Why Less Water on Haul Roads will Improve Tyre Life

As innocuous as it seems, water on haul roads – regardless of whether it is delivered organically by Mother Nature or via water truck – has a negative impact on the life of mining truck tyres

Of course, there are many aspects that affect the life of your haul road vehicle tyres…such as the quality of the sub-base, camber, temperature, superelevation, and the condition of the running surface (haulroad defects, surface roughness, and so forth).

Yet one of the biggest impediments to maximising tyre life is actually water.

The reason for this is the reaction of the polymers in rubber to H2O; wet rubber is up to 10 times easier to cut than dry rubber because water acts as a lubricant and physically reduces the friction of cutting.

eBook: 5 common haul road challenges and how to solve them

If you don’t believe us, here’s a video that demonstrates this phenomenon in action …

DAS Water effects Video edit 2


Why water on haul roads is such a big concern

Imagine that wet tyre hitting a large pothole, sharp rock or some other debris washed onto the haul road during a massive storm.

Water can also actually hide those potholes and rocks, so operators may not know they are hitting them until it’s too late and the damage has been done.

With around 80% of earthmover tyres failing before they wear out and cuts accounting for 45% of failures according to Caterpillar, prolonging the life of your expensive mining tyres should be a top priority.

In fact, they should be seen as more than a cost – they are mission-critical to keeping your haulage fleet operational.

As well as making heavy vehicle tyres more susceptible to cutting, wet haul roads also increase wheel slip, decrease traction and lead to a faster rate of tread wear; all factors that will reduce the overall life of earthmover tyres.

It is commonly recognised that during the wet season in the Pilbara and Northern Queensland, for example, that haultruck tyre wear rates are far higher than in the dry season due to the adverse effect of water upon tyres.

Likewise, as the following graph demonstrates, it is proven that there is a direct correlation between the amount of water sprayed onto roads by water trucks and tyre damage.

Impact of water on haul roads

Therefore, a reduction in water will:

  • Decrease tyre wear rates
  • Reduce the incidence of rock cuts, and
  • Increase overall tyre life.

Reducing water on haul roads will increase the longevity of tyres.

Whilst we cannot control the weather, we can take proactive steps to reduce the amount of water on haul roads that will, in-turn, increase earthmover tyre life:


A properly constructed and well maintained mine haulroad will incorporate;

  • Road camber to ensure that water is shed from the surface to the edges of the road as quickly as possible, and
  • Drainage to get the water away from the sides of the road and prevent it from soaking back into the sub layers of the pavement.


It’s a proven fact that a bitumen stabilised and sealed surface layer will reduce the ingress of water into the sub-layers of the haulroad and enable water to be shed from the surface faster. DAS Product – a specially formulated emulsion of bitumen in water – provides just this: a haulroad which dries faster and there increases the life of earthmover tyres.


Dust-A-Side’s unique Haul Road Management System ensures that haul roads are stabilised and sealed to reduce dust levels and notably reduce water usage required for dust suppression purposes.

In fact, when our proprietary sweeping system is adopted as part of our holistic management process, reductions in water usage of over 95% can be achieved.

Therefore, by reducing the need for water trucks on Dust-A-Side haul roads it means that haul trucks will be able to travel on drier roads and in-turn realise extended tyre life through lower wear rates and reduced incidence of rock cuts.

More than just increasing haul road tyre life.

As if extending the life of your haul road truck tyres weren’t enough incentive, the Dust-A-Side Haul Road Management System offers a host of additional benefits, such as:

  • Improved safety
  • Faster wet weather recovery
  • Improved road quality
  • Reduced road maintenance costs
  • Increased productivity (up to 30% reduction in rolling resistance)
  • Less water wastage (proven savings in excess of 95%)
  • Operational dust reductions of 90%+
  • Reduction in fuel consumption of 3%+
  • And many more

For more information and advice about improving tyre life, please contact the expert team of engineers at Dust-A-Side Australia on 1800 662 387 or simply click here to contact us.

eBook: 5 common haul road challenges and how to solve them

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