Pop quiz: What kind of tires does the world's largest front-end loader take? Answer: The globe's biggest loader tires, of course.
After LeTourneau Inc. manufactured the L-2350 loader, it sought Bridgestone/Firestone Off Road Tire Co.'s help. The result: Firestone 70/70-57 tires. Late last year the mammoth beast-complete with new tires towering nearly 13-feet high and weighing almost eight tons-was commissioned at the Triton North Rochelle Mine in Gillette.
BFS said one key feature the L-2350 offers the Triton facility is greater flexibility in moving from one location in the pit to another. Compared to a traditional track shovel-which may take as long as 12 hours to make the move-the L-2350 can get to a new location in 20 minutes. The LeTourneau loader is designed to center-load haul trucks with capacities of up to 400 tons and, BFS said, provides an operating payload of 160,000 pounds, a 24-foot dump clearance and an 11.5-foot reach.
BFS Off-Road Tire designed the Firestone 70/70-57 Super Rock Grip Deep Tread tire in cooperation with LeTourneau to specifically meet L-2350 requirements. According to BFS, a four-person crew assembles each tire in about 17 hours with an additional 24 hours in cure time.
Nashville, Tenn.-based BFS's off-road unit handles the marketing and sales of earthmoving, mining, construction and industrial tires.