Enhanced service offerings driving Goodyear into future

By |  March 24, 2017

Goodyear’s TL-4A OTR tire, which was designed for the new Volvo Construction Equipment A60H articulated dump truck, was on display in the company’s ConExpo-Con/Agg booth.

Representatives from The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. offered an update at ConExpo-Con/Agg 2017 on key technologies and services the company offers related to its off-the-road (OTR) tires.

Goodyear’s DuraSeal technology, for example, instantly seals tread punctures so users can avoid the time-consuming, messy application of aftermarket sealants, the company says. The technology has been available for about a decade, but Goodyear continues to expand with the addition of a new product to DuraSeal about once a year, says Eric Matson, Goodyear’s global field engineering manager for OTR.

“DuraSeal is actually built into the tire itself,” Matson says. “It’s part of the casing and underneath the steel belt package, so when you retread the products you can still get the DuraSeal benefits.”

Goodyear has especially experienced success with DuraSeal in the waste haul industry, Matson says. But DuraSeal is a good opportunity for construction stakeholders, as well.

Some long-haul applications are also an opportunity to incorporate DuraSeal, the company adds.

“It will pay for itself in one instance, keeping your tires from going flat,” Matson says.

At ConExpo-Con/Agg, Matson also provided insight on how Goodyear has been serving aggregate producers from a consultancy standpoint. According to Matson, his team routinely conducts onsite audits at aggregate sites. Goodyear representatives will analyze a site’s surface conditions, vehicle speeds, loads and other areas, scoring operations from a tire standpoint.

“We’ll audit the entire site – haul roads, dump areas, pits,” says Matson, who adds that Goodyear has offered the service since about 2007.

Once an audit is complete, Goodyear offers a report pointing out areas in the operation that can be improved to extend tire life.

“Ultimately what we like to do is ride the entire site with somebody from the mine or quarry,” Matson says. “Then, you can talk through it as you’re doing it. You’re not just giving them a score and nailing them at the end that way.”

In addition, the onsite audits are an opportunity for Goodyear to offer product solutions.

“It’s a chance to determine which supply they need to fit an application,” Matson says. “Do they need traction, or do they need abrasion or cutting? Do they need super deep tread, or can they get away with shallower tread?”

Speed is another key component the company analyzes.

“We’ll put a handheld GPS unit on the vehicle, let it run overnight, come back, pull that off and then analyze the information through our software,” Matson says. “We gather all of that intel and make a recommendation for that application.”

The service is provided to both haul trucks and loaders and an audit typically takes a full day, he adds.

“We’ll take a rolling average of their speeds, distances and loads to come up with the right tire for them,” Matson says. “Every tire has a rating or a capability, and we base it on that analysis.”

Some operations are surprised at the takeaways such an analysis can offer.

“We did an underground mine audit like a month ago,” Matson says. “I would spray paint the rocks orange. The mine guys loved it. They said, ‘Who knows how much that little rock in that puddle is costing you?’ A lot of times you’ll see rubber on the rocks. You can see they’re running them over all day long.”

Another Goodyear service component Matson touched on at ConExpo-Con/Agg is EM Track. It’s a service that has been around for nearly 20 years, he says, but the company has new plans for the service that manages a fleet’s tires and rims, finds abnormal wear conditions and improves overall tire performance.

“In the next six months we’re working to overhaul EM Track,” Matson says. “It will be a cloud-based system with a phone app.

“Today you have to walk up with paper and write down all of your tread depths,” he adds. “You’ll be able to walk up and type in the serial number. It’ll pull that tire record up, and then we’re developing Bluetooth tools to take the tread depth and air pressure and automatically load it into the app. No more paper and pencil.”

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