Wheels of Gold

THE MINING BOOM IS DRIVING THE MARKET FOR GIANT TIRES TO TOWERING NEW HEIGHTS

The average driver may not think much about the tires on his car until one goes flat. But those who operate the mining industry's monster trucks, whose wheels are 12 ft. in diameter and weigh 7,500 lbs., know that the rubber on the rims is worth its weight in gold. Giant tires are in increasingly short supply as the extraction industry hits overdrive to chase rising commodities prices. As demand for raw materials grows in the booming economies of India and China, mining companies are scurrying to dig deeper, faster and more efficiently for coal, copper and other materials. In doing so, they're loading...