Tag Archive for 'tires'

Sidewall Protection for OTR Tires Keeps Concrete Recycling Operations Running

At concrete and aggregate recycling sites, recycled aggregate is produced by crushing concrete and asphalt to reuse the aggregate in the construction industry as a base for roads or building foundations.  

To keep operations running site managers rely on loaders to push large jagged chunks of torn up sidewalk, roadway, or building materials – which can have steel rebar sticking out – to the crushing line to reduce its size.

Even though OTR tires for heavy equipment are specially designed for harsh environments, the risk for damage is still high.  One of the most common failure points is the tire’s sidewall. 

Without added protection, the jagged edges and steel rebar in piles of debris can put loaders’ OTR tires at severe risk of sidewall puncture and abrasion, particularly the front tires closest to myriad sharp, abrading objects.

Fortunately, for operations managers, a new breed of tough, durable sidewall protection for OTR tires is designed to stop loader sidewall punctures and abrasion while significantly extending tire life to keep aggregate recycling operations reliably running.

Minimizing Costly Sidewall Puncture

Research by the Mechanical Engineering Department at the University of Alberta in 2011 on the detection of faults on off-road haul truck tires identified five tire failure areas: tire tread, shoulder, sidewall, bead, and liner.  The study cited research by Syncrude Canada Ltd. that examined the causes for off-road tire failure from 2005-2010.  Sidewall cuts accounted for approximately 18 percent of all faults, sidewall separation 10 percent, and sidewall impact over 5 percent. 

When the sidewall is damaged in loaders, typically by a puncture, the vehicles are not safe to operate and the OTR tires are expensive to replace. 

Repairing a damaged sidewall takes valuable time to send a tire out for repair, and the repair may not be successful.  An aggregate recycling operator could face a sidelined loader, expensive tire replacement, and reduced production or even significant operational downtime.  

With shortages for certain tire sizes more common recently, it could take days or longer to get a replacement tire installed at a repair facility, and then get the loader back to work.

An Innovative Sidewall Shield

As a solution, an innovative new type of sidewall protection device is entering the market for valuable OTR tires.  Purpose-built for use on heavy equipment at aggregate recycling sites, operators can bolt on a polyurethane sidewall shield to prevent the sidewalls from getting punctured during operation.

A Michigan-based firm, Argonics, which specializes in high-performance, polyurethane-based elastomers and is one of the largest producers of impact, wear-resistant and customizable urethane products, has developed this sidewall protection.  Their sidewall protector uses a proprietary urethane formulation called Kryptane, which was engineered for extreme wear conditions involving abrasion, sliding, or impact.

The special properties of urethane make it an excellent material for sidewall protection.  This tough, elastic material excels in preventing the penetration of sharp objects as well as deflecting them.  It will change shape under impact and then return to its original shape afterward.  Urethane also offers maximum abrasion resistance, which is ideal for situations where severe wear is a problem.  

For these reasons, urethane is already being used at mining, heavy construction, and aggregate recycling sites across North America.

The idea for applying the special properties of urethane for off-road sidewall tire protection came from Perry Fell, Territory Manager at Luff Industries, a Canadian distributor of Argonics.  He thought Argonics’ expertise in high performance polyurethane elastomers would be well suited to an OTR application, and proposed the original design.

Design Benefits

The sidewall protector comprises eight integrated segments that, together with a specially designed ring, use 32 bolts to apply to a wheel.  The entire sidewall protector can be installed in about 15 minutes once the special flange has been installed by certified personnel.  

The benefit of this design is that it allows easy replacement of just the segment of the protector that is damaged, if any, not the entire shield.  Virtually no maintenance is needed other than to retorque the bolts after 15 to 20 hours of use – much like when installing new tires on a car. 

The urethane-based sidewall protector has been tested at aggregate recycling sites in Toronto, Canada and Dallas, Texas.  It has been installed on the front tires of Caterpillar 980 loaders at these sites.  

“The sidewall protector has been performing very well,” said Fell. “We’ve had no tire punctures or sidewall issues since installing the protectors.” 

Bob Welker, International Sales and Director of Marketing at Argonics, said, “We’ve been able to refine the sidewall protector design based on the extended testing. There have really only been minor changes needed for things like increasing the size of the bolts.” 

