Perhaps no industry is harder on its tires than mining. Mining trucks carry heavy loads across some of the world’s toughest terrain, above and below ground. With little suspension on most mining equipment, tires are often the first and last line of defense for these machines.
While mining companies have always faced these challenges, the slowed supply chain and growth in their industry have brought new challenges, as well.
Supply Shortages and Industry Growth
In a normal year, a lost tire results in valuable time lost as special machinery is used to get the equipment back in operation. However, in the last year, the supply chain has slowed substantially due to a variety of factors: diseased rubber trees, labor shortages, clogged ports and more. A lost tire’s replacement may or may not come in a timely manner, greatly multiplying the impact of that loss.
At the same time, mining is experiencing a resurgence. In 2021, copper prices reached an all-time high, and the Biden administration has called for the mining of lithium and aluminum to provide greater economic and national security. In fact, the demand for mining is so great, many companies can’t find enough workers.
With these two shifts happening at the same time, mine managers should be prepared for continued and increasing shortages, including tire shortages. Tires have always been seen as one of a mine site’s most valuable assets, but today, it’s more critical than ever before to scrupulously monitor each tire’s condition.
Vital Tools for Preserving Tires
It’s well known that tires are a top expense for miners. As the Tire Review reports, “This includes, of course, not just the cost of actual tire procurement, but also the costs invested as part of an ongoing vigilance to ward off the serious negative financial repercussions … if tires do happen to malfunction.”
As mine managers consider their tire usage needs, some will look to short-term solutions to prolong tire life including tire sealant to stop air leaks. More technology-savvy managers will invest in tire pressure monitoring systems (TPMS) designed for mining operations.
The Power of Doran 360OTRtm
Over the years at Doran, we’ve become increasingly invested in improving technology and safety for off-the-road (OTR) equipment. While there are many TPMS solutions available, we created the Doran 360OTRtm with miners’ needs in mind.
The harsh conditions of mines require durable products. Our wireless OTR tire pressure/temperature sensors have a patented seal design. Its built-in, field-replaceable filter protects internal electronics and components from liquids like rim conditioner, coolants and ballast commonly used inside OTR tires. The housing of the sensors is made of high-impact nylon, protecting them from impact damage.
We also took into consideration the extreme operating conditions these sensors would need to withstand. Mines are located in extreme geography, with incredibly high temperatures in summer months and extremely low temperatures in winter months. This, combined with heavy loads and frequent stops/starts, can create damaging heat for tires. That’s why we build our sensors with high-performance, lithium-ion batteries for enhanced tolerance to extreme temperatures.
By linking the sensors to Doran’s SmartLinkTM TPMS Tablet, technicians and tire service providers can capture and store tire pressure and temperature data for each tire position on the asset. Tread depths, tire serial numbers and pictures of the tires can also be stored on the tablet, and all data can be transferred to a PC if desired.
At Doran, we understand that you need a TPMS made for the mine site. You don’t have time for anything less. Give us a call, and we’ll help you find the best solution to keep you moving forward.