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Tomcar unleash mining-grade TM5MR utility

Eureka: The Tomcar TM5MR is designed from the ground-up to tame the wild terrain and harsh conditions of mining sites from around the world.

TM5MR mining-spec ute the key to growth for Melbourne-based Tomcar

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Tomcar logo25 Sep 2014

By TUNG NGUYEN

AUSTRALIA'S newest car-maker, Tomcar, has revealed its new Melbourne-built TM5MR all-terrain utility vehicle at the International Mining and Resources Conference that will target the local and international mining sector.

The local auto-maker specialises in bespoke, heavy-duty all-terrain vehicles, designed to carry heavy loads in difficult terrain and Tomcar is positioning the TM5MR to be the work vehicle of choice for miners across the country.

Tomcar Australia co-founder and CEO David Brim told GoAuto that the lack of local mining equipment manufacturers in Australia meant Tomcar was in a good position to pitch the TM5MR to mining companies as a locally-built alternative, and “plug that hole.”

To tackle the rugged mining terrain, Tomcar built upon the already off-road capable TM5 ute and made it even more durable.

“We've taken the existing TM5 diesel and gone back to the drawing board to understand what mines want,” Mr Brim said. “The mines are a very corrosive environment, so we coat the frame – an extra process in the production for the mining version – in titanium and zinc that protects the vehicle from corrosion.

“We have also changed all the aluminium in the car, the floorpan, floor plates and side plates, to stainless steel, because in a corrosive environment the aluminium will just rot away.”

The TM5MR will also receive high-powered lights, a reversing camera, glow-in-the-dark body panels and a military-spec wiring loom, which will only take 60 minutes to remove and replace.

It also benefits from a higher ground clearance and open suspension to allow to allow the removal of excess mud and acidic sand, a problem often associated with standard SUVs used on mining sites.

Mr Brim told GoAuto that there was already consumer interest, with the Melbourne-based company receiving nearly a dozen orders for the TM5MR, with growing interest both domestically and abroad.

“We were not really planning on fulfilling orders for the next six months,” Mr Brim said, “But the product we've come up with today, people seem really responsive and excited about.”

Currently, Tomcar is building 200 vehicles a year at its facility in the south-eastern suburb of Oakleigh South and is looking to increase production due to the enthusiastic reception to the TM5MR.

“The more demand there is, the more cars we build and more people we need to hire. Currently there are 35 people on the whole team, but once we move into the 400-500 vehicle a year range, we are going to need to double that number.”

Tomcar Australia has partnered with Australian mining equipment company Safescape to distribute the TM5MR and the company's director Steve Durkin believes that it will be less costly to maintain than their existing fleet of Toyotas and Isuzus.

“One of the best things about the Tomcar TM5MR is that they are made in Australia which means every single component is available to be dispatched within a day and on site anywhere in Australia within a couple of days.”

The Tomcar TM5MR will start from $40,000, plus on-road costs, which rises to $42,696 when options are included, such as an extra 26-litre fuel tank, tow hitch, spare front and rear wheels and spare wheel holder.

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