According to Welker, the patent-pending urethane sidewall protector is in its fourth generation.  Currently the design is based on a 25-inch wheel diameter used by loaders such as the Caterpillar 980.  The company is planning sidewall protectors for 33-inch and 45-inch wheel diameters next. 

This feature appeared in the December 2019 issues of the ACP Magazines:

California Builder & Engineer, Construction, Construction Digest, Construction News, Constructioneer, Dixie Contractor, Michigan Contractor & Builder, Midwest Contractor, New England Construction, Pacific Builder & Engineer, Rocky Mountain Construction, Texas Contractor, Western Builder

Michelin Introduces Next Generation of its Skid Steer Tweel

Making its North American debut at Ag in Motion in Saskatchewan, the MICHELIN®X®TWEEL®SSL™ 2 AT and HST 12N16.5 ─ the airless tire solution for skid steers─ will launch the new version of its award-winning airless radial tire in both an all-terrain (AT) and a hard-surface version (HST). Available Aug. 1in the United States and Canada, this is Michelin’s first embedded 8-bolt hub that is interlocked mechanically to increase durability.

“The new Tweel SSL 2 maintains all of the key benefits of the first generation version.  In addition, it is designed to improve robustness, meet the vigorous demands placed on skid steer tires in a variety of applications,” said Justin L. Brock, Michelin marketing manager ─ construction and Tweel segment for North America. “The new features include a mechanical hub connection versus the chemical adhesion used in the first generation.”

The TWEEL SSL 2 is designed with:

  • Improved shear beam construction that maximizes core life.1
  • New spoke formulation provides up to 10 times greater spoke life.2
  • Maximum load of 4,400 pounds.

“The SSL 2 AT is designed for use in 80% of off-road applications. The HST is built for work done on hard surfaces such as asphalt and pavement,” continued Brock.

The TWEEL offers the advantages of no maintenance, no compromise, and no downtime. The X TWEEL SSL requires no air, thereby eliminating the risk of a flat tire, allowing users to stay in operation with limited downtime to maximize profitability. The X TWEEL SSL also delivers the advantages of easy mounting, damage resistance, exceptional operator comfort, reduced operator fatigue, improved productivity and longer wear life than standard pneumatic tires.

The MICHELIN 12N16.5 X TWEEL SSL 2 HST is constructed with a 48/32nd-inch tread depth with 8/32nd-inch of undertread. The MICHELIN 12N16.5 X TWEEL SSL 2 AT is constructed with a 31/32nd-inch tread depth with 12/32nd-inch of undertread. The outer core tread can be retreaded multiple times for an effective overall cost of ownership. These new products come with a 30-day satisfaction guarantee. For more information on MICHELIN X Tweel, visit www.michelintweel.com.

For additional TWEEL postings on Site-K Construction Zone type TWEEL in the search window 

1 Based on an internal drum endurance test comparing the MICHELIN®X Tweel SSL and the MICHELIN®X Tweel SSL 2.  Actual results may vary.

2 Based on commissioned third-party testing of crack growth under fully relaxing conditions, comparing the crack growth rate of the MICHELIN®X Tweel SSL and the MICHELIN®X Tweel SSL 2.  Actual results may vary.


Dedicated to the improvement of sustainable mobility, Michelin designs manufactures and sells tires for every type of vehicle, including airplanes, automobiles, bicycles, earthmovers, farm equipment, heavy-duty trucks, and motorcycles. The Company has earned a long-standing reputation for building innovative premium tires. In addition to tires, the Company also publishes travel guides, hotel and restaurant guides, maps and road atlases. Headquartered in Greenville, S.C., Michelin North America employs more than 20,000 people and operates 19 major manufacturing plants in the U.S. and Canada. Forbes magazine ranked Michelin No. 1 on its annual survey of “Best Large Employers in America” in 2018. Learn more about purpose-driven careers with a purpose-driven company at jobs.michelinman.com.


Sidewall Protection for OTR Tires Keeps Concrete Recycling Operations Running

How to Select the Right Tires for Wheel Loader Applications

How to Get the Most Out of Your Fleet’s OTR Tires and Wheels