The case for radials

By |  November 8, 2012

Michelin held a press event in which the tire manufacturer clearly demonstrated the benefits of radial earthmover tires over bias models. Trade press editors, including Pit & Quarry’s editor in chief, participated in tire demonstrations at the company’s proving grounds in Laurens, S.C. The site is 3,800 acres and includes more than a dozen test tracks.

Michelin makes only radial tires, and the company explained that 38 to 40 percent of the market is still bias earthmover tires. Radials, the company said, offer:
• Higher speed capability
• Heavier load capacity
• Better traction
• Tire damage resistance
• Operator comfort
• Better machine handling
• Increased tire life
• Better machine protection
• Improved fuel efficiency

Michelin said radial tires offer 30 percent better productivity in loading tests, and a 6 to 11 percent increase in fuel efficiency. Also, radial tires have a longer life by 50 to 100 percent.

One demonstration during the event involved editors driving Komatsu wheel loaders over 4×4 boards placed in their path. The loader equipped with radial tires spilled much less water from a water tank in its bucket than the loader equipped with bias tires. The exercise demonstrated radial tires’ ability to prevent loss of bucket load and wear on the loader. And the editors reported a far less jarring ride in the radial-tired loader.

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