QUINCY, Ill.—Titan International Inc., responding to reports of premature failures affecting its 63-inch radial OTR tires operating in severe conditions in Canada, will start equipping these tires with pressure and temperature sensors.
These sensors will allow mine operators to monitor tire pressures and temperatures in real time, according to Titan Chairman and CEO Maurice Taylor Jr., who issued a statement Aug. 25 responding to a Bloomberg News report that Titan's 63-inch OTR radials were failing prematurely in oil sands mining operations in Calgary, Alberta.
In his statement, Mr. Taylor acknowledged some failures—in particular in cases where the tires were being run at high speed over long distances and with heavy loads—but disputed the impression that his company's tires were failing on a widespread basis.
“This scenario is beyond the rated conditions of any tire this size,” Mr. Taylor said. “Our competitors' tires don't hold up to these excessive conditions, either. In these tests, Titan's tires were getting too hot in the steel belt, which was melting the rubber, resulting in a failure.”
Mr. Taylor lamented the fact Bloomberg's report didn't mention the “other hundred” Titan OTR tires in use.
“The average life of a 63-inch tire in the oil sands is around 5,000 hours, not 10,000,” Mr. Taylor said, noting that the Bloomberg reporter's story mentioned that it was cause for celebration at a mine recently when a tire ran 10,600 hours.
“It is noteworthy that one of the mines scraps all of its wheels after 10,000 hours of use, which generally equates to the life of two tires,” Mr. Taylor said.
He also sought to defuse the impression that Titan had scaled back production of the giant tires at its Bryan, Ohio, plant.
“Titan has the capacity to produce over 20 super giant radial tires a day. The current market does not require that capacity at this time,” he said.