Bridgestone: Tyre Management is the Key in OTR - Tire Review Magazine

Bridgestone: Tyre Management is the Key in OTR

(Clacton, U.K./Tyres & Accessories) The seemingly ever-increasing demand for plant and equipment from China in particular has had dramatic effects on the earthmover tyre market.

In an attempt to meet demand, Bridgestone Corp.’s factories are operating at maximum capacity and the company has revised its production capacity forecasts. It had planned to increase earthmover tyre production by 80% between 2004 and 2008, but this schedule is being accelerated.

The effects of the tyre shortage are neatly encapsulated in what is happening to the U.K. coal mining industry. The opencast mining industry in the U.K. is Western Europe’s largest and accounts for around 18,500 tyres a year. Bridgestone has been the market leader in this sector for over 10 years.

One customer that decided three years ago to run its vehicles exclusively on Bridgestone tyres is Scottish Coal, whose fleet consists of 38 prime movers, 19 150-tonne dump trucks and more than 125 100-tonne dump trucks, working on eight sites across Scotland. And when we say ‘working,’ we mean it, as a typical week is 110 hours continuous work and this is for 47 weeks a year, in all weathers.

Tyre management

Large earthmover tyres are very expensive and so Bridgestone works closely with its customers to do everything possible to maximise tyre life, especially with the current supply situation. This includes a programme of preventative maintenance – vital in an industry where downtime can cost thousands of pounds.

The key to this is Bridgestone’s specially-developed computer software program TMS (Tyre Management System), which is used with a hand-held computer. Barry Coleman, Bridgestone UK’s marketing manager, explains that the company makes TMS available to customers free of charge so that they can enter their own data and verify Bridgestone’s figures on cost per hour of the tyres.

TMS also records the tyre’s history, its projected life, projected replacement date and performance details such as working hours per millimetre of tread.

This close relationship begins even before a new machine starts work on site, as Bridgestone will inspect the tyres and check the pressures, as well as the tracking of the machine. And this care continues throughout the life of the tyre. For example, says Coleman, new tyres are usually fitted to rear axles and Bridgestone monitors their performance and recommends the optimum time to switch them to the front.

Attention to detail

Every month, a specialist from Bridgestone and Scottish Coal’s tyre manager carry out a three-day tyre inspection, covering every tyre on every machine. Pressure and tread depth is checked, as is the general condition of the tyre. Information is recorded on the TMS system, which forms the basis of a monthly status report. This might sound a lot of trouble, but it’s worth it – Bridgestone says that a tyre that is under-inflated (or over-inflated) by 10% could experience a reduction in its working life by up to 13% and, for tyres costing thousands of pounds, that is a lot of money to throw away. As it is, at any given moment, Scottish Coal knows where all its tyres are and the tread depth and condition of each individual tyre.

This painstaking attention to detail means that it is possible to predict when replacement tyres will be needed, which in turn helps with scheduling tyre production at Bridgestone’s factories.

The relationship works both ways, with Scottish Coal feeding back data to Bridgestone to enable them to refine and improve their tyres, for example by adapting the compounds.

Having such a close relationship has another benefit for Scottish Coal; despite Bridgestone’s planned production capacity increases, there will continue to be a shortage of earthmover tyres in the short term. Bridgestone says that it is striving to support those customers who have demonstrated long-term commitment to the tyre manufacturer and priority is being given to these customers.

You May Also Like

Bridgestone Americas Releases 2022 DE&I Annual Report

The 2022 DE&I Annual Report outlines improvements Bridgestone has made in its three DE&I focus areas.

Bridgestone announced the release of its 2022 DE&I annual report. The report includes a detailed scorecard on its diversity representation across the US and Latin America along with a breakdown of its DE&I commitments, strategy and efforts in the last year.

“The release of our second DE&I Annual Report further solidifies our focus on empowering our teammates and the communities where we live, move, work and play,” said Ebonee Davis Ifeobu, vice president of diversity, equity and inclusion at Bridgestone Americas. “Last year, we made a commitment to build upon the DE&I framework already in place and doubled down on our efforts to listen, learn and evolve. While this is an ongoing and intentional journey, I’m proud of the strides we’ve made thus far.”

What Does it Mean to Have Sustainably Sourced Tires?

Sustainability starts at the source, and tire manufacturers are thinking about where rubber comes from more than ever.

CEAT Receives Lighthouse Certification from World Economic Forum

The certification is given to manufacturers that use Industry 4.0 technologies.

Nokian Tyres Holds Innovation Challenge Finals

Sustainability at the top of mind for Nokian Tyres during its innovation challenge.

Apollo Tyres Receives ISO Certification for Sustainability

Apollo Tyres underwent a three-stage assessment for the certification.


Other Posts

Discount Tire Announces ‘Defending Daytona’

The series will highlight Austin Cindric, driver of the No. 2 Discount Tire Ford Mustang, as he prepares to defend his title at the Daytona 500.

Discount Tire Defending Daytona
Hunter’s BL Series Bench Lathes Now Connects with HunterNet 2

With the new connectivity, shop owners and managers will be able to view before and after-cut results for rotors and drums online.

GRI Receives US DOT Certification for Safety

GRI tires will now have a DOT code embossed on their sidewalls.

Five Tire Trends You Need to Know

We’re talking about recent industry trends that you can take advantage of when running your tire business.

RwtN Featured Image EP20