Treading safely at Blackwater

CHANGING the huge earthmoving equipment tyres weighing up to 10 tonnes is now a much safer task since the delivery of two new purpose-built OMEGA tyre handlers at the BMA Blackwater Mine.

Changing the huge earthmoving equipment tyres weighing up to 10 tonnes is now a much safer task since the delivery of two new purpose-built OMEGA tyre handlers at the BMA Blackwater Mine.

Blackwater maintenance personnel worked closely with Clark Equipment Australia Pty Ltd to develop tyre handling equipment to meet the specific and stringent safety and operational requirements of BMA.

Tyre Bay supervisor Dave Little said that the key to safely handling tyres on site was good visibility, positive communication and minimal time in the ‘restricted zone’.

“The design of the new tyre handler gives the operator excellent visibility from the cab through an extra wide mast which is critical for safe tyre handler operations during the tyre change process,” Little said.

As the operator is guided into place by the tyre fitter, cameras, positive communications and wider visibility through the mast limit or eliminate the time the tyre fitter spends in ‘restricted zone’.

Video cameras at the front and rear of the machines add an extra level of safety for both the operator and tyre fitter.

Forward and rear motion beepers are augmented by strobe lights to ensure that people are aware of movements of the machine around the busy work area and during a tyre change.

The two-way radio system has a dedicated channel for tyre fitting, which ensures clear communications during the entire tyre change process by allowing the operator to talk directly with the tyre fitter without interruptions.

Les Schofield, Dave Little, Rob Stewart, Darryl Shaw and the tyre bay team worked with Clark Equipment to develop training packages for the new purpose built tyre handlers.

The training packages were mapped into Blackwater’s Black Coal Competencies tyre fitting package to provide a standard training process for each machine that is supported by Clark Equipment.

“These innovative tyre handlers play an important role in ensuring the safe and effective handling of heavy earthmoving tyres in and around the tyre bay, workshop and the tyre press facility,” Little said.

“They assist us to safely and efficiently change tyres, which minimises downtime for Blackwater’s heavy earthmoving equipment fleet.”

Omega tyre handlers are designed and built in Australia by Clark Equipment Australia Pty Ltd. They can be specified to suit specific mining and quarrying applications and are supported by a national service and parts network. After their successful launch over two years ago, purpose-built Omega tyre handlers are currently hard at work on several mining sites across Australia.

Andrew Vezos

Clark Equipment Australia Pty Ltd

andrew.vezos@clarkequipment.com.au

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