Tire management: How small adjustments lead to big benefits

By |  July 20, 2018
Photo courtesy of The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co.

Sidewalls that feature increased thickness, special compounds or added reinforcements can help reduce sidewall bending or deflection. Photo courtesy of The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co.

Tires are important to the successful operation of many vehicles used at quarries, but individual tire performance attributes can vary based on application, service conditions and other factors.

One quarry might prefer tires that offer enhanced cut resistance, while another could place a higher premium on hours of service. Others might want tires that stay cooler while running at higher speeds and under heavier loads.

When one aspect of a tire’s performance is enhanced, other elements are sometimes impacted. But technologies have emerged to help reduce performance trade-offs.

Tire engineers can tweak tread designs to help achieve targeted balances of performance attributes for various applications, but alterations can also be made in these less visible areas:

Compounding.

Rubber compounds are a foundation of tire performance. In fact, one standard quarry tire can contain up to six or more compounds, from the crown of the tread down to the tread base, and they interact with one another while the tire is in operation.

Depending on what the tire “will be asked to do,” tires can feature compounds that are adjusted to enhance cut protection and even reduce heat generation.

Sidewall construction.

Sidewalls help support the tire so the tire can, in turn, carry the vehicle’s load. They also can play a significant role in maintaining equipment stability.

The thicker the sidewall, the more stability a tire will often provide. However, heavy loads can cause sidewalls to bend. This can expose more of a sidewall’s surface area to rocks and other debris.

Sidewalls that feature increased thickness, special compounds or added reinforcements can help reduce sidewall bending or deflection, which can cut down on a tire’s exposure to potentially damaging objects on the ground.

Good tire performance starts with correct tire selection. When evaluating tire options, quarry operations should consult a qualified OTR tire dealer who can evaluate specific equipment needs and make appropriate recommendations. Qualified dealers can also help monitor tire performance via tire management programs.

Careful, systematic tracking of tire performance can generate many benefits, including the identification of maintenance opportunities, the ability to forecast future tire needs more accurately, and others.


Eric Matson is the global field engineering manager for The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co.’s OTR tire business.

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