Some ways to improve your heavy equipment

One of the easiest ways to improve your equipment is to match it with the tire that complement the equipment the best. Tires can translate the performance of both the equipment and its tires to a superior output performance, where you can perform in any conditions without any problems. Great traction and stability are two characteristics that most want from their heavy tires then comes durability and long trouble free service life, if you can combine this into a tire, then you have a good foundation for optimal performance together with your equipment.

A backhoe loader for example will need to have a combination of very stable tires for the excavation and good traction for the loader work. This is why backhoe loader tires are different and very specialized. They also have to adapt to the new heavier loads and heavier attachments that are used nowadays. Durability will also be key so that they can handle the sharp rocks and debris that will be present on the ground. You need to know that the loader tires are cut and crack resistant so that they can hold up for the load and for potential side impacts.

When you look at underground mining equipment, here the tires can be a real mess if you don’t get the tire selection under control. In underground mines and tunnels you have some really harsh conditions, with narrow space and the likelihood that your tires will be bruised and abused daily. So if you don’t select the correct mining tires that can actually handle the extreme conditions that the tires are exposed to, then you will have a lot of tire related problems. If you start having tire failures or a high degree of downtime due to tires, then you should re-evaluate your tire choice.  

Make use of the technical tire manual to check that the tire choice is consistent with the max load, dimensions and that the usage area is correct. The tire’s inflation pressure can also be found in there, to ensure that you have the correct tire pressure.  It is important that you check the inflation pressures regularly as too low can damage the sidewalls and also causes excessive wear. Then you also need to check the tire wear so that you know when to change the tires to a new set.

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Make sure that the tires have the correct inflation pressure

Tire pressure is important for heavy equipment. The equipment have constantly increased in weight the last decades and you need to make sure that you select tires that can handle the extra machine weight and the increased carrying loads. Too high tire pressure can lead to tire explosion and too low can damage the sidewall of the tires. Too low pressure will also increase the heat build up in the tire, which increases the wear. There is a rule of thumb that being 10% under the recommended pressure you reduce the lifetime with 10%. This can cost your business a lot of money just because that the tire pressure isn’t checked.

For trucks and bus tires, the wear can become substantial and low tire pressure also leads to increased rolling resistance that increases the fuel consumption, so add costs both in terms of tire replacements and fuel cost increases. For some of the heavy equipment tires the wear and fuel efficiency can become a burden. Loader tires, excavator tires or mining tires alike, they all depend on good tire maintenance and that the tire pressure is checked.

Checking the tire pressure should be done regularly and for big equipment, it should be easy to do. On big truck rigs, due to the amount of tires and the fact that they have dual tires, it will take more time and is often overlooked by drivers. You can opt for a central inflation system, where the system can monitor and inflate tires that are low on pressure. The system will add weight to your truck, which increases tire wear, but you should be able to save costs in maintenance and ensuring that you have the correct tire pressure.

The beauty is that it can fill all the tires, even the dual tires to ensure that they carry the same load and one tire isn’t left to carry an increased load. Fuel cost savings should come from obtaining the lowest rolling resistance for the truck, despite the higher weight due to the system.  Trying it on a few of your trucks or even for heavy equipment can quickly give you a comparison versus your other vehicle. For heavy equipment you can constantly change the pressure depending on the surface to even achieve better grip.

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Make sure that the tires can handle sharp objects at building sites

When using earthmoving equipment at construction sites, it is important that you have premium tires on your equipment that can handle sharp debris that will be lying around the construction site. This can easily damage your tires on your wheel loaders, dump trucks and excavators. On a site you will have a lot of metal debris and sharp rocks that easily can damage tires, especially if you don’t have very durable tires that are properly reinforced.

At later stages on construction sites, you might not do any more excavation, but you will still need a loader and a dump truck to remove some of the heavy garbage and debris. While working you want to make sure that you have an aggressive tread pattern for superior grip while you might even need a radial all-steel construction for avoiding cuts and cracks. You need to make sure that the tires can handle the heavy loads, not crack under the pressure and not rupture or puncture due to the surroundings.

