3D Printed Tires: The Future of the Tire Industry?

Unless you have been hiding from the internet, chances are high that you have already heard of 3D printing, the system by which raw materials are set down, layer by layer, to build tangible objects. Although many people are aware of the process in theory, they’re shaky on the specifics of how it works. This helpful graphic courtesy of T. Rowe Price demonstrates how materials such as plastics, resins, polymers, and even gold and silver are laid down, layer upon layer, in order to form a solid object. As layers form, lasers are used to solidify the substance. It is all very impressive.

Since the inception of 3D printing in the mid-1980s, it has come to be used in many different areas, including the fields of medicine, manufacturing, and transportation.

Within the automotive field specifically, 3D printing has become standard use in the building of prototypes, granting designers greater flexibility for experimentation without increasing their costs. In 2014, both Ford and Local Motors went on the record to state how heavily their design teams now depend on 3D printing during product development.

Although 3D printing is not currently used in automotive production beyond the prototype phase, there is some evidence that 3D printing will soon become a standard solution for the production of hard-to-find, out-of-stock parts or aftermarket items. Here at the Buy Big Tires office, we’ve been speculating if the 3d printing industry will soon branch out to include 3D printed tires.  It sure would be cool when a customer called and asked for any OTR tire big or small, common or rare we could always reply: “we can have that tire printed for you today!

VIDEO: 3D Printing a Rubber Tire with Flex EcoPLA

The idea of 3D printed tires carries its own set of pros and cons, however.

Pros of 3D printed tires:

  • Accessibility. Customers would no longer need to wait for out-of-stock items; they can be printed immediately in-house.
  • Affordability. By eliminating the need for the supplier to carry so much money in inventory, 3D printing lowers costs for both suppliers and consumers. What’s more, the price would further decrease through reducing labor, equipment, carrying costs, and transport costs. Eventually, new tires may cost the same as used ones do now.
  • Convenience. With 3D printers, customers could simply call a few hours ahead and have a new tire printed with almost any tread with any color they desire.
  • Specifics. With total control, suppliers can produce a tire as heavy-duty or light as the customer’s needs require.

Cons of 3D Printed Tires:

  • Initial Expense. The high capital costs of industrial 3D printers could make the shift cost-prohibitive for some businesses.
  • Expertise. The difficulty of working with tire materials (primarily rubber and steel) in this new way could require further research and development as well as more advanced 3D printing technology.
  • Potential Infringement. Intellectual property rights of individual tires (tire tread designs, etc.) must be taken into consideration. If the manufacturers hold these rights, would individual businesses be required to pay royalties for the right to print their own tires with these tread designs?

Perhaps these aren’t so much cons as they are potential hurdles. However, with so many distinct advantages in the offing, doesn’t it seem prudent for the tire industry to give 3D printing a shot?

We’re curious to hear your feedback on this. Do you see 3D printing as the future of the tire industry? Do you recognize potential advantages and disadvantages that we have failed to mention? Be sure to sound off in the comment section. We’d love to hear from you.

If you have further questions or comments, please feel free to contact us.

Is the Commodity Rout a Canary in a Coal Mine for Miners?

by Bloomberg Video 3:45 mins

Sept. 28 — Bloomberg Intelligence’s Ken Hoffman and Bloomberg’s Alix Steel update the latest commodities markets news. They speak with Bloomberg’s Scarlet Fu on “Bloomberg Markets.”

We wanted to share this video with you to see what your thoughts are on the continued commodity price depression and market capitalization melt downs of major mining firms like Glencore. We’ve also included some recent news article links about Glencore and their soaring debt load and crashing stock price.  Do you think Glencore will still be a going concern twelve months from now?  Let us know your thoughts in the comments.


Glencore slumps 30 percent as debt fears grow – Reuters

Should you fear a ‘Glencore’ moment? – CNBC

Hong Kong-listed shares of the Anglo–Swiss commodity giant crashed 27 percent on Tuesday, on the back of a 29 percent plunge in the company’s London-listed shares in the previous session.

Glencore says it is ‘operationally and financially robust’ – BBC


Image credit: Reuters


A Busy Summer for Front End Loaders

Longtime readers of our blog know that we like to keep an eye on the behavior of front end loaders, perhaps the most misunderstood members of the heavy-equipment world. After years of involvement in dangerous hijinks, could front end loaders finally manage to revamp their image? Ultimately, only time will tell. For now, all we can do is lay their summer activities before you and let you decide.

wheel loader scooping sand

Front End Loaders – Never a Dull Moment!

A Busy Summer for Front End Loaders:

First, the bad news. In early August, it was reported that a front end loader from Hampden Township, Pennsylvania, went up in flames at a trash-transfer station. According to Penn Live, crews responding to the blaze were able to put out the fire in about fifteen minutes.  Penn Live reporter indicated that the equipment was a front end loader, but the photo accompanying the article clearly shows a Caterpillar track hoe. A curious case indeed!

According to more positive reports, one plucky front end loader from Chippewa Falls, Wisconsin, assisted first responders in clearing an accident after pulling a woman from a burning van. The Chippewa Herald reports that when police officers and firemen responded to a one-vehicle crash involving a concrete barrier, they quickly dragged the victim out through a smashed window before using a front end loader to clear pieces of concrete, making the highway safe once again for other motorists.

