BHP introduces safer Saraji tyre handling system

Credit: BHP

BHP Billiton Mitsubishi Alliance’s (BMA) Saraji coal mine in the Bowen Basin has made the handling of heavy vehicle earth moving tyres safer with a new device.

Hedweld’s TH 15000 tyre handler is a system that removes tyre fitters from the direct line of fire and safely secures the tyre in place during changes.

It features a jib arm to support the weight of the rattle gun used in the removal of wheel nuts.

The TH 15000 tyre handler is remote controlled using Bluetooth technology to improve an operator’s visibility when aligning the device with the tyre.

This removes the need for any manual handling of the product while reducing the number of people required for tyre handling.

Tyres are traditionally moved by equipment such as loaders and forklifts, requiring at least two fitters to operate.

“A key part of this project was changing our way of thinking around tyre handling,” Jarrod Layton, superintendent mods and ops projects in the Saraji engineering team, said.

“We spent a lot of time engaging our teams and looking for opportunities to increase not only the safety and productivity of our processes, but also the culture that surrounds these types of activities.”

A number of incidents associated with tyre handling occur within the mining industry every year, where tyre assemblies weigh up to 15 tonnes.

This prompted Saraji to look at ways to reduce the potential exposure and risk to tyre fitters when working in and around tyres.

After investigating a range of options and consulting the market, the team found Hedweld’s TH 15000 tyre handler.

“While the safety and productivity benefits are clear, the cultural change has also been fantastic to see,” Layton said.

“The workforce can see that we’re investing in making their jobs safer and easier to do every day – they see that we’re willing to invest and try new equipment and train them in order to deliver safer results.”