6 Basic Steps to Extend Tire Life at Your Mine: Part 1 of 3

Posted by on Jul 8, 2012 in Equipment | 15 comments

6 Basic Steps to Extend Tire Life at Your Mine: Part 1 of 3

The topic of tires comes up regularly when it comes to the topic of improving the life of mine operations. Just 5 years ago, many mines were parking trucks because they didn’t have the rubber to replace blow-outs or accommodate new trucks coming in, largely due to the high metal prices and large demand of tires globally. Tires are the platform to any piece of non-track-type mobile equipment, which supports the load of the equipment, controls the direction of travel, absorbs road shocks and provides traction when needed. It is no surprise then that it has a direct correlation to the productivity of the machine, and thus the productivity of your mine. This blogpost is Part 1 of a 3 part series which will discuss the six basic steps to formulizing a program at your mine to extend tire life.

As a side note, I would like to thank my friends at Bridgestone and TDS Tire while I was at Cripple Creek & Victor Gold Mine for mentoring me; most of the my knowledge of this blog came from them.


1. Tire Selection – Match Tire to Mine

It is important to work with your tire distributor on matching an appropriate tire’s capabilities with your mining environment and requirements. Factors such as tread pattern, radial vs bias, TMPH, rubber compound, etc. should be considered if changes occur at the mine. For example, TMPH/TKPH rating is especially important for mines with a high temperature climate or if you’re changing your haul cycles significantly to more uphill loaded. TAM Tires does a good job of explaining TMPH/TKPH here. Michelin has a good radial vs bias article here.

Also – beware your tire manufacturer may release new rubber compounds that may or may not work better for your mine. Your tire distributor should keep you up to date with this information and with a good record keeping program (coming soon in Part 3 of this series), you should be able to see if there are trends associated with different rubber compounds. It may be true that “beggars can’t be choosers” and now that metal prices are back up from the dark days of late 2008, but at least you have a better idea of what is affecting your tire life and therefore you can budget your tire allocation requirements more appropriately.


2. Regular Tire Inspections and Rotation

“Behind each failure lies an opportunity” – Some Smart Person

This is also true for tires! Your scrap tire pile provides an opportunity to evaluate whether you can improve what you’re doing to improve tire life. For example, tread/shoulder separation could be due to heat damage  (reduce speed or find a new TMPH rating tire) or extreme turns (new road design?). Cuts can indicate a poorly maintained loading area or general poor haul road condition (more to come in Part 2 of this series). And lastly, sidewall and bead separately may have resulted from insufficient tire pressure or overloading. Installing a practice to inspect scrap tires quarterly can help you improve the next quarter.

Besides inspecting your scrap pile, also have your operators inspect the tires during their walk-around at the start of shift. Rock damaged tires should be removed when you start to see separation on the top belt or when the steel ply is visible.


Thanks for reading and please let me know if you have any comments and concerns. This concludes Part 1 of this 3 part series on creating a program at your mine to extend tire life. 

[To be continued…]

  • Asbhop1

    Hi Vivien, 
    That was an interesting blog regarding tires. 
    While I was watching the v8 supercars over the weekend, one of the commentators tried to explain the better tire life that the leading driver has. From the telemetry available, a lot of this was put down to his throttle position. He is a lot more positive than other drivers this his throttle control. Many drivers tend to feather the throttle in corners or when they slip or slide. His explanation was quite interesting, the feathering of the throttle causes the tires to pulsate or distort, causing less contact with the road and therefore greater heat and wear in areas of the tire. 
    I guess this would be the same for mine haul trucks if they travel over poorly maintained roads at too greater a speed…. 
    Hope you have found this interesting, 

    Cheers Andrew

    • Vivien

      Thanks Andrew :) 

  • Eking

    Hi Vivien,

    Thanks for sharing. I was the one of them who asked you to write something about tire-life. That post is great, and please let me know when you’re going to post the resuming part.


    • Vivien

      Hey Eking, I hope you’ve been doing well. I’m glad you caught the blog. And Part 2 should be coming up shortly! Cheers, Vivien

  • Gordmack

    Hi Vivien
    Great topic, I just read a report of a major coal mine and tires accounted for 4% of their site costs. Tires are a major cost without considering the loss if supply becomes an issue to the point of parking trucks. There are many options for extending tire life and reducing costs, to achieve any meaningful results there must be buy in from all departments and management.
    Looking forward to your coming posts

    • Vivien

      Agreed Gord! A plan is great but even if upper management buys in, it must be bought in from every department so that the plan can be executed, monitored and improved if necessary. Cheers! Vivien

      • Gordmack

        Hi Vivien I have joined a group that relates to this and found it very interesting, may I suggest you consider it – Mining Performance & Culture Change

  • Ngqncube

    hie Vivien
    This is a great topic to deal with indeed this is an honour for us to have people like you who take their time to compose and write such meaning full reports. lm looking  forward for the second, l could have commented but lm very much junior to this but lm in a position to follow the topic well.

    • Vivien

      Thanks for the comment! I’m just getting ready to write the 2nd of the series. Have a great day :)

  • Mark Van Zwam

    Hi Vivien

    This is a great topic for you to have brought up and of particlar interest to Soil Solutions as the condition of roads plays a major role in tire life especially if the wearing course layer is in poor condition.

  • Pingback: 6 Basic Steps to Extend Tire Life at Your Mine: Part 2 of 3 | MiningEnginerd.com: Mine Operations, Technology & Equipment Blog

  • Don Curtis

    I’m impressed with your knowledge Vivien.  Good job!

    • vivien214

      Thanks Don!

  • montel

    thank you so much

  • Abhi

    did you have a blowout on the way to finishing this article…haha!

    • vivien214

      LOL, I have Part 2 up :) But I guess Part 1 is almost coming up on its 1 year anniversary…