Guest Talk: Chris Rhoades

There's a third guest I'm going to invite into the studio too to add some more depth to our discussion. That guest is Chris Rhoades. Chris is BKT's vice president for OTR. He oversees all BKT's off-highway activities in the US, sales, engineering, warehouse management, you name it. And prior to his VP role, Chris was Senior Product Manager of Technology Solutions. Chris, why won't you come and join me?


Thank you for having me.


Welcome, gentlemen.

Chris, welcome to Global Trends. I've seen you nodding in the wings while we've been hearing from Andrew and Frik. Clearly what they've said has resonated with you. Isn't it remarkable how these topics we're covering during Global Trends are so connected?


Absolutely. It was great listening to the two of you, you both made some really interesting points.

And again, thank you for sharing them.


Well, you'll have the chance to talk with them now as we go into our discussion and wrap up. What I'd like to hear from each of you is this: What are companies in this sector doing to stay up to date with tech development and can you give some examples? Chris, why don't you go first?


Well, at BKT, we've been looking at how we can deploy technology in the mining operation in a bid to help companies with productivity and automation. Even with an automated fleet of trucks, and now mines have moved over 10 billion tonnes of material in their automated fleets. They still rely on tires and those tires are consumable. Mines make money on moving material as fast as they can, and one limiting factor is the tire. Tires have limited capacity for load, speed and distance, so we created a programme called Spot Tech which helps mines to maximise productivity by selecting the right tire. 


Hmm, that sounds super smart. And how does it work exactly Chris?


It's all about the data. We gather data on the mine's operation by fitting trucks with instruments. There's a video camera, a data logger that captures the GPS data and maps out the haul roads, speeds and distances, as well as accelerometers to gather G-forces. We place it on a truck for a day, analyse the data repair report that shows the areas to optimise, and we show them the best tire for their operation, maximum productivity. We'd also use Spot Tech if they're having issues, premature tire failures or for other troubleshooting. Taken together, this also has an impact on sustainability. Selecting the wrong tire

is in effect poor use of resources and leads to higher costs. We show with Spot Tech that we can affect at least a 10% reduction in the replacements for tires across a fleet.


Chris, I like that concept. 

  • Frik Els
    Frik Els
  • Andrew Petruska
    Andrew Petruska
  • Chris Rhoades
    Chris Rhoades
Frik Els
Frik Els

Frik Els is the executive editor of MINING.COM, the world’s premier source of news and opinion on mining and metals with a weekly readership of more than 200,000 industry professionals across the world. 

Frik has focused his writing and public engagements on the green energy transition and the raw materials needed to meet climate goals and combat global warming. He created the EV Metal Index providing insights into the greatest disruption to the auto and extractive industries in a century.  


Andrew Petruska
Andrew Petruska

Chris Rhoades
Chris Rhoades

 With a family tradition in the OTR sector that goes back to 155 years ago, Chris Rhoades started his career by working on tire tracking programs.

He then joined BKT in 1999 as Senior Product Manager, Technical Solutions, and used his expertise to develop a new technology: SPOTech. It is a cutting-edge monitoring system that collects data on haul truck activities by means of GPS systems, GoPro cameras and accelerometers for improving productivity, efficiency, and operating conditions within mining sites or quarries. 

With 24 years’ experience in BKT, he is now BKT Tires' US Vice-President for OTR. He's passionate about partnering with customers and dealers to leverage solutions to reduce their total cost of ownership.