Changes to the Brazilian Mining Industry Causing Confusion

Presidential Standard of Brazil

Presidential Standard of Brazil

The wheels of government seem to turn slowly in almost every country, but some would say that Brazil’s takes the cake. After changes to Brazilian mining industry codes were first announced in 2009, some companies delayed the start of projects, others rushed to lock in projects before the codes changed, while other companies decided to avoid working in the country completely until the dust settled (Reuters). After all, they thought it wise to wait and see how the economic landscape would be affected by the proposed changes before making commitments.

Now, five years later, amid talk of further delay, comes the news that the new protocols may be ditched entirely, making room for fresh concerns to rise to the surface of an already boiling stew of confusion:

It is not just lack of progress that has caused concern. A number of experts have issues with the code itself, saying it would kill exploration by squeezing out smaller players who often drive the discovery of new deposits (Daily Times).

Such uncertainty no doubt causes frustration to companies which are seeking to diversify, grow, and change with the times–difficult to accomplish when it is not entirely certain what changes are in the wind, or, indeed, if changes are in the wind at all.

Although the Brazilian mining industry is not the only sector of the global economy finding itself caught in a net of governmental drama, it is certainly a situation to watch. Perhaps we may be able to glean helpful insights from watching the way in which it all plays out.

Remember that we carry a full complement of OTR tires for all of your mining needs, whether you are in Brazil, elsewhere in South America or anywhere else in the world.  If you need mining equipment tires, we can got them and can get them to your site fast. Feel free to contact us with questions or comments or to ask about this week’s deals.

 

Image credit: Wikimedia Commons

Go Big or Go Home: Front End Loaders and the Ice Bucket Challenge

Kootenai Electric ALS Ice Bucket ChallengeIf your social media feeds are anything like ours, then at the end of the summer, you found yours filling up with videos of your friends, family members, and even celebrities participating in the Ice Bucket Challenge to fund ALS research.

As with all internet hijinks gone viral, what began as a simple video to record an event morphed into over-the-top productions including dance numbers, talking animals, lip syncing grandmas, and other shock-and-awe tactics guaranteed to keep us all entertained (and mildly horrified) for hours on end.

The way we see it, it was only a matter of time before someone got the front end loaders involved.

Sure enough, employees from the Kootenai Electric Cooperative in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, “pitched the plastic buckets” and rolled in three front end loaders, standing in a little huddle and allowing the icy waters to cascade down on them like the waters of Niagara.

This is one of those rare instances of front end loaders participating in the genuine doing of good deeds, and for that we feel that these three front end loaders in particular should be recognized. As has been previously noted several times on our blog, front end loaders are often considered the “black sheep” of the heavy machinery family, and as such, they’re often seen bashing into the sides of buildings, being used as getaway vehicles for bank robbers, and other such shenanigans. That’s why whenever we see a front end loader swimming against the tide, we like to commend them for their ability to rise above.

Have you seen any other Ice Bucket Challenge videos using front end loaders or other pieces of heavy equipment?  Share them with us in the comments.

Remember that we carry a full complement of OTR tires for all of your heavy equipment needs. Feel free to contact us with any questions or comments or to ask about this week’s deals.

 

Image credit: CDApress.com

Toxic Spills a Black Mark against the Mexican Mining Industry

Over the years, the Mexican mining industry has had its ups and downs, but environmental issues continue to plague industry leaders. The most recent concerns have arisen over what seem to be frequent reports of toxic leaks and spills polluting the country’s waterways.

Sonora river

Sonora river, Mexico

According to German reports via Deutsche Welle, Mexico’s National Water Commission has been monitoring chemicals in the Sonora River since heavy rains in early August.

Mexican media said 10 million gallons of wastewater had turned the 420-kilometer-long waterway orange, affecting 800,000 people… Mexico’s environmental agency, PROFEPA, blamed the company Buenavista del Cobre and ordered the neutralization of toxins, construction of dams to prevent further incidents, and an analysis of the water’s contamination level, among other measures (Deutsche Welle).

