Purcell Tire helps its clients in the mining industry reduce overheads and drive efficiency by monitoring and managing tire performance

Large off-the-road (OTR) tires represent one of the largest single procurement expenses of a mining operation. As such, mining operations strive to get as much as possible out of the life of each tire without impacting their production of ore. Purcell Tire takes great pride in offering world-class products and complete tire management and maintenance services to its clients that result in cost savings for the operation and better use of resources.

Cost management, efficiency, and safety tops the agenda at Purcell Tire, and it works closely alongside its customers to develop site-specific programs resulting in the highest levels of productivity. Purcell Tire merged with Nevada based D&D Tire just five years ago. In that time they have substantially grown the newly formed Global Mining Group by building on their mining history and the success of D&D Tire’s tire management program. This comprehensive tire management program has helped many mines to increase productivity, maximize the life of tires, and dramatically improve an operations bottom line. As part of this division, Purcell Tire also owns and operates a world-leading retreading operation.

Site evaluation and data collection

Purcell Tire describes itself as a ‘cradle to the grave’ company. “When we sell you a tire we are responsible for the life of that tire, through usage monitoring and retreading down to determining when that tire is non-usable,” says Matt Johnson, Vice President of Global Mining. Purcell Tire considers maintenance, design, fuel consumption, and site conditions, tire pressure and more. Based on each individual site, the company can offer its clients detailed and site-specific information to help them save on cost, and improve efficiency.

“We monitor the tires and see how they perform in different conditions and under different stresses. We take into consideration the speeds at which they run, the length of the haul, and the TMPH of the site. We are heavily tracking the tires and everything they do, including where are they located and when are they in use. This level of monitoring creates a huge data set that we can look at to discover how the tire is performing,” explains Johnson.

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No stone goes unturned by Purcell Tire, where on-site technicians monitor and maintain everything from air pressure, to flips and rotations, to the scheduling of fleets which can minimize down time and maximize the tire performance. “By collecting such a vast amount of data we can answer specific questions for different site requirements,” says Johnson.

Analyzing data

In order to collect and analyze data Purcell Tire uses different tracking software programs depending on the information required and the preference of the client. From there, Purcell Tire runs that data through its own in-house system and produces reports for both their clients and on-site Managers. “We present our clients with meaningful information so they can make informed decisions about changes required on site,” says Johnson. “It’s all about how they can improve the life of their tires.”

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According to Johnson, collecting data on a mine site as its goes through its lifecycle is vital. Everything from road conditions and pit design to tire pressure must be monitored in order to identify areas for improvement.

“It’s like your savings account,” says Johnson. “If you spend a lot of money, the balance goes down, watch what you are doing and it grows. Take stock of your mine conditions and your bank account will go up while your cost per hour goes down.”

Finally, as its clients mine sites change and develop Purcell Tire can pull data from other sites, which have experienced similar situations. This helps the company make informed decisions right off the bat without having to start over.  

Carbon footprint tracking

As part of its service offering, Purcell Tire also has a carbon footprint tracking program that measures how many tires are purchased and how those tires are re-used such as retreading and other tire derived products such as water troughs.

“Retreading is the number one form of recycling and we are the largest retreader in the United States. That helps us to be very efficient when helping our customers become green,” says Johnson. “We are also educating them to use the tires not just as a consumable but as an asset. Tires are one of the top assets on a mine site. So by lowering your costs, it lowers the overall cost of production for the mine.”

As part of the company’s carbon footprint tracking program, it also incorporates data gleaned from tire pressure maintenance to monitor cost savings resulting from reduced fuel consumption.

Training and development

On the company’s website its mission statement reads: “Our Global Mining Group has a vast toolbox of tire services, products, personnel, expertise and reporting to help mining operations reduce their overall cost while maximizing production safely. We strongly believe in safety - not just for our personnel, but for everyone at a mining operation. We hold the safety of others just as high as our own personal family safety.”

Underpinning everything Purcell Tire does is its commitment to safety and wellbeing. As part of this commitment, the company runs tire awareness classes for mine site employees. “That increases the mine’s employee knowledge – what is safe and what isn’t – our operator training teaches mine’s employees about the tires and what stresses they are under. It also educates them about how tires perform so that they understand what to do and what not to do in certain situations,” says Johnson. This training raises on site safety awareness of everyone and contributes to a safer work environment for all.

All of Purcell Tire employees go through TIA (Tire Industry Association) training, led by certified in-house instructors. “As we hire new employees, they receive anywhere between three and six months training,” says Johnson.

Purcell Tire is proud of its people and cites them as their most valuable asset. Their staff has broad specialty experience such as mine engineers, mine foremen, mine maintenance superintendents, mine managers, mine tire technicians, mine heavy equipment mechanics, accountants, data analysts, IT professionals, and MSHA instructors.  Their Mining Group has a wide variety of experience to pull from when situations arise. “We have the best people there is in the industry,” says Johnson. “There are other companies offering the same service, but we don’t just talk the talk. We go out and walk the walk. It’s one thing to collect that information but another thing to go out there and use that information in a way that is productive and beneficial.”

Johnson explains that Purcell Tire’s unique selling point is the fact that it not only collects data for its clients but also presents it to them in a way that is user friendly and digestible. “Our data is detailed, useful, constantly monitored and what’s more, we have the best people in the industry to help our clients put it into practice effectively and efficiently,” concludes Johnson. 

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