Choose the Right Heavy Equipment Tires for Wherever the Road Takes You

Coal dust and water vapor can be tough on OTR tires.

Coal dust and water vapor can be tough on OTR tires.

The state of Wyoming produced 40% of the coal used by the United States. The vast majority of this production is done in open pit mines, with coal varying between high-sulfur anthracite to lower sulfur bituminous coal. The common factor in extracting this valuable resource is sulfur.

Sulfur is a volatile element, which readily combines with other elements such as carbon and hydrogen.  When combined with rainwater, sulfur becomes sulfuric acid.  Environmentally speaking, acid rain is a concern, often debated for its effects on wetlands, birth defects through acid deposition, and advanced deterioration of man-made structures, from statues to the bolts and ironworks of bridges.  Mines are better suited to being in remote locations due to the dangers extraction could have on the local population.

On a localized level, sulfuric acid had more impact on something you might not consider: heavy equipment tires.  That’s right, the very equipment relied upon to extract coal is in and of itself a workplace hazard.  In an open-pit site, the coal is exposed to the elements, and when rock scrapers, loaders, and trucks travel through a sulfur-rich compound such as coal dust, the caustic, corrosive solvents this creates will eventually begin to break down your vehicles’ tires.  Keeping equipment clean and constantly maintained helps prevent premature wear and tear on metal parts, but what about the rubber on the road?

Even though sulfuric acid was originally used in the creation of vulcanized rubber, protecting it from the changes in temperature commonly associated with life on planet Earth, over-exposure to sulfuric acid will cause rubber to become brittle and inevitably fail.  Not only will the constant need to replace damaged tires slow down your operation, but it could create the potential for loss of life.

When buying tires, you must consider the type of terrain your fleet of heavy equipment will be handling.  Also, consider the environment your equipment is coming from as well.  The same tires that were used in a copper mine have been exposed to different elements than those which are found in a coal pit and vice versa.  If your company is using vehicles for another sort of operation, be sure the tires are inspected and replaced as needed for the new job.

Contact us to learn more about what sort of conditions our tires can handle.  Chances are we have the right kind of rubber for any kind of mining road you are traveling, able to handle the rigors of mining, extraction, and reclamation, in any kind of climate, any kind of terrain.

Current Advances in Mining Equipment

Sandvik DD531 underground three boom hydraulic drill rig

Sandvik DD531 underground three boom hydraulic drill rig
via Global Mining

As we march through the Twenty-first Century, the rate of technological advancement continues to boggle the mind. Companies around the world turn out faster, sleeker, more powerful innovations by the day, and producers of mining equipment are no exception.

According to a recent article in Mining Global, the industry’s leading manufacturers have been producing inventions fit for the future of mining: Caterpillar offers new load-dump-haul machines with Ventilation Reduction Packages, minimizing diesel particle matter; Atlas Copco consistently serves up products that redefine comfort and ergonomics; Sandvick offers technical solutions; and Joy Global continually designs more effective custom-engineered mining equipment. With such innovations on hand, both profit and productivity can be maximized as never before (Global Mining).

With all of these positive advancements and a seemingly thriving industry, one would think that it would be easier for equipment manufacturers to succeed; however, with the speed at which all of this is happening, it’s also easy for companies to be left behind, especially with the technology boom coinciding rather unfortunately with a recession.

But perhaps all is not so grim: perhaps the mining technology boom was partially instigated by the recession!

Witness Marcotte Mining Machinery, a 35-year old company that’s faced recent bouts of financial hardship. Their answer to the recession? Diversification via innovation:

By the time the recession hit in 2008, Marcotte had already started to diversify its line of mining products. The company had already expanded to include mine winching and hoisting solutions for its customers, and had started to create all-in-one, Swiss-Army-knife solutions with its underground mining equipment. “Now we’re at the point where [customers] don’t want three pieces of equipment, they want one to do all three jobs,” Rienguette [General Manager] said (Northern Life).

Yes, the 2008 recession did affect the mining sector, but it does not follow that the affects were purely negative. For more information on current mining trends, or to hear about our supply of OTR tires, please feel free to contact us.

 

Image credit: Global Mining

The Liebherr T282B: A Magnificent Use of Haul Truck Tires

Liebherr T282B rigid haul truckSome haul truck tires carry more weight than others — and we mean that quite literally.