When looking for loader tires and excavator tires, you will have quite similar specs, even for the dump truck tires; will have some similar properties when they are used on site. Tires for dump truck will need to have on and off road tires, with properties, where they have to be able to deliver according to the circumstances present while on site and then have the properties for on road driving. On road driving requires that the tires will have low rolling resistance for low heat build up and low tire wear.  Driving comfort is also important in the way that the drive needs to be smooth.

By ensuring that your equipment have proper tires you can often ensure that you will be able to avoid delays due to tire problems or due to not being able to delivery due to delays caused by not having prober grip. There might even be instances where you will need to have winter tires, so that work can continue regardless of weather conditions. You don’t want to have massive delays just because the tires are not capable to handle winter weather. This can end up being an expensive situation, where you just have wait for better weather. If your area might have snow, you should be prepared for it.

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Bad weather can cause delays

When working with heavy equipment you want to be prepared for any challenges, especially those that can delay your work. If you end up with bad weather you will have to rely on the tires to provide you with good performance despite the weather conditions. What you really don’t want to do is to have to wait for bad weather to clear, as that will be a bad use of your resources. You will need to make sure that you can continue unhindered regardless of what weather conditions that you will face.

Having good equipment overall tends to increase your productivity more than the initial investment, as you tend to have less problems and fewer unscheduled maintenance occasions. These unscheduled disturbances can become very disruptive and expensive, far outweighing any additional capital investment costs made into higher quality options. Investing into high quality tires is almost always a good investment regardless if it is loader tires or excellent backhoe tires, as the additional service life, minimum downtime will outweigh the additional costs. This is why proper tire selection is so crucial when it comes to heavy equipment.

If the better tires also allow you to work in harsh weather conditions such as heavy rain, mud and even snow, you will be able to drastically improve your productivity. Grip comes from how well the tire’s tread can interact with the surface and its surroundings. The design or the tread and how well it interacts will provide you with the grip that you will need. This takes years of testing and preferably cooperation with the customers as well as the equipment manufacturers to achieve the best tread pattern so that you will have good productivity from your machines.

When you select tires for your equipment regardless if you are looking for agricultural tires or earthmoving tires, the selection will matter and it will impact the productivity. The more service life you can get out of your tires, the better and if you can combine it with trouble free service time with minimum unscheduled maintenance and ability to work through any type of weather conditions, you have a good chance of increasing your profitability, keep your timelines and avoid problems and accidents at the workplace. All these work in your favor and should be considered when making your tire selection.

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Mining and tunneling tires made for the harshest conditions

As you can imagine that tires for mining and tunneling work in harsh conditions, it doesn’t get much tougher than this. Sharp rocks that constantly cut and bruise your mining tires, as you have to work with extreme loads, provide these harsh conditions. The only benefit might be that working underground you have less of a weather impact. However being underground then means that you have limited amount of space, so you want to avoid any type of unforeseen problems with your equipment or your tires, as this can cause a lot of problems and costs. A tire failure can cause both delays and costs to a project in addition that it might be a hazard, as these tires work under very high pressures and they do carry very heavy loads.

The tires will thus have to be extremely durable and have a cut and crack resistant tread compound that will provide you with long service life with limited unscheduled maintenance downtime, so that you can maximize productivity. With the limited room to maneuver in the tunnels you will need to have very steady and precise handling. The main vehicles used that you will need tires for are your drill rigs that will drill into the hard rocks. Then you have your underground excavator that can continue digging. They are then paired with a special low height underground mine loader, that can lift very heavy loads and then dump it into a dump truck which tend to be articulated for better movability and load bearing properties. The dump truck can then transport the rock and debris from the underground via the access roads.

The different equipment will have different tires that all will have slightly different properties in addition to being able to withstand the tough conditions that prevail underground and the heavy loads. The loader tires have to have excellent grip so that it can easily fill the bucket without tire slippage. Your excavator tires will need to be very stable so that it can dig up rocks without the excavator rocking back and forth. The dump truck tires will need to have good driving properties as it will leave the mine or tunnel through the access roads at higher speeds, so it needs to have both good on and off road properties. For more tips regarding mining and tunneling tires, visit: nokianheavytyres.com