Although these latest installments in the saga of the front end loader continue to be somewhat of a mixed bag, we’re encouraged by ongoing evidence that the black sheep of the heavy-equipment family may soon redeem themselves.

When the time comes to replace the tires on your own front end loader, please do think of us. We carry a full line of OTR tires for every front end loader size and application. Please contact us for information on our current deals.

You can’t lose with these OTR tire deals!


These prices are a safe bet.

Putting tires into inventory has seemed like a gamble lately, but you are sure to win with these prices.

6pc 35-65×33 Titan LD250 42ply
4pc 35-65×33 Titan LD250 42ply Smooth that have lugs cut into them
Only $6,500.00 each must take all 10 tires. Tires look great, and we are happy to send pictures.

10pc 29.5R25 Michelin XHA2 $4,700.00 each
18pc 29.5R25 Michelin XADN+ $4,950.00 each

If you have any questions please let us know.

If you would like to get notified of these deals before we post them to the site, sign up for our OTR Tire Deals & Specials email newsletter by filling out the form below.

Spotlight on Wyoming: One of the U.S. Mining Industry’s Heavy Hitters

Flag_of_WyomingIt’s no secret that Wyoming is one of the U.S. mining industry‘s heavy hitters, especially when it comes to coal. According to recently-released statistics, Wyoming produced big numbers in 2014, contributing greatly to America’s global coal ranking.

The U.S. had the largest proven reserves of coal globally at 237 billion tonnes (Bnt) in 2014, accounting for 26.6% of the global total. Sub-bituminous and lignite accounted for 54.4% or 129Bnt, while the remaining 45.6% or 108Bnt were bituminous coal. The state of Wyoming was the country’s largest producing state, followed by West Virginia and Kentucky (Yahoo Finance).

Among all of the mining towns that contributed to Wyoming’s success in 2014, perhaps one of the most prominent is Gillette. Home of heavy-hitting mines such as Eagle Butte, Gillette was practically built on the coal industry. In fact, while the coal industry falters in the rest of North America (most notably in West Virginia), Wyoming coal towns like Gillette have emerged largely unscathed.

Some people believe that the situation could soon change, however. With new Clean Power rules in the pipeline passed by the Obama Administration, the coal industry in Wyoming could soon feel the effects. Although Wyoming coal is still going strong as of the time of this writing, we plan to keep a close eye on the situation.

As providers of OTR tires to many coal mines, both in North America and beyond, we like to keep abreast of the current trends and what they could mean for the industry. When the time comes to order new sets of OTR tires for your coal mining equipment, please feel free to contact us. We look forward to working with you.

Big News about Big Tires


Generally, big tires aren’t making headlines. For the most part, they stick to their tasks, quietly fulfilling their roles in the fields, in the mines, and on the job site. Every once in a while, though, they make the papers. When that happens, we sit up and take notice.

Big News about Big Tires

  • “Big Tires a Big Deal at Farm Progress Show” – The latest advances in tire technology were on display recently in Decatur, Illinois. Farmers and other show attendees were given “clear, visible and tangible” demonstrations of tire performance. A good time was had by all.
  • “Big Horn Redimix Trailer Tires Go Up in Flames” – Early in September, at the intersection of West River Road and Fifteen Mile Road in Worland, Wyoming, the tires of a heavy-duty trailer caught fire. The cause of the fire is unknown, and no one was hurt in the incident.
  • “StreamSweepers Find 2,100 Pound Tire in River” – In Orange, Virginia, a team of teens conducting ecological restoration in the Rapidan River unearthed a mammoth tire. Fortunately, the Dominion Virginia Power company was able to send a team of linemen to help pull the tire out of the river. (Our readers are reminded always to dispose of used tires appropriately and safely.)

Because bad news often dominates the headlines, we can’t say we’re surprised to see that the media attention surrounding big tires comes with a less-than-positive slant. That doesn’t change the fact that every day, thousands of men and women step into the cab of an earth-mover or tractor supported by sets of steady, reliable OTR tires. Remember that we carry a full supply of big tires for all of your mining, farming, and other heavy equipment needs. Contact us to hear about our best deals.


Image credit: WTVR.com

US Mining Industry Takes Strides to Encourage Women in Mining

Mining is an industry which has always been male-dominated, regardless of geographical location. There have been positive steps which have helped to integrate women into the industry, but females continue to be under-represented and mining is still largely a man’s domain (Mining.com)

That could soon change. The percentages of women in the international mining community may be small, but they’re growing all the time. The UK branch of Women in Mining now boasts over 1,300 members; while the Canada-based Women in Mining organization has published an action plan detailing how companies can best “create a cultural shift in their organization and boost their overall Gender Intelligence Quotient (GIQ), working to eliminate the unconscious bias between genders and assist with change management within their organizations.”

Wyoming-Womens-Antelope-Hunt-LogoThe mining industries in the United States have not been lax in this area either. The Stateside chapter of Women in Mining meets annually to promote education, training, and encouragement for women in mining.

