Making the Right Choice in Tires
By Seth Skydel
There’s a lot going on where the rubber meets the road, and for good reason.
Carrying a large amount of weight, tires on cranes and heavy equipment need to hold up the machine.
Choosing the right tires is a matter of both necessity and value.
Greater safety is an immediate benefit of having the right tires for your equipment. Handling and load carrying capability on highways and on job sites is ensured with the proper casing and tread designs. Shorter braking distances are also a safety feature.
The right tires also reduce downtime by cutting the possibility of roadside and job-site failures. Eliminating breakdowns, and extending service life, can reduce operating costs as well.
Michelin, which offers a range of tires for cranes and other types of heavy equipment, outlined three steps to take when choosing tires:
Step 1: Define Your Use
The international classification defines types of use. It’s printed on the sidewall.
Step 2: Analyze Use Conditions and Ground Composition
There are different depths and shapes of lugs. The choice of tread type depends primarily on the soil or road surface the tire is used on most, and the demands of the application: traction, abrasion and cut risk, rapid wear and tear, etc. Optimum material performance largely depends on the choice of tire:
1: Lined (normal tread depth)
2: Traction (normal tread depth)
3: Normal (normal tread depth)
4: Depth (deep tread)
5: Very deep (deep tread)
7: Flotation (normal tread)
Step 3: Know your TMPH
To choose the right tire, you need to know your TMPH (Ton Miles Per Hour), an essential characteristic of the working capacity of your tires. For the same size and pattern, there may be several types of rubber, each associated with a different TMPH.
TMPH and TKPH (Ton Kilometers Per Hour) are part of the tire characteristics. They depend on the load capacity of each size, the number of miles allowed per hour per tire type, and are given for a standard ambient temperature of 38° C (100° F).
Tires Are Designed to Meet Application Needs.
One crane tire available is the Michelin XGC. Rated for truck-mounted cranes, according to the manufacturer, the all-position tire is designed with a special rubber compound for resistance to heat during high-speed travel, a versatile tread design with independent lugs for on- and off-road performance, reinforced sidewalls for protection against damage, and a non-directional tread design with bridging between the tread blocks for precise handling.
For various types of material-handling equipment, Continental recently released its updated ContiPT18 solid tire. In addition to standard sizes, eight new sizes of the tire will be available in the second quarter of 2024. The ContiPT18 features new tread wear indicators on both sidewalls for efficient tread depth monitoring. The tires also have a tread pattern designed for grip and high traction, and they use rubber compounds that promote low rolling resistance for efficiency and high mileage.
Seth Skydel is a writer with 38 years of experience covering the trucking, utility, construction, and related markets.