Dragging Industrial Production the Fault of U.S. Mining Industry?

rigid-haul-truck-crewA quick skim of recent headlines would lead you to believe that the U.S. mining industry is to blame for the recent slowdown in national industrial production.

But headlines don’t always tell the whole story.

According to Newsmax Finance, industrial production began to fall unexpectedly in the spring. Among the culprits cited in the headline is the U.S. mining industry, although almost no information in the article is given to support that claim.

Fortunately, other sources elaborate further on this issue, providing a clearer picture of what is, in fact, a more complicated situation:

U.S. industrial production unexpectedly fell in May as manufacturing and mining activity remained weak, a sign that a strong dollar and spending cuts in the energy sector continued to constrain economic growth (The Fiscal Times).

Even more clarity is offered through Reuters, in an article that takes the time to break down not only the root causes for the slowdown but also the possible solutions. Although the headlines point a finger at U.S. mining as a main key to the slowdown of production, that’s only part of the story.

Mining is a key, yes; but it’s only one key, and a small one at that. A careful reading of the text reveals that a large number of factors have contributed to the recent industrial drag–weak orders, the rise of the US dollar, and a steady decline in oil and gas drilling to name just a few.

Headlines are intended to be eye-catching, not necessarily fully informative. That’s why as we work to keep up with developments within our respective fields, it’s important to do more than skim. Because although it’s considered bad journalism, there are still plenty of reasons for writers to “bury the lead.”

As part of our service to you, we work to keep you apprised of developments within the mining, farming, and big tire communities.


Image credit: Dionisius Purba on Flickr

Fakes and Scams: Australian Mining Industry Woes Finally Offering Some Variety

Although recent predictors have indicated that an upswing may be on the horizon for Australia’s beleaguered mining industry, the fact remains that reports coming out of the country’s news outlets have been a nearly-unadulterated onslaught of gloom and doom.

Take, for example, last month’s reports of yet more mining job cuts at chemical company and explosives manufacturer Orica.

The chemical maker announced that it will let go of around 10 per cent of its 220-strong workforce at its Yarwun site. The company also announced that it will cut output by 15 per cent… Earlier this year the company reported a 3 per cent drop in half year profits to $211 million, and a 5 per cent drop in earnings to $472 million. (Companies and Markets)

You’ll note, however, that we specified recent news out of Australia as a nearly-unadulterated onslaught of gloom and doom. There have been a few outlying articles.

One of them is this recent headline: “Australian Mining Industry Scam Lands Fake Media Tycoon in Jail.” Make no mistake: this is still bad news for the Australian mining industry. People were taken in, and money was lost.

Peter Noel Anthony Sorensen, 52, was sentenced to 15 months jail with a non-parole period of six months, over an elaborate billing scam that saw eight companies pay invoices, totaling $124,500, for adverts in magazines that never existed. (Sydney Morning Herald)

Although we can’t exactly call this news positive, it’s at least notable by way of being novel. In addition, it’s at least possible (though perhaps unlikely) that some of the lost funds may be won back through legal measures.

It’s hopeful that no more mining firms are taken in by swindlers in the time remaining before the Australian mining industry’s next upswing. It may have offered us some variety in the news, but it’s certainly not a trend we’d look forward to see developing.

Remember that we carry a full stock of OTR tires for all of your mining needs. Please feel free to contact us for the best deals.

Tire Maintenance: Three Don’ts

Checking tread depth with a pennyAlong with our recent post citing the Three Do’s of tire maintenance, we wanted to follow up with the flip side. If you’re going to be responsible for your tires and the machines that they power, then there are three aspects of maintenance that you don’t want to forget.

Three Tire Don’ts:

Don’t forget to balance your wheels.

The most common symptom of tire imbalance is a steady vibration that increases in direct relationship to speed. Since imbalanced tires can lead to less traction, poor steering control, and a general decrease in tire life, it is important to deal with this problem right away. Don’t ignore it.

Don’t forget to check for wear abnormalities.

Wear abnormalities can give you indications of over-inflation, under-inflation, as well as other problems with your vehicle. In addition, observing wear abnormalities can cue you in when (or if) the vehicle is being driven improperly. Check visually and then manually, looking for scrapes, scares, bald patches, and uneven wearing in tread depth. Don’t overlook this important procedure.

Don’t forget to follow recommendations for replacements.

Even if there are no obvious signs of dry rot, damage, or wear and tear, Popular Mechanics still recommends replacing your tires along with the manufacturer’s recommended replacement schedule.

When the time does come to replace the old or damaged tires on your heavy equipment, be sure to bear us in mind. We carry a full stock of OTR tires to serve the mining and farming communities. Please feel free to contact us for the best deals.


Image credit: Pixabay

Tire Maintenance: Three Do’s

For today’s post we decided to get on the road and share some tried and true tire safety tips with truckers and all you summer road warriors heading off to your summer vacation destinations.  Whether you are driving an RV, hauling a camper trailer or just hauling the kids to the beach in your car or truck, you need to care for your tires so that they care for you.  If you’re going to care for your tires, it’s important to know the Do’s and Don’ts. Even if you’re fairly certain you practice good tire maintenance, be sure to read all the way through the following list to ensure that you haven’t overlooked anything.

