Changing a flat tyre on your car can be difficult at the best of times however, give a thought to the mining crews faced with the mammoth challenge of changing tyres on heavy earthmoving machines. While there are tools to assist them with this process, changing these tyres is awkward and fraught with dangers that can be fatal if managed incorrectly.
So, when an option presents that is practical, efficient and safe, it seems only right that we lift the bonnet and take a little bo-peep. Manufactured in the United States by Greenfield Products, the Greenfield Handlers are a proprietary mast mounted drop-arm tyre manipulator paired with a Hyster forklift.
Designed to engage the tyre at an angled and inward position, these manipulators provide the operator of the machine an unobstructed view and critically, affords ground staff a safe and crush free work area; an area that on other machines, can often trap an individual causing serious harm or death. Designed to handle tires and wheels with or without chains, Greenfield's largest machine, the TH35XR tops the bunch with a lifting capacity of 15,875kg and clamping arms that spread from 76” up a maximum of 172” (70/70R57 tyres).
What excites me most however, is the ability for the manipulator to be used in the tyre/rim break down process, with the machine able to provide a powerful yet safe downward pressure, to break the tyre bead and remove the bead ring and flange from the tyre for disassembly. Compelling and a capability that sets this machine aside from the rest.
As with any decision, there's almost always a leap of faith when purchasing a new asset and one must always way up the benefits versus the cons as well as the upfront and long-term economics. To me, these things make sense. If you'd like to know more, hit the web and visit http://www.greenfieldhandlers.com/ or watch the video below.
This article was originally published by the Components Only team in the June - July 2017 issue of "@ The Coal Face" magazine.Published 21 June, 2017