Choosing the right tyre for your operation is critical for your tyre’s lifespan. The right tyre selection will lower tyre wear and reduce vehicle operation costs. There are many different tyre with different thread patterns and constructions, each with unique properties.
The first thing you notice on a tyre is its thread pattern. Some tyres are made for higher speeds on the road, and other tyres are made to go off-road and excel at that.
Off-road are generally thicker tyres.
Off-road tyres are made to be more resilient to cuts from sharp object when leaving smooth asphalt. The deep grooves allow for more traction on soft surfaces, like sand or mud, and are designed to ‘self-clean’ and not clog up.
Tyres designed for road use have parallel groves running in the direction of travel. This gives more directional stability and a more economical fuel-consumption.
Smooth surface tyres have no thread pattern. The flat tyre is used in places such where the crane does not have to travel on the road or go on rough off-road terrain. This smooth tyre is highly resistant to wear and cuts.
Below the surface, underneath the rubber there is more going on. Steel or plastic cords are woven into the rubber to reinforce the tyre. These cords can be placed in different ways giving the tyres different characteristics.
In a radial tyre construction cords are woven into the rubber in a perpendicular fashion. Meaning the cords are not aligned with the radial direction of the tyre, but rather are placed across the width of the tyre. This give the tyre strength and shape. Radial tyres have a more flexible sidewall compared to bias tyres. This gives the tyre less rolling resistance, a better fuel economy, better grip, and a more comfortable riding experience at higher speeds. This radial setup has no movement between the layers, which increases the resistance to heat and reduces the heat buildup. This formation of cords ensures less deformation which gives more traction and puncture resistance.
Down-sides of radial tyres are a less comfortable ride on rough roads at low speeds. The tyres are also less “self-cleaning” when going off the road.
The cords in a bias tyre are placed diagonally in the tyre. The layers of cords are placed in opposite directions to form a crisscross pattern. The thread is applied to these layers and this give it a comfortable ride on rough surface and gives the tyre the ability to withstand heavier loads.
Disadvantages of this construction in tyres is that they have les grip at high speeds. They overheat easier, have more friction with the road which makes them wear out quicker and make for a higher fuel consumption.
There are also tyres that are not filled with air. These non-pneumatic tyres are ideal for situation where there are a lot of sharp objects frequently interacting with the tyres because they are puncture resistant. These tyres are very stable and low on maintenance. Hence there is no air in the tyre, they can withstand higher loads because there is no risk of blow-out.
A downside that this tyre has that it is designed for slow moving machines, they are not meant to be used in traffic or off-road.