Over the years, mining operations and equipment have become greater in efficiency and scale, reducing costs per yield. As a result, mining productivity is now evaluated more on an exploitation efficiency basis than the conventional cost per hour basis.
With total operating costs calculated according to mined tonnage, super-large big payload trucks are a boon to mine owners everywhere. Here's proof: 190 ~ 210 short-ton trucks, once mainstays in mining yards, have been replaced by larger 220 ~ 240 short-ton-class models by the end of 1990s.
The fact that larger dump trucks need larger tires to accommodate the greater load and stress applied means promising prospects for Bridgestone. That's because over 70 years of experience distinguish Bridgestone tire technology, design and manufacture. Bridgestone's 3.5m-diameter.tires for such huge vehicles as 220-240 short-ton dump trucks, for example, bear up to about 60 tons each. One tire weighs 3.6 tons!
How big are such trucks and tires? Just imagine a vehicle the size of a two-story house moving around in a mining pit.
In the process of making such massive tires, Bridgestone applies a high-technology “low-profile” design (profile = tire height tire width x 100) to increase load capacity,
The 46/90R57 tire will be a real breakthrough. Despite minimal change in tire diameter, the tire will feature a 40.00R57 profile that is 5% lower than that of a standard 220-240 short-ton dump truck tire, a profile ratio of 90%, and 3% higher load capacity. Prospects are excellent that this distinctive product will enjoy strong sales, supported by Bridgestone's international distribution network.
As the market evolves in this new millennium, global mining requires bigger, higher-efficiency machines with payload capacity of 320-380 short tons. Now Bridgestone is marketing the world's largest class of tires--the 53/80R63, 55/80R63 and 59/80R63. Our development continues for 63-inch and larger tires.
Bridgestone is involved in creating not just buildings-it's building the foundation for further development of tires for the construction industry. The market for wheel loaders is huge, with more than 35,000 wheel loaders made every year. This, along with mining and other applications requiring articulated dump trucks and other equipment, make Bridgestone a big presence at construction sites where reliability and durability are invaluable. Size and scope count, after all. As the world's leading tire manufacturer, Bridgestone has wide-ranging resources that allow it to focus on timely development and supply of specialty tires for industry.
Bridgestone's VSNT and VSDT L-4 and L-5 tires introduced in 2000 are designed to optimize traction of wheel loaders, with special tread patterns that keep their grip on surfaces even after 75% worn, and unique rock-ejecting nubs that keep the grooves clear of obstructions.
These and other innovations make Bridgestone tires the favorites of operators everywhere. New 65 series tires compare favorably to 80 series tires in terms of controllability, stability and effect on driving comfort.
Wheel loader tires are just one class of tire in which Bridgestone has no equal. The company's tires for a broad range of other construction equipment are specifically geared for optimal performance at specialized tasks.
Our expanded family of VLT and VLTS tires include those specially treaded for articulated dump trucks, various VHS tires for all-terrain cranes and others for special equipment.
In recent years, the volume of container traffic has increased about 8% a year. As container transport comprises a growing portion of material-shipment operations throughout the world, and ports operate for longer periods of each day, even around the clock, vehicles handling the vessels need more durable, reliable tires to handle the loads. At Bridgestone, we're capitalizing on the opportunity this represents by developing industrial-strength radial tires for use at ports that satisfy customers' every demand.
In the era of 24-hour-a-day ports, pressure grows to reduce port operating costs. In the process of developing tires for automatically guided, unmanned vehicles to operate at next-generation ports, Bridgestone is widening its lead in deep-groove VCHD radial tires for straddle carriers and VCHS radial tires for container handlers. In every case, Bridgestone radials subjected to the harshest wear and tear prove to be fully capable of handling every job, making them the most reliable brand of tire for the long run.
Bridgestone's Shimonoseki Plant is the world's largest plant specializing in tires for heavy-duty off-the-road vehicles. Approximately 90% of the tires produced here are shipped to such destinations as Africa, Americas, Australia and Russia. The plant is strategically located near the sea. Locating the plant by the sea is essential to directly load manufactured huge, heavy tires in the ships for smooth transportation to such destinations.
Two sister plants are located in Des Moines and Bloomington, in the United States.
In 1989, Bridgestone's Off-The-Road Tire Department was made independent from the passenger car or truck-buss tire Department, a change calculated to strengthen sales, service, research, and development capabilities. At that time, most of world's leading tire manufacturers were not focusing on this market segment and not supplying products that could satisfy customer's needs.
Since its founding, this special team for off-the-road tires has been fortifying not only sales power but also customer servicing capabilities. Today, the department is an off-the-road tire expert that can meet diversified specifications requirements and supply tires of consistent high quality to customers all over the world.
Bridgestone's Off-The-Road Tire Department is proud to provide its customers with the best service in the industry, and is honored by their continued patronage.