Puncture-proof Tyres for Underground Mining
Trident has developed a complete range of TRAXTER branded solid tyres specially designed for underground mining.

Generally, not much attention is paid to tyres although the entire weight of the vehicle including payload is carried by the tyres and tyres are the only link between the machine and the terrain. It is therefore critical to ensure that they are safe, reliable and performance-worthy anytime and every time. This is of even greater importance for tyres fitted on underground mining equipment such shuttle cars, battery haulers, load haul dumpers (LHDs), roof bolters, jumbo drills etc. Furthermore, tyre-related costs are usually among the top five operating costs for most industrial equipment.

Tyres used in underground mines generally do not last long due to severe operating conditions. The main reasons for taking tyres out of service are pre-mature failures, due to tread separation, sidewall cuts and impact damage. There are very few occasions when tyres are fully worn out.

The underground mining ecosystem is highly space constrained, with narrow tunnels and drifts, resulting in frequent damage to wheel and rim components. 

The side/flange rings on the wheel rims are damaged more often in underground mining than any other operation. The tyres will fail pre-maturely if the side ring is damaged or comes off, as it supports the bead of a tyre which in turn supports the vehicle. Therefore, it is crucial for underground mine operators to focus on tyre maintenance. Good tyre maintenance practices can result in a longer tyre life and significant direct and indirect savings.

Underground mining tyres can be made puncture-proof by PU foam-filling, however foam-filled tyres are still prone to damage. The foam-filling has helped in enhancing the service
 life of the tyre resulting in fewer replacements but the tyres still face pre-mature failures before they are worn out completely in many cases.

Based on customer feedback, Trident has developed a complete range of TRAXTER branded solid tyres specially designed for underground mining. The solid tyres offer users several additional advantages over PU foam-filled tyres at little additional cost. Besides being 100 per cent puncture-proof, these have high damage resistance, deeper treads for better traction and a long service life. The tyres are provided with a soft centre for cushioning for better ride quality. Unlike foam-filled tyres, where the foam can come out if the tyre carcass is damaged and exposed, solid tyres can continue to be used as these are manufactured as single piece structure. Furthermore, the useable tread depth of a solid tyre is more than that of a foam-filled tyre resulting in longer life.

Equipment owners can evaluate tyre options (refer to table) and select the right tyre for the lowest operating costs and capital efficiency.