Specifically, we’re referring to the (gloriously massive) tires atop which hulks the Liebherr T282B. This beast of a machine, nicknamed the “mechanical dinosaur” by the folks over at Daily News Auto, is simply staggering in terms of both cost and proportion. Sometimes it’s hard to believe that they actually exist.

At $1.5 million each, these trucks are several times more expensive than the world’s finest supercars. The tires alone measure 13.5 feet high and each one costs $50-grand to replace. There are six wheels to every haul truck, meaning that the tires alone are about what you’d pay to own an entire Ferrari F12berlinetta (Daily News Auto).

With the driver perching upwards of twenty feet off the ground, training simulators must be used to prepare operators for the experience. This shouldn’t come as a shock, since the T282B is the largest capacity dump truck in the world, capable of carrying four hundred short tons of material (Mining Technology & Consumer Insight).

That’s right. Four hundred short tons. No wonder handling one requires extra special training. We practically had to don hard hats just to research this article.

Any of you who handle these stunning machines on a regular basis (or even any of you who have seen one in person) have our utmost respect.

And envy.

Liebherr T282B – A History Maker

Of course, there have been other haul trucks that have entered the 400 short ton class since the Liebherr T282B debuted in 2004, specifically the Caterpillar 797F and Bucyrus MT6300AC haul trucks.  But the Liebherr T282B will always hold a special place in mining history as the first to hit the 400 short ton mark at its debut and held the title of largest payload capacity for four years until Caterpillar and Bucyrus entered the 400 short ton capacity market.

Whether you drive a Liebherr T282B and need 56/80R63 or 59/80R63 OTR tires, or if you drive something slightly less colossal, remember that we carry a full range of OTR tires to meet all of your heavy equipment needs. Feel free to peruse our website and contact us for the best deals.

 

Image credit: Wikipedia

Brazilian Mining Industry’s Vale Affected by Price Slides

logo_valeBrazilian mining industry leader Vale looks to be affected by market downturns in the days to come.

First, Creamer Media’s Mining Weekly projects that the current iron-ore price slide will continue to affect markets until 2017. This is big news for companies focusing on iron ore, Brazil’s Vale being one of the major players and therefore likely to be most affected.

Carajás Iron Mine

Carajás Iron Mine from space.

Vale is the world’s biggest producer of iron-ore and pellets – raw materials essential to manufacture steel. Vale’s Carajás iron-ore mine, in the Amazon region in northern Brazil, is the company’s biggest operation. Iron-ore produced by Carajás is considered to be the highest quality in the world, according to Vale’s website (Mining Weekly).

According to the Wall Street Journal‘s “Market Watch,” this downturn has already affected Vale’s bottom line. As early as July 31, it was reported that the company had reported lower-than-expected net profit in the second quarter as prices for iron ore fell to a four-year low.

With the downward trend forecast as likely to continue until 2017, it might be in Vale’s best interest to consider further diversifying their mining operations both within Brazil’s borders and beyond.

Their decision to diversify a few years ago has actually kept the current situation from affecting the bottom line as strongly as it could have. Even as it laments the lag in base metal outputs, an article in Reuters states that it is past diversification on Vale’s part that has now led Vale to strength in nickel production:

Vale had stressed the success of its nickel division in the previous quarter saying it was just 200 tonnes off being the world’s biggest producer of the ingredient used to make steel rust-resistant (Reuters).

Perhaps the current situation will lead them to capitalize further on other opportunities.

Remember that we carry a full array of OTR tires for all of your base metal mining equipment tire needs. Feel free to contact us for the best deals.

OTR Tire News Roundup – What’s New?

McLaren Industries new OTR tires

McLaren Industries new OTR tires

From time to time we like to bring you news from around the web regarding what’s been going on in the world of OTR tires. It’s been a busy few months for the OTR tire world, and here are just a few of the developments that we’ve been keeping our eyes on.

What’s New in the World of OTR Tires?

