Such an expensive can't be thrown away when it's damaged, but repairing them isn't exactly easy.

The tires worn by the massive earth movers and dump trucks used in quarries and mines are extremely expensive. So it doesn’t make financial sense to throw them away every time they pick up a bit of damage – a common occurrence is such tough environments – as you would with a car tire.

But repairing a tire more than 10 feet tall, with tread about eight inches thick is rather more complex than sticking a band aid over the cut, as this video shows. It is, in fact, an incredibly involved process with so many stages I lost count.

The whole job probably takes an entire day, if not longer, to complete. By the end, the tire is made as good as new, at a fraction of the price of a new one.

First, the tread needs to be cut and ground away, very precisely, right down to the steel belt, and the hole cleaned up, which seems to take about an hour and a half in itself. Then the damage has to be cut out of the belt, very precisely, and the hole cleaned up. Then the whole operation has to be repeated on the inside of the tire, very precisely, where the repair patch will be placed.

Once that’s done, the patch is cemented, stuck and hammered into place, and the rest of the hole filled and blended in. Back around the front, the hole is filled in with putty that seems to set as hard as concrete, then blended and trimmed.

The whole job probably takes an entire day, if not longer, to complete. By the end, the tire is made as good as new, at a fraction of the price of a new one.

 

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On such a big tire, the damage seen here is probably no worse than a nail in a car tire - which can be repaired, these days. Still, it's amazing to see how quickly these things scale up. 

Incidentally, in case it’s not obvious, the film is demonstrating products made by Rema Tip Top. Founded in Germany in 1923, the company specializes in producing the materials and tools needed to repair giant tires.

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