For now, let’s start with the do’s.

Three Big Tire Do’s:

Do check the pressure regularly.

This almost seems to go without saying, but if you haven’t instituted a regular check of your tire pressure, be sure to do so. Under-inflated or imbalanced tires can lead to all manner of problems, not the least of which is shorter tire life. Institute regular checks to be sure that your tire pressure matches manufacturer recommendations.

Do rotate your tires on a schedule.

This prevents irregular wear and contributes additional tire life. But that’s not all:

Done properly, [tire rotation] can extend the life of your tires, improve your gas mileage and ensure that your car handles in a steady and predictable manner when you need to make a sudden turn or stop. (How Stuff Works)

With such incentives at hand, it’s important to keep your tires rotated on a regular basis. For standard-sized tires, rotations should be done every 3,000-7,000 miles. For big tires, be sure to follow the owner’s manual for each machine.

Do check your alignment.

Uneven tire wear isn’t always a result of poor tire rotation schedules. Sometimes it’s caused because the wheels are out of alignment. This is also most likely the case if the steering wheel pulls to one side or the other, or if the wheel must be kept at an angle in order for the vehicle to drive straight. Bringing the wheels back into alignment will do more than help you keep a good tread on your tires: it will also contribute greatly to your safety.

Now that you’re brought up to speed on the Do’s, keep your eyes peeled next week for an accompanying list of Don’ts.  We hope all our blog readers are having a fun filled and awesome summer with family and friends.

For information on the upkeep of your off the road tires, or to find out more about our best deals, please feel free to contact us.


Image credit: Pixabay

OTR Tire Deals for July 15, 2015

Below are a few items that one of our suppliers is looking to move. All prices are per tire, and plus freight in U.S. dollars.

10pc – 385-95R25 *** E2 TL AR25 AEOLUS – $770.00

27pc – 17.5R25 ** E3/L3 TL AL37 AEOLUS – $695.00

15pc – 20.5R25 ** E3/L3 TL AL36 AEOLUS – $1,100.00

11pc – 20.5R25***E2 AR25 TL AEOLUS – $1,050.00

20pc – 23.5R25 ** E3/L3 TL AL36 AEOLUS – $1,450.00

23pc – 29.5R25 ** E3/L3 TL AL37 AEOLUS – $2,650.00

12pc – 29.5R25 ** E4 TL AE47 AEOLUS – $2,850.00

2pc – 23.5R25 Goodyear GP2B 6S 1* – $2,850.00

2pc – 17.5R25 Bridgestone VSDL 1* – $1,550.00

20pc – 18.4R30 Titan Hi-Traction Lug – $450.00

6pc – 17.5×25 Xtreme Load L5S 20ply – $500.00

Please contact us to secure your specially priced tires.  We can also provide you with a freight quote.

Mining Equipment Sector Looking for the Turnaround

wheel loader scooping sandWhen the mining sector falters, they do not falter alone. That’s because many businesses rely on one another for their own success, and the mining equipment sector is a prime example.

Until 2013, Caterpillar and Joy Global rode the wave of a mining boom fueled by rising commodity prices. Some within the industry referred to this period as a “super cycle.” When the bubble burst, and fewer and fewer equipment orders came in, both companies were forced to lay off hundreds of workers.

This ebb and flow really is nothing new, of course.

Over the years, the mining industry has experienced boom and bust periods, sometimes lasting for years. “We are not seeing a lot of improvement in the very near term, but I also think there’s probably not a whole lot of downside left,” said analyst Mircea Dobre with investment firm Robert W. Baird & Co. (Milwaukee Journal Sentinel)

As is the case with the situation in the Australian mining community (only slightly less dire), leaders in the American markets hope that with the markets having nowhere further to drop, there is nowhere else to go but up.

We routinely ship to mines throughout North and South America, and therefore feel fully invested in the direction of the global mining markets. It’s our hope to see growth not only in the Americas, but also around the world.

Remember that at every rise and fall of the mining world, we are still here, offering a full range of OTR products for all of your mining needs. Feel free to contact us for the best deals.

U.S. Mining Industry Spotlight: Developments in West Virginia

blackwater-falls-west-virginiaAs we keep track of developments within the U.S. mining industry, we’re the first to admit that situations vary from state to state. News snippets pertaining to mining in West Virginia have been quite a mixed bag lately, offering up both positive and negative developments.

West Virginia Developments:

  • “Bankrupt Patriot Coal Picks Blackhawk Mining as Lead Bidder” – When West Virginia-based Patriot declared bankruptcy, the race was on to see who will snap up their assets. Early in June, they announced that they would be teaming up with Blackhawk Mining LLC on a $643 million bid. As of the time of this writing, the deadline for competing offers has not yet passed. Since, in addition, a judge would need to approve the final sale, the question remains open for now.
  • “Murray, Alpha Notify West Virginia Coal Miners of Layoffs” – Unfortunately, in late May, 1,417 workers for Murray Energy Corps and 439 from Alpha were laid off from coal mines in West Virginia. According to sources inside, leaders blame competition and tougher regulations contributing to a 10 percent fall in oil prices in the past year.
  • “WV Coal Mine Safety Board Adopts New Underground Mining Equipment Rule” – Beginning June 2, all mining equipment operated underground in West Virginia must comply with new safety regulations. The new rules raise standards for who is eligible to operate such equipment, requires more frequent inspections, and calls for more foreman supervision. It is hoped that these new regulations will prevent accidents and ensure a higher level of employee safety.