With the site of the spill just twenty-five miles south of Mexico’s border with the United States, this situation has concerned parties on both sides of the border watching closely.

Meanwhile, Grupo Mexico, the largest mining corporation in Mexico, has been held responsible for an acid spill that has left thousands of local residents without drinking water. According to an article in the Wall Street Journal, early in August, around 40,000 cubic meters of copper sulfate acid solution spilled into the Bacanuchi and Sonora rivers from Grupo Mexico’s Buenavista mine. Federal Government protection agencies within Mexico are now filing charges against Grupo which could amount to 43 million Mexican Pesos (approximately $3.3 USD at the time of this writing).

In all, August was not a good month for the Mexican mining industry’s international image. But this is more than an image problem. In their efforts to boost the national economy through growth in the mining sector, Mexican mines must endeavor to minimize negative environmental impact.

Remember that we carry a full stock of OTR tires for all of your mining equipment needs.  We supply tires to mines through Mexico and Central America.  Feel free to contact us for the best deals.

 

Image credit: Lon&Queta on Flickr

OTR Tire Deals for September 9, 2014

We have the following OTR tires priced to move.  Check them out below and then call to get your tires before someone else does!

8 – 20.5R25 Michelin XMINE D2* L5
$3,250 USD each

4 – 26.5R25 Michelin XLDD2* L5
$5,300 USD each

4 – 29.5R25 Michelin XLDD2* L5
$7,500.00 each

15 – 29.5R25 Yokohama RT41** E4
$4,900 USD each

2 – 35/65×33 Titan LD250 42 ply L5
$7,500 USD each  

2 – 24.00R35 Titan DTH4 E4**
$4,200 USD each

12 – 27.00R49 Goodyear RL4H 4SL
$8,900 USD each

16 – 3300R51 Belshina 162 FOB Europe
$9,200.00 USD each

 

Don’t forget to sign up for our OTR tire deals email newsletter to get these hot deals delivered to your inbox.  We always give our deals newsletter subscribers first dibs on these deals before posting them on the blog so don’t miss out on being the first to know.

    You can select both.

When Big Tires Aren’t Big Enough

Over the course of our blog’s history, we’ve brought you plenty of posts about genuinely big machinery requiring genuinely big tires. But what happens when big tires aren’t big enough?

Take, for example, the NASA Crawler, a gloriously hulking brute of a machine used to transport Space Launch Systems and other spacecraft from their preparation bays to NASA’s launch sites.

NASA crawler space shuttle and rocket transporter

According to NASA’s Crawler Fact Sheet, this beast measures 131×114 feet, reaching a maximum height of 26 feet. Its overall weight (sans cargo) amounts to a whopping 6.2 million pounds, with the chassis alone weighing just over 2 million pounds by themselves. Loaded, the Crawler pokes along at 1mph; unloaded, however, it reaches top speeds of 2mph. It should be noted that when bearing both a Mobile Launch Platform and a Space Shuttle, these behemoths can bear a payload of 12.6 million pounds.

Before you’re too impressed, though, it should be mentioned that the fuel efficiency could be improved. Currently these machines only get 32 feet per gallon. But with such a payload, this is only to be expected.

With such a payload, it’s also no surprise that the tires have not yet been invented that can bear this sort of burden. Instead, the Crawler (as intimated by its name) runs on a set of eight tracks, each with 57 heavy-duty shoes, each shoe weighting upwards of 2,000 pounds each!

Only in our wildest dreams can we envision the tires worthy to carry such cargo. Maybe one day, if we are very lucky, we will all live to see them.

It should be noted that even without big tires, the NASA Crawlers are still worth seeing. Any lover of heavy machinery would find a trip to the Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Florida, worth his while if just for the chance to get up close and personal with these Goliaths.

For more information on our stock of OTR tires, please feel free to contact us.

 

Image credit: NASA.gov

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