Engineering & Mining Journal

AUG 2018

Engineering and Mining Journal - Whether the market is copper, gold, nickel, iron ore, lead/zinc, PGM, diamonds or other commodities, E&MJ takes the lead in projecting trends, following development and reporting on the most efficient operating pr

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Page 43 of 107

TIRES 42 E&MJ • AUGUST 2018 For certain types of equipment in a typ- ical mine production fleet, tires are the principal, and often the only connection between the machine and the dirt, pro- viding the sole means to steer and stop the vehicle and carry payloads in an ef- ficient manner. That means there's a lot riding on the massive rubber, synthetic fabric and steel doughnuts found on the four corners of haul trucks and loaders, ranging from operator safety and comfort to production efficiency and overall vehi- cle operating expense. And when supply shortages impact the industry as forceful- ly as they did in the early 2000s, tires can become a budget buster. Fortunately, the global mining industry has been riding a modest wave of stabili- ty recently, and based on comments from major tire company executives at the Tire Industry Association OTR conference held in February, the industry isn't current- ly plagued by widespread tire shortages. Fleet operators can generally get the siz- es, models and quantities they need, with scattered regional scarcities attributed mostly to logistics or distribution prob- lems. Executives from several major sup- pliers noted at the conference they had plans to expand production for OTR units in 2018 and beyond and introduce new models to fill product-line gaps in both surface and underground applications. These future products will join the handful of new offerings introduced by major suppliers in the past year or two, such as Bridgestone's VREV (V-Steel Rock Extra V-Operation), which features buttress fins, shoulder grooves and paral- lelogram tread blocks that are claimed to deliver improvements of up to 7% in wear resistance and 10% in heat resistance; BKT's Earthmax SR 42, developed for cold-weather use on haul trains in min - ing and featuring a specially engineered tread compound to provide particular resistance against cuts and wear, and to ensure safety at extremely low tempera- tures; Michelin's X Mine D2 Pro and the XSM D2+ Pro Line underground mining tires, with an increased load capacity of up to 18%; and Yokohama Tire's RB42 33.00R51 E-4 radial tire for rigid frame haul truck applications, now available in multiple compounds — CP (cut protect- ed) and REG (regular). Suppliers are also addressing regional service, distribution and product demands. In late 2017, for example, Bridgestone announced it had established PT. Bridge- stone Mining Solutions Indonesia (BMSI). The new entity integrates Bridgestone's Jakarta, Indonesia, representative's office, which provides mine-tire maintenance services, with PT. Bridgestone Engineered Products Indonesia (BSEA-IN). Bridgestone said BMSI will function as a regional company similar to Bridge- stone Mining Solutions Australia Pty Ltd., which started operations in Australia on January 1. Double Coin Tires, a brand of China Manufacturers Alliance LLC, announced in April its California warehouse received the first shipment of OTR tires from its plant in Thailand, built to support the brand's North American market sales. Elsewhere, Canada-based Kal Tire's Mining Tire Group, a tire service provider and major retreader that operates on five continents, recently expanded its pres- ence in Mexico's mining industry, building a state-of-the-art retread plant based on high expectations for demand from that country's resource sector (see sidebar). OTR tire suppliers, in addition to seek- ing new avenues for market expansion, are also widening their technological horizons. Jennifer Jensen, associate ed- itor, reported that OTR tire manufacturer Balkrishna Industries Ltd. (BKT) recently celebrated the first decade of its Earth- max tire lineup, and announced plans to achieve a 10% market share — up from its current claimed 6% share — in the all-steel radial segment of the global off- the-road (OTR) market by 2025. Keep Mine Tires Turning With Something Old, Something New New technologies can help fleet operators run OTR tires at peak performance, but even high-tech needs backup from time-tested practices such as proper selection, basic service and committed management By Russell A. Carter, Contributing Editor With recent studies indicating that tire costs typically account for 5% of a mine's overall operating budget and 40% of OTR tires wear out prematurely, attention to tire management strategies is crucial for cost containment.

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