Document Type : Case Study


Arturo Prat University



In open-pit mining operations, loading and haulage activities account for a significant portion, typically between 50% and 60%, of the operational costs of the entire mining process. Tires, in turn, rank second in terms of operating costs for most mining companies. Therefore, understanding and preserving the useful life of Off-The-Road (OTR) tires is a critical factor in ensuring the profitability of a mining project. This study focuses on a specific mine to analyze the causes of operational damage in the tires of Mining Trucks (MTs) and Front-End Loaders (FELs). It aims to identify the factors leading to the premature disposal of these tires, and propose solutions to increase their useful life. The study identifies four key aspects that influence the low performance of extraction equipment, namely operator experience, environmental condition, raw materials, and equipment condition. Additionally, the study reveals that overinflation pressure significantly contributes to the premature disposal of tires, accounting for 70.5% of MT tire damage and 52.5% of FEL tire damage (primarily affecting MT rear and FEL front tires). The use of tire chains is proposed as a solution, with the potential to decrease the unit cost per labor hour by 28% for at least 50% of the tires.


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