3 Things You Didn’t Know About Mining Tire Recycling

February 15, 2019 | News, Recycling, Tires

Recycling those gigantic tires on mining trucks is a lot more interesting and involved than most people expect. Here are a few things you probably didn’t know about mining tire recycling.

Mining tires are more than just “big” tires

They’re big, alright. But the tires used for those massive LHD loaders, mining scalers, graders, scoops, rock breakers, and other mining vehicles are more than just oversized version of the ones you’d find on your pickup truck. While they may look similar enough (except for scale) externally, they’re actually built very differently from the tires you would use for road vehicles.

Most tires on mining vehicles fall under a class of tires called OTR (off-the-road) tires. Unlike typical road tires, they’re designed to spend the vast majority of their life on unpaved surfaces. This means they have to be built out of different grades of rubber and with different techniques than a tire meant for road use. They are also built to last, as you can imagine how much of a problem changing out the tires on a typical mining haul truck can be.

While these OTR tires can be of different designs (including bias, belted bias, and radial types), they typically use a lot of steel proportionally, compared to regular road tires.  They are also made with tougher rubber compounds. This means OTR tires can quickly dull or seize up machines designed to recycle regular road tires – if they can even process tires that big, to begin with.

These factors make it next to impossible for most tire recyclers to process them efficiently, which means only specialized services like Western Tire Recyclers can do the job.

You’re in contact with recycled mining tires every day.

When they haven’t been converted to tire chips, OTR tires on mining vehicles are hard to miss. But you may not even see one if you lived in cities most of your life. These tires tend to spend the entirety of their service lives in some of the most remote and inhospitable places on earth. However, once they’ve reached the end of their useful service life, they’re invariably sent to a specialized company to be recycled for their steel and rubber.

The steel and rubber from these tires will be processed into any of the countless products used in and around your home and workplace. The steel will be melted down and processed into an infinite variety of items. The rubber will be ground up and used in many familiar applications, including shoes, yoga mats, asphalt additives, mulch, construction insulation, and even new tires.  Chances are good that you’re in regular contact with at least a few objects in your home and workplace made from materials derived from OTR tires.

You can buy eco-friendly water tanks made from mining tires

Western Tire Recyclers repurposes giant OTR mining tires to safe, USDA-approved, environmentally-sustainable water tanks that could efficiently water dozens of heads of livestock at a time. Because they’re built from recycled OTR tires, they’re actually tougher than similar-capacity water troughs made from steel that can corrode and wear down through the action of the elements and livestock over time.  The material also prevents the water from icing up in the winter and allows it to stay cooler and more comfortable to drink for livestock during the summer.

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