365 day steelworks operation benefits from cradle-to-grave care
A global provider of onsite logistics and environmental services for metals, mining and energy producers continues to rely on Vacu-Lug tyre supply and support for its UK operation – 24 hours per day, 365 days per year.
Vacu-Lug, the Grantham–based remould and earthmover tyre specialists supply the tyres for a number of Kress Slab Carriers which make up the heavy end of its customer’s 70 strong vehicle fleet operating from a steel works in Wales.
Operating around the clock, the Kress Carriers transport steel slabs within the steel production plant which, together with its sister plant, elsewhere in Wales is capable of producing upwards of 5 million tonnes of steel slab per annum.
The Kress Carriers are fitted with front, 37.25-35 and rear, 4000 x57 Yokohama premium tyres, each of which is supported by a ‘cradle-to-grave’ inspection and reporting process carried out by Vacu-Lug.
Each month, an inspection is made to determine wear and to check for sidewall injuries and general damage. Tread depths are monitored and hours registered. This way, Vacu-Lug is able to advise the customer of the precise cost per hour to run each tyre throughout its working life, which on average is about 2,500 hours on front tyres and 5,000 on the larger rear tyres.
For this Vacu-Lug customer, every piece of equipment runs to full capacity “and more” which makes it essential to have a tight monitoring and checking process. Tyre replacement requirement is forecast three months in advance and this is made possible by extrapolating the collected data from each tyre.
The Kress Carriers have a GVW approaching 250 tonnes and each rear tyre, partly filled with water to compensate for the load stress, weighs around 2 tonnes.
“This is a high-maintenance operation by any use of the term” says Vacu-Lug’s Sales Manager for Earthmover Tyres, Billy Dillon. “Down time for any operation must be kept to an absolute minimum and with equipment of this type, considering the cost implications, it is imperative. Through our arrangement with Yokohama, we are able to provide exactly the right tyres for the job, but that’s not where it ends,” continues Billy, “we invest a great deal of time and recourse into the lifetime monitoring of every tyre. This way, our customers maintain a tight control on costs and the ability to accurately forecast replacement schedules. This is typical for many of our Earthmover and Industrial tyre customers”