Rim lock: advances in the tyre fitting industry

BHP continues to lead the way with tyre change safety following the implementation of a new retainer bolt system designed to eliminate safety risks associated with tyre and rim assembly change out.  

Across the mining industry, there have been several incidents, injuries and even fatalities when people have worked with heavy vehicle earth moving tyres. With tyre assemblies weighing up to 15 tonnes, the team at BHP Mitsubishi Alliance’s (BMA) Goonyella Riverside mine looked at ways to reduce the potential exposure and risk to tyre fitters when working in and around tyres. 

A range of options were considered, and through market consultation an expert engineer was brought in to design and evaluate a retainer bolt system. Trials occurred over two years and included design, production of a prototype, and on site and third-party testing to demonstrate proof of concept. These trials were successful, with Goonyella Riverside mine now in the process of permanently implementing the system on its vehicles. 

The learnings from the trial have been shared with different BHP assets with the goal of improving safety across BHP. Initially designed for one type of vehicle used by BHP, the success of the trials at Goonyella Riverside mine has informed further trials, with design and testing of the retainer bolt system underway for use on a range of different vehicles used by BHP.