Whatever your earthmoving vehicle, and whatever its use, perhaps the most important of its parts is its tyres. They’re all that separates the vehicle from the ground, and are vital in vehicle, driver and site safety. Earthmover tyres are an investment in man, machine and business. To maximise value from your investment, you must buy the correct tyres, fit them properly, and maintain and store them effectively.
Which earthmover tyres should you buy?
Choosing the right earthmover tyre is vital. Not only will the right tyre help your operation run smoothly, it is also essential to obtaining the highest level of tyre performance.
The markings on earthmover tyres comply to an international standard. One of the markings tells you which use the tyre is designed for. This is a single letter, each pertaining to a single-use classification:
Earthmover tyre markings – tread
As with other types of tyre, earthmover tyres have different shapes and depths of tread. When deciding which is best for your earthmoving vehicle, you should consider the type of surface it will encounter. This is the biggest factor in the damage that could be caused to the tyre, and the amount of grip it needs to have.
Like the use classification, treads are depicted by standard markings. Instead of letters, treads are shown by numbers as follows:
Know your earthmover tyre capacity
When selecting your earthmover tyres, you will also need to know your TKPH (tonne-kilometres per hour) or TMPH (tonne-miles per hour). This is the working capacity of the tyre. This depends on the load capacity and the number of kilometres of travel in an hour.
Tyres of the same size and tread pattern could have different TKPH ratings, depending upon the types of rubber used in the tyre manufacturing process.
Fitting earthmover tyres
Fitting earthmover tyres is a dangerous operation. It must be carried out using recommended working methods and in line with tyre safety rules. These are designed to ensure the safety of personnel and equipment.
If tyres are fitted poorly, it could cause damage to the tyre and make the vehicle unsafe to operate. Incorrect fitting of earthmover tyres is, quite literally, a matter of life and death.
You must not allow non-qualified, non-experienced people to fit earthmover tyres. The stakes are simply too high.
Maintaining earthmover tyres
Once fitted and in an operational setting, earthmover tyres must be inspected regularly. This will ensure that any damage or wear is spotted early.
Checks should be made on the treads at several points on the tyre. This is best done using a depth gauge. You should also inspect the tyre for cuts, grazes, gouges and bulges on the sidewall and tread, and for damage to the bead zone.
Correct tyre inflation is crucial. Correctly inflated earthmover tyres ensure optimal performance and safety of operators, other personnel, and equipment. Underinflated and overinflated tyres could severely impact traction and braking, and cause irreparable damage to the tyre, as well as irregular wear that reduces effective tyre life.
Repairing earthmover tyres
Repairs should always be carried out by a fully trained tyre professional. They will fully inspect the tyre first and assess if the damage can be repaired. This assessment is critical, and it must be made with the tyre removed from the wheel. Only then can the technician make a sound judgement – a wrong call could lead to a dangerous repair being made.
How to store and move earthmover tyres
If you store or handle earthmover tyres incorrectly, you risk damaging them beyond repair. You may also risk accident and injury to operators.
Tyres should be stored:
When handling tyres, you should not:
It is essential that operators comply with all health and safety rules at the operating site, and wear and use personal protective equipment.
Investing in the right earthmover tyre is essential for your operation. It helps to ensure the safety of personnel and equipment, and it improves operational effectiveness. Once you have selected the correct tyre, it is essential that it is fitted correctly and maintained properly.
Because of the very serious safety factors associated with the fitting and repair of earthmover tyres, you should only ever entrust these tasks to qualified and experienced tyre technicians.
For all your tyre needs in Brisbane, contact Darra Tyres to benefit from the very best, fully qualified and experienced tyre technicians.
Keeping your family and fleet safe on the road,