The above statement may appear bold, but it is a situation that has been achieved by an industry uniquely invested in off-the-road (OTR) wheel safety for the past 35 years.
The introduction of giant OTR haul trucks in the late 1980s saw a decrease in durability and performance of OTR wheels, which were not designed to handle such strains. Australian mining supply and service companies responded by working with major mining customers, contractors and regulatory authorities to identify a safe OTR wheel management response. The objective was to eliminate the risk of catastrophic wheel failure.
The most notable advancement came in the form of the world’s first OTR wheel repair standard AS4457 in 1997, followed a decade later by AS4457.1 in 2007. Both of these standards have been adopted as the most significant global reference when dealing with the repair and application of OTR wheels. AS4457 even brought in mandatory wheel crack testing requirements in an effort to stave off the risk of a catastrophic wheel assembly failure.
While tyres on major haul trucks have a life cycle in the region of around 5000 hours before they become damaged or worn out, wheels can commonly have an initial life in the region of 20–25,000 hours before major components suffer fatigue. Australian Standard makes a provision to replace specific worn or corroded major sections, providing an opportunity for the initial wheel to be repaired and reintroduced to service for a wheel life of 40–50,000 hours (and beyond).
Bridgestone Mining Solutions Australia has been an active participant in the development of AS4457 and has invested in wheel facilities on a national basis to provide industry-leading wheel servicing.
By carrying out OTR wheel section replacement, customers can enjoy wheel-operating costs of less than 50 cents per hour, a statistic made possible by wheel crack testing safety checks.
To find out more about Bridgestone Mining Solutions Australia’s OTR wheel repair and maintenance facilities, you can download the company’s form below.