When working down in the harsh conditions of a mine, you will both need to rely on your workers performing and that your equipment continue to operate with minimum downtime. Mines tend to be dark and dusty and working with heavy loads within confined spaces, where you need good maneuverability in small areas, while working side by side with other equipment.
With the plentitude of sharp rocks, the tires will need to be very durable and puncture resistance, often achieved through some form of reinforcement. Cut and crack resistance rubber compound is essential, as you work in circumstances where any downtime can be very expensive and can cause big delays, while the equipment is being repaired. These are not cheap equipment and the tires are also not cheap tires, so ensuring that they last and do not break down will make the operations more profitable.
Tire maintenance is key to ensure that the tires are kept in good condition and that they are not damaged during the shift. A visual inspection should be done daily at the end of the shift, to ensure that you start the next day with good tires and good working conditions. Anything that happens down in the mines will be more severe and costly than happening up at ground level.
Special mining tires are built to handle the conditions that you experience within the mines; this doesn’t mean that all tires are the same. Some will have better properties for certain conditions, while other tires for other conditions. Trying to save money on tires is often a very expensive mistake. You basically need the tyre that fits for the conditions and environment that you will be working within. Durability and the crack and cut resistance is key to ensure low down time. The mine loader tires and the articulated dump truck tires need to be of the highest quality, with the best properties for working in mines and the conditions associated with that. Low rolling resistance of tire will still impact the fuel consumption down in the mines and should be take into consideration when choosing tires.