Titan Australia Revolutionising Tyre and Wheel Maintenance in the Mining Industry

Titan Australia is the market leader in the design, development and manufacture of wheels to the ‘off-highway’ industry. Supplying the world’s most respected original equipment manufacturers such as Caterpillar, Volvo, Komatsu and Liebherr means that our product, service and delivery must consistently meet the high standards set by these companies not only in performance, but also safety.

Off highway tyre and rim assemblies are often subjected to loads and inflation pressures at their maximum capabilities. Construction and mining operations by their very nature can result in variations of the terrain, where higher than normal loading of individual wheel positions occur. Haulage vehicles loaded unevenly, downhill hauls with high speed turns, running a vehicle with one tyre of a dual assembly under inflated, or even flat, and others are examples of conditions that produce periodic high stresses in rim assemblies subsequently reducing fatigue life. Also, the effects of corrosion and fretting between mating parts of a rim assembly can produce surface irregularities that may result in crack initiation sites and ultimate fracture of a rim part.

Because inflated tyre/rim assemblies are pressure vessels with high potential energy, it is extremely important to exercise great caution in servicing these assemblies. When this energy is released instantaneously, via a tyre blowout or fracture of a rim section, the results can be fatal.

Speaking on the subject, Adam Oakenful, COO for Titan Australia said: “Given the serious nature of such an occurrence, the variables in operating conditions and potential for premature fracture of rim parts, it is important to include a rim inspection program in a planned maintenance and inspection program. It is all part of a procedure to minimize the risks associated with off-highway tyre/rim assemblies and at the same time, produce the least cost of operation through maximum tyre and rim life and of course, increase overall safety.”

“The first step in the inspection process, following tyre removal, is to visually inspect the rim base and rim components (flanges, bead seat band and lock ring). Inspect for cracks, bending or distortion, pitting and excessive wear. The key areas of concern are the “high-stress” areas and areas of weld (both circumferential and transverse butt welds). If nothing is found visually, the rim and rim components should then be cleaned. This is best accomplished by abrasive blasting per AS1627.4 and then visually re-inspected.”

One of Titan Australia’s major point of deference is their patented Quick Change Rim (QCR) System. Providing longer rim life, reduced downtime and lower maintenance costs, combined with improved safety for tyre personnel, the QCR system is specifically designed to meet strict specifications and performance requirements under the demanding loads of large mining trucks.

Compared to the standard fitment five-piece rims currently offered, the QCR provides an increased crack test interval, longer rim life, improved safety and fewer rim based removal/fitment procedures during tyre changes meaning less opportunities for errors resulting in significant injuries. The QCR is available as an attachment option for most makes and models of large mining trucks.

Not only will the QCR system reduce downtime by greater than 50 percent on tyre change-out times when compared to the standard five-piece rims, it also greatly enhances safety for the personnel working on site by reduced manual handling and fatigue on tyre maintenance personnel – the need for tyre service personnel to use impact guns is dramatically reduced, thus improving ergonomics of the tyre change process. A quicker tyre change process will encourage more frequent and effective tyre rotations and inspections resulting in improved tyre life. The product also increases crack test intervals compared to standard five-piece rims and reduced potential damage to wheel retaining bolts, studs and hubs – minimize stud and wheel station damage due to improperly tightened wheel nuts.

Machines can have the rear tyres (both inner and outer positions) vertically mounted in the same manner as the front tyres without the need to return to the service bay to have the wheel nuts retightened (as long as rims have not been removed) with minimal level of rim base inventory required.

For more information on how Titan Australia are increasing safety and productivity when it comes to tyre and wheel maintenance, please contact Titan Australia.

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