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March 21, 2023 << Back to Blog

Solution for heavy marble block handling: Yokohama Y-524 thriving in mining

21 Mar

March 21, 2023

Francesco Gerbi is perfectly familiar with the challenges involved in handling marble blocks that weigh up to several tonnes each. So the purchase of the Yokohama Y-524 tread for block handlers was a very deliberate choice – and it is still paying off today.

The Carrara Mountains are world-famous for the marble which is mined here in large open-cast quarries. As Quarry Managing Director at the company Cave Lazzareschi in Colonata, Carrara, Francesco Gerbi knows the challenges and problems associated with the handling of heavy marble blocks with wheel loaders. “Lifting several tons of marble at a time puts enormous pressure on the machine’s front tires. In fact, while lifting and carrying these marble blocks in the quarry with our block handlers, and in order to load them onto our trucks, we must have tires on the front axle that remain stiff and do not deflect too much. It is important to carry out these operations with maximum safety and stability, and that is why the tires have to guarantee a high loading capacity in order to avoid any failures”, explains Francesco.

Tailored to perform

When a replacement was due in November 2019, and based on a thorough market survey for available tire solutions, Francesco Gerbi decided to buy the Y-524. This heavy-duty tire for wheel loaders and wheel dozers offers an extra deep tread as well as shoulder and sidewall cut resistance. These properties are required under the challenging circumstances of a marble quarry in order to ensure a long service life and thus high efficiency and economic viability. Three and a half years later, “the tires have run almost 5.000 hours in the Cave Lazzareschi quarry. The working area for the block handler is mostly flat. However, the machine is also often used to move heavy marble blocks within the quarry from one area to another, and this includes going up- and downwards on steep slopes”, reports the Quarry Manager. That is where the superior traction of the tire comes into play.

Top stability and stiffness

According to Francesco Gerbi, the Yokohama Y-524 is unique. “We see, and our loader drivers clearly confirms, that these tires are neither subject to high deflection nor to unexpected bouncing. Their high stability and their stiffness allow for very precise operations and movements of the equipment”, highlights Francesco and continues: “The feedback of our drivers is clear: also on ascending or descending roads, the Yokohama Y-524 gives them a feeling of safety and full control of their heavy-duty equipment.”

Tires of other brands have also been used – but not to Francesco’s satisfaction, it seems. He explains: “I can say that no other tires both radial or bias provide the same feeling of safety and stability that we are now experiencing with Yokohama Y-524.” And when asked whether the experience with this tire would be good enough to recommend it to other quarry operators, Francesco Gerbi’s reply speaks for itself: “Absolutely yes, and actually we have already done it with other quarries in our area. We have given our true advice to try the Yokohama Y-524, just as we have done”, concludes the Quarry Manager.

Check out the video here!