  • “Who’s Who?” - As the International Tire Exhibition & Conference (ITEC) leadership gears up for their upcoming conference in Orlando, Florida, they’ve announced that they plan to host a “Who’s Who” panel, organized and moderated by Jack Fenner: “The breadth, knowledge, and expertise of the panel members are astounding. They are the true leaders when it comes to this segment of the business.” Interested parties should plan to find themselves at the conference August 20-22.
  • McLaren Industries adds to Nu-Air series – After ten years of field testing, McLaren has announced that they’re adding off-road and industrial tires to their popular semi-pneumatic tire series. According to Tire Businessthe R&D department is happy to have produced a tire that will increase productivity and reduce maintenance costs on heavy construction equipment.
  • Michelin experiencing fluctuating numbers – Despite a 4.8% drop in sales revenue, Michelin has announced a 23.1% increase in net income for the first half of the 2014 fiscal year. Relevant to our interests, sources within the company claim that “Michelin’s specialty tire business unit (agricultural, OTR, motorcycle tires) suffered an 8% drop in sales, largely due to the contraction in demand from the mining segment” (Rubber News).

As we round up these snippets, we are reminded of the important role you — the consumers — play in the overall scope of things. Miners, farmers, factory workers, truck drivers, and big rig operators–all of you play an important role in keeping the world moving forward.

Know of an important item that we missed? Feel free to add it in the comments below.

Remember that we carry a full complement of OTR tires. Feel free to contact us for the best deals.

 

Image credit: TireBusiness.com

Debate Swirls Over New Chinese Tire Tariffs

US to levy additional tariffs on Chinese tires

Recent news on new Chinese tire tariffs approved by the United States Commerce Department has created quite a stir. Controversy surrounding the decision heats up on the internet as the debate continues.

The Rundown

The U.S. Commerce department has sided with the United Steelworker’s Union by giving them approval to pursue additional tariffs against imported Chinese-produced consumer tires. According to Tire Review, such tires “materially injure” the U.S.’s own tire industry, providing justification for the tariffs.

The Controversy

As with most government decisions, this one has been hotly debated. While some see this as a way to keep Chinese companies from damaging American consumer markets and a way to protect U.S. jobs, others cry undue government interference and claim that the consumers will be shafted, since such a move could potentially affect competitive pricing.

And of course the proposed tariffs would not be popular in China, since the country’s tire companies face over-production and weak demand within their own borders, relying heavily on overseas markets.

Additionally, the increased tariffs of 2009 and their aftereffects are still heavy on some minds:

Most Chinese tire producers only compete in the mid-level and low-end markets and earn low profits, so punitive tariffs of around 30 percent like what the US imposed on Chinese tire exports from 2009 to 2012 will be devastating to Chinese tire enterprises (Global Times).

As suppliers of big tires, we naturally pay attention to issues such as these, doing all that we can to mitigate the damaging affects they might have on you, our customers. We work hard to bring you quality OTR tires at competitive prices. Feel free to contact us for the best deals.

 

Image credit: CNTV

Safe Trucking: When to Pull Over

American-Truck_web

Driving a big truck and trailer is hard work. Many drivers try to drive non-stop over several days until they get where they are going. The more you drive, the more you get paid. However, there are times when you must pull over to prevent trucking accidents.

If you are tired, you should pull over. There is no reason that you need to drive if you can’t keep your eyes open. If you are that tired, your judgment will be impaired and you are more likely to get into an accident. You may also fall asleep and cause an accident.

When you see a cop car with flashing lights, you must pull over. Even if they are not pulling you over, safely get out of their way so that they can catch whoever they are after.

When there is ice on the road and you can’t handle your rig safely, it is time to pull over. There is no harm in pulling over, especially if the roads have not been treated yet. You need to get your cargo there safely. Time is not always an issue.

Sometimes when there is a lot of traffic or an accident, it is better to pull over.  Instead of worrying and stressing in traffic, you might be better off taking a break and coming back refreshed when the traffic is gone.  You will probably get farther in the same amount of time then if you sat in traffic for an hour.

Monitor yourself.  If you are hungry, thirsty, or need to use the bathroom, your body is telling you to take a break.  Often, you focus on that instead of what is going on around you and are more likely to cause an accident.

Even if you are in a hurry, there are many reasons that you need to pull your rig over. Sometimes, a simple stop will wake you up enough to keep you going. Other times, a nap might be necessary. You must always listen to your body and take breaks as needed to eat and use the bathroom.  Trucking safety is paramount on America’s busy roadways.  It is up to you to be safe and know when to pull over and take a break.

