deploy its autonomous solution to the Bull Run Plant in Chantilly, Virginia. It will be Caterpillar’s first autonomous deployment in the aggregates industry and will expand the company’s autonomous truck fleet to include the 100-ton-class (90-tonne-class) Cat 777 .

Looking to accelerate autonomous solutions beyond mining, Caterpillar will implement its existing Cat MineStar Command for Hauling system at the Bull Run quarry, on a fleet of 777G trucks. Caterpillar officials say this will help it gain greater insights on quarry operations in order to tailor the next generation of autonomous solutions specific to quarry and aggregate applications.

The company added that the project will support the acceleration of autonomous technology for operations with fewer mobile assets, making projects safer and more productive. 

The Bull Run Plant sits in Chantilly, Virginia. It mines a type of rock known as Traprock or diabase. – Caterpillar

“Luck Stone and Caterpillar’s partnership has been grounded in shared values for many years,” said Charlie Luck, president and CEO of Luck Companies. “Together we believe that safety, innovation and a commitment to people are critical, not only to propelling important projects like this, but to ensuring our focus on the future and all of the exciting possibilities technology affords our industry. Our collaboration will provide opportunities for associates to learn and grow, improve safety and result in production efficiencies. We are thrilled to partner with Caterpillar to achieve this ‘first’ for our industry.”

The current autonomy solutions will be implemented in 2024. Caterpillar currently boasts the world’s largest fleet of autonomous haul trucks, now numbering more than 560 trucks. These trucks have traveled more than 187 million kilometers and autonomously moved more than 5.1 billion tonnes without a single zero lost-time injury.

“Caterpillar has a long-standing relationship with Luck Stone, and we look forward to working together to bring the demonstrated benefits of increased safety and productivity to the quarry industry. We’re excited to get in the dirt and work alongside Luck Stone’s innovative team, so we can learn how to scale our already proven mining solution for another industry,” said Denise Johnson, Caterpillar Group president of resource Industries.


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