Better Roads Staff
Bias tires are still popular on large wheel loaders. That’s because their stiff sidewalls, compared to a radial, offer more rigidity and stability when the bucket is high in the air.
Titan aims to improve this situation with the heavy equipment equivalent of a thin rim tire – a radial with a low profile sidewall. The sidewall on the company’s prototype LDR 150 tire is reduced by 6 inches by taking the metal rim and increasing it from 57 to 63 inches. The outside diameter of the tire remains the same plus you get the benefits of the radial design with greatly reduced flex, says Paul Hawkins, vice president of OTR sales for Titan. The LDR 150 is currently undergoing testing and evaluation.
Also from Titan, the 007 MTF tire is getting a larger version (46/90) that accommodates the larger load capacities of the Cat 793. “As the trucks have gotten heavier the tires have had to get a little bigger and the 46/90 is a slightly larger version so you get a little more load carrying capacity,” Hawkins says.
The Goodyear RM (rock mining) OTR tire has been engineered to deliver optimal tread life, traction, and cut and chunk resistance. The company offers a variety of compounds for this tire to suit different conditions and applications. These include compounds for heat resistance, standard abrasion resistance and ultra abrasion resistance. Non-directional, extra deep tread patterns enhance tread life and interlocking stability blading help optimize traction.
A new on/off road compound with long chain polymers in Continental Tire’s HDC1 (heavy drive construction) and HSC1 (heavy steer construction) lineup increases resistance to chips, cuts and chunks and reduces the number and depth of cuts and tears for greater durability and longevity.
“The long chain polymer works better than short chain polymers because they rely on each other and support each other,” says Roger Stansbie, director of truck tire technologies, Continental Tire the Americas. “The smaller chains can more easily be separated and chip out as smaller units. We can dramatically increase the casing life and tread life by preventing the propagation of cuts to the belts.” This also helps the tire survive with a sufficiently healthy casing to make a good retread.
Continental also increased the strength of the belts to help protect the casing. The steel cording is braided together in a configuration that makes it hard for air or moisture to migrate through the tire after a cut. “With a more open cord the air and moisture track along the belt in an air cavity and away from the initial damage,” Stansbie says. “Before you know it, a substantial portion of the belt has corrosion. We can contain that propagation with the 3+8 cord and by getting as much rubber between those gaps during the calendaring process in manufacturing, when the steel cording and rubber come together.”
Tread design also plays a role in preventing Continental’s tires from rock damage, Stansbie says. The grooves between tread blocks are wide enough and tapered so rocks can wiggle free and stone bumpers, which are tiny rubber mounds at the base of the grooves, help prevent rocks and stones from wedging in firmly and eject them when the tread comes out of the footprint.
Continental has brought this technology to several additional sizes of tires including a new HCS 445/50R22.5, new 17.5-inch trailer tires, a new General Grabber OD (off-road drive) tire in sizes 11R22.5 and 24.5 and a General Grabber OA (off-road all position) in size 315/80R22.5.
THE TIRE SHORTAGE
Demand is high but new factory capacity is on the way
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