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Haul truck tyre goes flying during maintenance

haul truck, tyre

A haul truck tyre rim, weighing 2.5 tonnes, was dangerously launched into the air after a maintenance mishap in New South Wales.

The wheel was being inflated on its side on the mine’s workshop floor after having the rim o-ring seals replaced. Suddenly, the rim was ejected vertically about 1.5m above the tyre.

At the time of the ejection, the tyre technician was located roughly 5m from the tyre, fortunately escaping injury.

The NSW Resources Regulator investigated the incident, with preliminary findings indicating that during the o-ring replacement, the tyre was rotated roughly 180 degrees. Due to rotational limitations of the tyre handler, the tyre dropped roughly 600mm to the floor while being rotated.

Subsequent impact with the floor then dislodged key components and lock ring, causing the rim to eject.

While the investigation is still in its infancy, the regulator issued a series of recommendations to help reduce the risks of a tyre rim ejection.

Mine operators should consider the following when managing heavy earthmoving wheel assemblies:

  • No-go zones during inflation and handling
  • control of line-of-fire risks through retention of rim components using engineering controls
  • detailed, stepped inflation processes including dimensional and fitment checks
  • capability of the tyre handler for all intended tyre and wheel assembly handling processes
  • original equipment manufacturer (OEM) recommendations on discard criteria for lock rings
  • OEM component compatibility guidance.

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