Image credit: FreeFoto.com

Latin American & Caribbean Tyre Expo – A Great Experience and Great Networking

LatinTyreExpo2014_Day1-0010

We had a great time at the Latin American & Caribbean Tyre Expo.  There was a great turn out through out all three days and we made some great new contacts.  We were also running a key promotion desk at the registration entrance to the Expo.  Attendees were given a key along with our Expo post card including our booth location.

LatinTyreExpo2014_Day1-0025

Attendees were invited to stop by to see if their key unlocked our give away prize, a new Apple iPad Air.

LatinTyreExpo2014_Day1-0027

We had a great turnout to our booth and one lucky attendee walked away with that brand new iPad.

 

Alternative Futures for Aging Loader Tires Heading into Retirement

As loader tires move into their twilight days, their owners often eye them askance, wondering how and when they will deal with offloading them when time comes for their replacement. Instead of stacking these tires with derelict equipment or dumping them at a landfill, owners of front end loaders and other heavy, wheeled machinery should consider helping these tires find a second life.

We suggest considering some worthy causes such as the following:

  • BMX parks – As highlighted in this article detailing the work of the Buchanan Baptist Church youth group’s summer volunteer project, loader tires can make wonderful additions to BMX tracks when they are available.
  • America’s great open roads – Many local communities such as New Mexico’s Silver City have begun collecting old tires, which are then sent off to be processed and converted into crumb rubber. This crumb rubber can in turn be used to create asphalt, among other things, meaning that your old tires can be given second life in this country’s wonderful network of roads. According to officials, this process deals with the health and public safety concerns regarding scrap rubber and makes landfills more safe and efficient.
  • Farming solutions – By taking advantage of these easy-to-use, illustrated installation guidelines developed by Herschel George of Kansas State University, farmers are able to make serviceable water tanks for their livestock by using discarded tires. Likewise, older tires can be rigged together to create so-called “indestructible” bale feeders. All farmers need is a supply of tires.
Livestock watering trough made from old OTR tire.

Livestock watering trough made from old OTR tire.

As is becoming apparent, there are many ways in which retiring big tires can be given a second life through thoughtful donation. This may take a bit more time than merely throwing these tires away, but a little bit of care and research can go a long way toward supporting our local communities through thoughtful recycling.

Together, we can make the world a little bit better, one worn-out tire at a time.

When the time does come for replacements, remember that we carry a full stock of OTR tires for your wheel loaders and other heavy equipment. Feel free to contact us for the best deals.

The Rubber Tree Root Bridges of Cherrapunji

Rubber tree root bridges span a river in Cherrapunji India

Being in the OTR tire business we deal with rubber everyday, and everyday we deal rubber all over the globe.  So when I learned about these very cool rubber trees in Northeastern India that the locals use to create bridges from the roots, I had to share it with our readers.  These bridges are apparently very strong and some can even support up to 50 people at a time. Not only are they strong and functional, they are also very cool looking and basically maintain themselves by continually growing.

In the depths of northeastern India, in one of the wettest places on earth, bridges aren’t built—they’re grown.

The southern Khasi and Jaintia hills are humid and warm, crisscrossed by swift-flowing rivers and mountain streams. On the slopes of these hills, a species of Indian rubber tree with an incredibly strong root system thrives and flourishes.

The Ficus elastica produces a series of secondary roots from higher up its trunk and can comfortably perch atop huge boulders along the riverbanks, or even in the middle of the rivers themselves. The War-Khasis, a tribe in Meghalaya, long ago noticed this tree and saw in its powerful roots an opportunity to easily cross the area’s many rivers. Now, whenever and wherever the need arises, they simply grow their bridges.

In order to make a rubber tree’s roots grow in the right direction—say, over a river—the Khasis use betel nut trunks, sliced down the middle and hollowed out, to create root-guidance systems. The thin, tender roots of the rubber tree, prevented from fanning out by the betel nut trunks, grow straight out. When they reach the other side of the river, they’re allowed to take root in the soil. Given enough time, a sturdy, living bridge is produced. (Atlas Obscura)

Visit the article page to see some more cool pictures and learn more about the root bridges of Cherrapunji.

Remember, we carry a large selection of OTR tires for mining, earth-moving, forestry and agriculture.  Contact us for the best OTR tire deals!