Sandvik Mining and Construction has introduced the Sandvik Tyre Monitor (STM), which monitors tyre pressure and temperature for underground load-haul-dumps (LHDs) and trucks.

The Sandvik STM continuously monitors tyre temperature and pressure, providing warnings and alarms for the operator if corrective action is required. The system is available for all new Sandvik underground LHDs and trucks equipped with Sandvik’s Vehicle Control and Management (VCM) system.

Sandvik’s tyre monitoring system provides the following warnings and alarms:

  • Tyre leak detection
  • Extreme over-pressure (38% over)
  • Over-pressure (28% over)
  • Under-pressure (12.5 % under)
  • Extreme under-pressure (25% under)
  • Over temperature (85°C)
  • Low battery in sensor.

If a sensor is broken, it is simply a case of following the display instructions, which indicate the correct procedure to replace the sensor with a new one. The sensor includes a battery, which should be replaced when a low battery warning is received. All Sandvik tyre monitoring system sensors are similar and have the same part number.

Sandvik Mining and Construction’s underground mining sales & marketing manager Tim Redmond says, “Prevent just one tyre failure – caused by incorrect pressures or over temperature – and this system will have paid for itself.”

The STM uses four pressure sensors integrated into the tyre vent caps, which send a signal to a wireless radio receiver integrated with the Sandvik VCM system. Once the STM has been installed and set up, the tyres are inflated to their correct pressure and the pressure sensor vent caps are screwed on. The operator can then see the tyre pressures on the cabin display and will be warned of any air leakage, as well as pressure or temperature problems.

Tim Redmond says tyre monitoring is ideal for automated vehicle operation where human senses are not available to feel the differing behaviour of the machine caused by tyre failure.

He says lost production due to unscheduled downtime can easily approach $10,000 an hour for a single machine – and that doesn’t take into account the cost in terms of tyres for premature tyre failure. “A huge number of underground tyres are scrapped before their potential working life is over, because mine operators fail to keep tyres within the ranges of pressure and temperature recommended by the manufacturer. Operating a tyre at its correct pressure and temperature can have a dramatic effect on extending its working life.

“Real-time monitoring – such as our STM system – means warnings are provided as soon as pressure or temperature problems arise and the tyre starts to operate in conditions that endanger its structural integrity. The situation can be remedied before damage is done to the tyre – or before the tyre fails and perhaps causes a production bottleneck.”

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