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Tyre chains important link in supplier support

RUD has provided tyre protection chains to the Australian mining industry for 30 years. In its dedication to innovative design, RUD has worked alongside quarry and mining operators to refine tyre protection chain performance, and has recorded promising results from field trials with a Caterpillar 988 wheel loader with 36/65-33 DT tyres, eg:
? Tyre service life extended from 1200 hours to 12,000 hours, an increase of 90 per cent.
? Tyre costs reduced from $45.85 to $9.90 per hour, a decrease of 78 per cent.
? Loaded volumes increased from 550 to 630 tonnes per hour, an increase of 16 per cent.
? Downtime from tyre repairs per year fell from 160 hours to 36 hours, a decrease of over 77 per cent.

While it is easy to attribute these results purely to a quality product, it is important to understand that a comprehensive installation and maintenance programme is an essential element in delivering long term profits on a tyre protection chain investment.

The first step is for a qualified product specialist to choose a chain design that suits the specific quarry environment. The correct selection of tyre protection chains is determined by many parameters, most of which are site and application specific. These include machine travel speeds and distances, abrasiveness of the rock/ore, and whether the floor conditions are wet or dry to name a few.

RUD?s tyre protection chains use case-hardened alloy chains linked in patented designs to provide a variety of tyre protection and traction qualities:
? Three wear levels that provide three separate zones of wear resistance.
? Diamond-shaped wear link for better traction and protection of the tyre tread.
? A middle reinforcement that increases stability, traction and wear volume.
? Sharp edges on the outer surface area that increase traction.
? Compact shape that makes it ideal for equipment with low clearance.
? Extra wide contact area that improves force distribution and connecting ring wear life.
? Multiple link designs to suit a range of aggressive and low traction surfaces.

Once the appropriate design is chosen, fitting a tyre protection chain is a simple and safe process. Where required, Certificate IV qualified RUD field service technicians provide training to site staff at the initial fitting of new chains. Ongoing maintenance can be handled by on-site workshop personnel and involves tensioning every three months (tensioning takes 20 minutes to carry out). Alternatively, RUD can facilitate all maintenance requirements through its full service contracts that include regular scheduled visits, and where needed, engineers can be requested on short notice, usually arriving on-site within 24 hours.

When fitted and maintained, a typical chain service life in quarry applications in Australia varies from 5000 hours in abrasive granite to 32,000 hours in limestone. Chains can be fitted to any tyre type ? bias, radial or slick ? new or worn. There is no change to the machine?s normal operation ? tyre pressures, tramming speeds and distances remain virtually unchanged.

Most new users of tyre protection chains confirm significant gains in machine productivity, due to the reduction in digging cycle time and optimised bucket filling. Where the ground conditions are wet and slippery, traction improvements not only reduce cycle times, but can also reduce fuel consumption.

Late in 2010, RUD released a new patented product. The Chain Monitoring System (CMS) is the first system of its kind to utilise the proven Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) technology in tyre protection chain applications. The CMS enables technicians to electronically capture live service and performance data on-site, then provide valuable tailored reporting to mine and quarry operators, assisting them to make effective decisions on optimising their machines.

Armed with a higher level of reporting data, mine operators can maximise the key benefits of their tyre protection chains through:
? Increased safety from fewer tyre change-outs and increased traction.
? Increased machine availability through reduced downtime, tyre damage and repair.
? Improved machine productivity due to reduced cycle times.
? Reduced operating expenses from increased traction, lower fuel burn and fewer tyre replacements.

RUD is confident that tyre protection chains will become more commonplace as a tool to manage maintenance costs and increase productivity and profits. RUD has two purpose-built sales and service facilities in Brisbane and Perth, and will soon have a third in New South Wales, with local product specialists and a team of fully trained field service technicians in each office to service the needs of local clients.

Source: RUD Chains

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