The wheels of heavy industry and materials handling vehicles roll endlessly along, carrying the weight of the economy on the backs.
All the weight they carry and power they exert transfers constantly through their wheels to the ground.
“It comes as a bit of a surprise for many people, when you tell them that they should change their wheels about every fifth tyre change,” says Mark Bloxham, Managing Director, Bearcat Tyres .
“Materials handling and construction vehicles are pretty brutal on their tyres. The more wear and tear on the tyres, the more stress on the wheels,”
Bearcat Tyres now produces a range of hard-wearing industrial wheels here in Australia. “The production is very labour intensive, with the wheels being hand welded, with quality control vigilant every step of the way” says Mark Bloxham. “With the weight that some of these wheels carry, you can’t afford to risk wheel collapse through fatigue.”
Bearcat Tyres has introduced a wheel safety reporting service for the port handling and mining industries.
The wheels are exchanged on heavy industrial machines, such as srraddle-lift container cranes. They are taken to the Bearcat workshop and tested in adherence to AS 4557-1997 and wheels certified for underground mining to AS 1171-1998 as well as supplying a crack-test report.
“We have wheels here in the workshop, that on inspection were found to be dangerous and totally unable to be repaired” says Mark Bloxham.
“The mining industry has very high standards for underground mining. Unfortunately other industries forget about the weights and stress the heavy machinery wheels undergo.”
Bearcat Tyres manufactures wheels up to two metres in diameter, for all standard machines as well as making individual wheels for special-purpose vehicles.