A downward trend in tyre life on haul trucks at an open pit iron ore mine
prompted an investigation into the current tyre management strategy in
order to improve tyre life. ‘Best practice’ was compared to the current tyre
management strategy at the mine to determine aspects that could be
improved. Aspects that showed significant room for improvement included
employee tyre awareness, tyre pressure maintenance, and road conditions.
For each of these aspects a plausible alternative was suggested.
A new tyre management strategy was formulated as a step-by-step
guide on how to implement the proposed changes. Each step introduces
new initiatives but at the same time builds on the previous step’s success.
A sensitivity analyses was performed to determine the impact of the
proposed changes, with the variables being the reduction in the percentage
of premature tyre failure, and the reduction of the site wear rate.
The ‘most likely’ scenario showed an increase in tyre life of 41% for
the Komatsu 730 trucks and 105% for the CAT 777 trucks if the entire tyre
management model is implemented. This would result in a possible annual
saving related to tyre usage of R9.2 million.