Tire maintenance tips

By |  September 21, 2016

Michelin's XDR3 MB4 surface mine-haul tire was designed for 400-plus ton trucks. Photo courtesy of Michelin

Follow these tire maintenance tips to increase your productivity and efficiency.

  • Air pressure maintenance: All tires should be kept at the pressure specified by the tire and vehicle manufacturers. The correct tire pressure for a radial tire will vary widely depending on the machine type, manufacturer model type and weight. It is always a good idea to consult the tire manufacturer to ensure that each axle is properly weighed and the correct pressure is set.
  • Driver awareness: Because the operators are on-site all of the time, they see problems that need to be fixed, whether it’s in their pre-work inspection or while operating the equipment. Managers and supervisors can draw their operators into the equation by asking for input and cultivating a team approach to tire and vehicle maintenance. Operators should be kept in the loop on situations with their equipment or tires, so they are aware when they conduct inspections or operate the equipment. It is crucial that operators report any spillage, whether from their vehicles or other vehicles.
  • Tire and rim inspection: All vehicle operators should do a thorough walk-around inspection of their vehicle before beginning operation. They should look for cuts, holes, cracks or any other damage to tires or wheels. The constant inspection of a rim and tire helps to minimize and detect any issues in a timely manner and ensure they are dealt with before becoming major maintenance issues or going beyond the point of serviceability.
  • Haul road maintenance: Maintaining the site’s haul roads can help prevent tire punctures and other damage. When designed and maintained properly, haul roads can reduce negative impacts on tire life. Site planners and haul road maintenance personnel should pay special attention to road surface conditions, super elevations, curve radii and speed in curves. Hauling on steep grades will cause the load to shift toward the front or rear of the vehicle. If hauling downhill while laden, pay special attention to the pressures of the front tires and set them according to the operating conditions.
  • Mechanical vehicle maintenance: When it comes to tire life optimization and avoiding downtime, maintaining the vehicle is critically important. Brakes, struts, rock knockers and alignment all need attention to function properly and not have an adverse effect on a vehicle’s tires. Ensuring the vehicle is correctly aligned helps to prevent uneven wear on the steer axle tires. It is also important to check the suspension regularly through a comprehensive strut maintenance program and to evaluate the rock ejectors for any potential problems.
  • Load management: Load management is another crucial area because of the significant weights carried by the tires. When a load is not centered, it can often put too much weight on one corner of the vehicle, causing an overload on that corner’s tires. Overloading tires will lead to shorter tire life or to downtime. Even if properly centered, every load should stay within total gross vehicle weight compliance.
  • Support equipment: The role of support equipment on a mine site should not be minimized or overlooked. They are key pieces of equipment that play a vital role in keeping haul roads clear of rocks or other debris that could damage tires. A motor grader or rubber-tired dozer should be used on a regular basis, not just for the haul roads, but also for the loading and unloading areas to clean up any spillage.

Information courtesy of Michelin Earthmover Tires.

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