There is a rare opportunity for earthmover tyre optimisation at present. While the decade long OTR tyre supply crisis – which accompanied the China initiated boom in mining commodity prices – focussed the attention of mining companies on the importance of properly managing their tyres, there remain many opportunities for assisting companies to maximise the potential of their tyres, in particular longevity and productivity – and importantly, to manage these processes safely.
The reduction in commodity prices means the OTR tyre shortage is over; world-shipping rates are also at a decade low. There are a number of untapped options that mining organisations who manage multiple sites can exploit, notably:
- Implementing a system to optimise tyre selection, automatically and universally, by developing global tyre life indices; this system eliminates reliance on individual mine sites for analysis and purchasing decisions; it also obviates the need for tyre performance warranties and the considerable work involved in their administration.
- Centralising tyre management globally, rather than by region or mining commodity, for selecting and purchasing tyres and for transferring obsolete or non-optimal specification tyre stock among sites.
- Focusing on key haul and bench road condition issues – e.g. spillage reduction and road design parameters (rather than mirror like road surfaces) – that give the biggest bang-per-buck in reducing tyre operating cost and improving haulage productivity.
- Giving responsibility for tyres to the mine production department on each operation.
Proper collection and analysis of records is crucial to the development of representative global tyre life indices and the success of an automatic tyre selection and procurement system.
The helter-skelter of the past decade that led to mining cost increases has abated. There is a rare, unexploited opportunity at present to generate vast savings in the OTR tyre bill for large global mining corporations.