Whether you’re currently working in West Virginia or in any of our other great mining states, remember to check out our full line of OTR tires and contact us for the best deals.


Image credit: “Blackwater-falls-autumn-foliage-scenery – West Virginia – ForestWander” by http://www.ForestWander.com. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 us via Wikimedia Commons

USA Independence Day 2015 OTR Tire Sale

I am sure all of you in the States are making plans for the upcoming Independence Day weekend. Buy Big Tires will be closing at Noon (-4 GMT) on Friday.  Our office will reopen on Monday July 6th at 9am (-4 GMT).

We hope everyone has a great week and a Happy Fourth of July to all our U.S. customers.

BuyBigTires.com OTR Tire Firecracker Specials!!

4pc – 725-70×25 16ply Titan – $400.00 each
20pc – 18.4R30 Titan Hi-Traction Lug – $500.00 each
2pc – 17.5×25 Xtreme Load 20ply L5 Smooth – $450.00 each
1pc – 18.00×25 Xtreme Load 28ply L5 Smooth – $450.00
1pc – 16.00R24 Bridgestone VKT – $800.00
4pc – 27.00R49 Bridgestone VRLS E2A – $9,200.00 each (2011 production)
​4pc – 23.5R25 Yokohama RB31 – $1,975.00 each
8pc – 725-70×25 (23.5R25) Titan 16ply L4T – $800.00 each great for working in loose soil conditions

Vale’s Sharp Increase in Iron Ore Output Wreaking Havoc on Others in Brazilian Mining Industry

logo_valeOn the heels of news in late May that Brazilian mining giant Vale planned to fund a $16 million expansion for its iron ore mines come reports of multiple mine closures and job losses along the country’s iron ore front lines. Although these two circumstances may sound like contradictions on the surface, there’s actually a direct connection.

Due to competition with Australian mines for Chinese business, major players within the Brazilian mining industry–such as Vale–have stepped up their iron ore production. The losers in this power dynamic, however, have not been limited to Australian companies. The losers have also been smaller Brazilian-based mines. Due to their higher production costs, they’ve been unable to keep up with increased demands.

Iron ore tends to be a scale game, with larger producers able to afford better infrastructure like rail or slurry pipes which in turn reduce costs. With less efficient infrastructure, smaller mines usually have higher costs and struggle in a price slump. (Hellenic Shipping News Worldwide)

So although Vale’s iron ore expansion has benefited the company itself, and by extension Brazil’s GDP; and although Vale’s success expands Brazil’s iron ore industry, this expansion comes at a cost.

Rampant unemployment is just one ramification facing mining communities. Local shop owners report having seen a one-third drop in traffic since the mine closures. Likewise, with 70% of local government revenue generated (whether directly or indirectly) by mining, it’s likely that public projects will require severe cuts.

It’s our hope that these smaller mining companies find a way to remain viable, offer stable jobs for their employees, and provide more competition on the open market.

Remember that we provide OTR tires for all of your iron ore mining needs. Feel free to contact us for the best deals.

I Love a Parade: Preparing Your Front End Loaders for Their Moment of Glory

tractor-paradeIt’s true that front end loaders take a lot of flack for being troublemakers. After all, no other machine that we spotlight has developed such a reputation for crime sprees. But a hard look at the evidence proves that front end loaders aren’t all bad. In fact, they have some fine qualities, and these qualities are always on their best display during community parades.

Since the 4th of July holiday is upcoming, we thought we’d help you get ahead of the curve by giving you some ideas for your next Independence Day Parade.

Anybody can drape their front end loader with red, white, and blue bunting for a patriotic look, but if you’re looking for something a bit more creative, read on.

If you have a front end loader, you’re about to be the life of the party.

Front End Loader Parade Ideas:

  • Fill the bucket with candy to be thrown to the crowd along the parade route. After the show’s over, park in a prominent location nearby, lower the bucket, and let passersby help themselves. This is sure to be a crowd favorite among children and adults alike.
  • Construct large top hat and veil. Drive two front end loaders down the street side-by-side as bride and groom. Have two adorable children walk out front as flower girl and ring bearer. Brace yourself for oooh’s and aaaaah’s.
  • For night parades, line the frame and wheels of your front end loader with glow-in-the-dark paints as an homage to the Tron light cycles. Prepare to be hailed as a genius.

Whatever you choose to do, don’t miss the opportunity to enroll your front end loaders in your local Independence Day parade or other festivity. Not only will a well-placed sign give you a bit of free advertising along the parade route or the event grounds, but your involvement is a great opportunity to show your interest in the local community.

Remember that we carry a full stock of big tires for all of your front end loaders. Please feel free to contact us for the best deals.


Image credit: Old Photos Blogspot