Specific companies have also gotten involved in encouraging women in the US mining industry. For example, Utah-based oil company Sinclair recently hosted an all-women’s antelope hunt in Wyoming. The purpose? To support Wyoming’s women and families while simultaneously promoting camaraderie and mentorship among women and girls.

“We are so appreciative of Sinclair’s awareness of the many benefits to women working in non-traditional careers or industries,” says Sarah McCance… “Their partnership in our work towards economic self-sufficiency makes them a natural fit to support the antelope hunt” (Ammoland).

We here at BuyBigTires recognize that women have made vital contributions to the international mining industry, and we applaud their hard work. We look forward to seeing their ranks expand in the future.

Remember that we supply OTR tires for all of your mining needs. Please feel free to contact us to ask about our current deals.

Australian Mining Industry Still Waiting to Bottom Out


It seems odd to talk of hopes for bottoming out, but with the way things have been going lately for the Australian mining industry, hitting rock bottom could be the best news they’ve had lately. It’s no secret that the country’s mining industry has been struggling, and as commodity prices continue to slide, the world wonders how far down things will have to go before they start looking up.

The news lately hasn’t been hopeful. Mines continue to close; meanwhile, in mines that remain open, safety issues abound, leading to the death of ninety-two Australian mine workers in just seven months.

Not everyone involved in Australian mining is completely pessimistic, however. Speaking in West Australia at a mining conference in early September, WA Premier Colin Barnett predicted that there’s no way the mining downturn could get worse. He believes that there’s light at the end of the shaft.

“I’m either brave enough or silly enough to suggest that we’ve hit the bottom,” Mr Barnett told the Africa Down Under mining conference. Much of the Australian mining industry is at its lowest point in terms of world competitiveness due to weak commodity prices, though the next 12 months would continue to be a risky period for mining companies, he said. (Perth Now)

Although we are glad to hear someone sounding a bell of hope, we know that an upswing for Australia’s mines still remains to be seen. While we would love to know that the industry has truly reached the bottom, until their debt stabilizes, commodity prices rise, and mines reopen, we continue to join our brothers and sisters Down Under in watching and waiting for things to turn around.

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

U.S. Coal Mining Industry Facing an Uphill Battle

surface-coal-miningIn regards to coal mining, U.S. mining industry news has made for fairly grim reading lately. Although coal mining is far from a dying industry, there’s no denying that many coal mines are facing an uphill battle in the days to come.

First, Reuters reports that the industry will soon face what’s known as a “succession crisis,” as a huge crop of seasoned veterans in leadership face retirement.

Several mining CEOs have reached or are nearing retirement age and industry executives, recruiters and analysts worry that there is not enough people with the right skills and experience to replace the old guard. (Reuters)

On top of this projected management crisis, the coal mining industry also must grapple with sliding commodity prices and the accompanying job cuts. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, a total of 5,000 mining jobs were lost in July of 2015 alone, bringing the total loss of jobs in the mining industry to 78,000.

With such grim statistics staring us in the face, it’s no wonder that Mining.com dubbed one week of July as “the worst week in years” for the U.S. coal mining industry, citing further stresses. These fresh challenges include competition from inexpensive natural gas, tougher environmental regulations, and a global coal glut that has decidedly brought down prices.

While it’s no secret that America’s coal mining sector is facing challenges, these challenges are by no means insurmountable. We look forward to seeing how the industry grows, evolves, and adapts to meet changes in the days ahead.

Remember that we carry a full stock of OTR tires for all of your mining needs, whether you are in the United States or abroad. Please feel free to contact us for the best deals.


Image credit: “Strip coal mining” by Stephen Codrington. Licensed under CC BY 2.5 via Commons

Are Things Looking Up for the Mexican Mining Industry?

Although several of our recent stories regarding the Mexican mining industry have centered on some of the challenges (dealing with drug cartels one of the main ones), we are happy to report that more recent news coming from South of the Border skews toward the positive.

First, the summer saw an uptick in Mexico’s industrial production across the board, with mining expanding by 1.1% and oil and gas extraction rising by 1.2%. Better still, June marked its second monthly expansion in a row.

Second, initial explorations at the Potosi silver mine in Santa Eulalia, Mexico, yielded positive results. These results have encouraged the mine to move forward with expansion plans.

Mr. Alain Lambert, Chairman and C.E.O. of Cyprium stated: “The results of this initial phase of exploration are consistent with expectations. These results will help our technical team design a more comprehensive exploration program…” (Your Industry News)

Third, Mining Global reports that with Latin America “poised to be a hot spot for mining exploration and investment at a global level” over the next six years, the market for mining equipment in the region will expand as a result. According to their reports, “the global mining equipment market will grow at a moderate CAGR of 8.6 percent from 2012 to 2018, and be worth $117 billion by 2018. Latin America is expected to be a major driver for this growth.”

We’re happy to hear of these positive trends, and not just because we routinely ship tires to Mexico and throughout Latin America. What’s good for the Mexican mining industry is good for all of us, since all growth strengthens the industry.

For more information on our stock of OTR tires, or to hear about our current deals, please feel free to contact us.


Image credit: APMEX