The keys to tyre life

MINE operators facing tyre supply problems would be well served by taking better care of their tyres, according to tyre manufacturer Michelin. By Kaan Demirel, market segment manager, surface and underground mines, Michelin Earthmover Tires.

Angie Tomlinson

Well maintained tyres can increase profits because machines operate longer and increase productivity. Properly maintained tyres also help improve safety.


Nowadays it’s more important than ever to take care of tyres due to the present worldwide industrial tyre production capacity versus current demand.


How to Maximise Tyre Life


There are several steps customers can follow to maximise tyre life but the most important is to follow a recommended tyre maintenance schedule. Other steps that are often overlooked include making sure machine operators are properly trained and that potential hazards around the worksite are minimised. These steps will make a big difference in maximising tyre life.


Michelin suggests routine tyre inspections by the customer or service provider to help ensure that tyres are looked at and corrective actions are taken.


Operators need to follow a number of basic rules, including:


  • Check tyre pressures regularly (if tyres are air filled) and always at the beginning of a work shift to help ensure pressure readings are correct.
  • Always have valve caps in place.
  • Ensure that tyre rims are in proper, safe working condition.

In addition, there are two items operators can perform to help ensure they are getting the most out of their tyres. They are: evaluating tyre wear on a routine basis, and rotating and matching tyres accordingly.


The tread and the sidewall should also be inspected for signs of cutting, chunking, penetration and rubber tearing. Look for root causes and operating conditions causing these damages and seek solutions to minimise future damages.


What Are Other Tyre Maintenance Factors?


Another important element affecting overall tyre life is ground conditions. When maintained properly, ground conditions can have a very significant impact on tyre life.


If proper tyre maintenance is not a priority, operators could reduce tyre tread life, increase the likelihood of tyre-related failures, reduce a machine’s productivity and unnecessarily cost their company money. Not only do you have to pay to repair or replace the tyre, but you also lose the productivity of a machine during unscheduled downtime, which also costs companies money.


Checklist for Maximising Tyre Life:


  • Select the best tyre for the application.

    Use the manufacturer’s recommended air pressures (if tyres are air filled).

  • Check tyre pressures at the start of a work shift to ensure the pressure readings are correct (if tyres are air filled).
  • Make sure that valve caps are on.
  • Check that tyre rims are in proper working condition.
  • Ensure that the work site is free from hazards.
  • Follow a recommended tyre maintenance schedule.
  • Make sure machine operators are properly trained.