It’s hard to think of many places where electrified and autonomous vehicles are more welcome than underground. Large mining outfits depend on the advantages these attributes offer – mainly zero emissions and keeping drivers out of harm’s way, respectively – to maximize profits and uptime.
To keep these and other OTR fleets moving, OTR tire manufacturers like BKT must constantly keep a finger on the market’s pulse to ensure they can stay competitive and make sure they can best meet the needs of these customers. In many cases, these needs include aggressive sustainability initiatives, says Chris Rhoades, BKT’s vice president of OTR.
“Go to any major mining company’s or aggregate producer’s website and take a look at how everybody’s got their own statements on sustainability and what they’re trying to accomplish. Of course, tires play a big role in that,” Rhoades says. “As a manufacturer, we take a look at every step along the manufacturing process, from acquiring raw materials to the finished goods, to see what we can do to reduce waste and increase efficiencies. One of the highlights and keystones of BKT is we’re the only tire manufacturer that has our own carbon black manufacturing plant. Approximately 30% of a tire’s weight is carbon black, and we meet 100% of our requirements out of our own plant on that.”
In this episode of What’s Treading, Rhoades delves into the rise of electric and autonomous vehicles in the OTR sector, current market trends, and BKT’s commitment to sustainability. We also discuss the state of the OTR tire market, customer needs and the complexities of tire supply and application.
This is an audio-only version of our episode with BKT. Go ahead, you’re already here – take a listen! But, if you’re looking for moving pictures, click here.