Load & Haul

New tyre changer for confined spaces

The ?low profile tyre handler? was specifically designed for use in underground mining where there is limited space.

?The low profile tyre handler could be used in the quarry industry but this low profile tyre handler is specifically designed for underground equipment where there is limited space between tyre and wheel arch,? Shuttleworth told Quarry.

?For any surface or quarry equipment where there is limited space, then this is the ideal unit.?

Shuttleworth works for Barrick Gold at the Granny Smith Mine in Kalgoorlie and according to her, tyre changing in underground confined spaces has caused serious injuries throughout the mining industry.

The accepted practice is risky, as it requires personnel to change tyres using fork tynes on either a forklift or integrated tool carrier.

Shuttleworth, together with Austin Engineering in Western Australia, developed the low profile tyre handler.

?It completely removes people from around the tyre while it is being positioned for tyre changing. The tyre is securely held in place by arms around the tyre, eliminating the potential for the tyre to topple over,? she said.

?A key feature is that the unit is designed so it can fit whatever equipment is already at the mine site. It can also be used on underground mobile equipment in the underground environment or in the site?s workshop.?

The functionality of the unit includes the ability to tilt back and forth, pick up and place down a tyre, rotate a tyre to line up with wheel studs, as well as having adjustable length arms and lights.

Field trials were successful and the unit is now in commercial production, available through Austin Engineering in Kewdale, WA.

Granny Smith Mine is already using the technology with more units sent to other Barrick Gold mines across WA and even to the US, after the invention was displayed at this year?s MinExpo in Las Vegas.

Source: Barrick Gold, Science Network Western Australia

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