Tire manufacturers need to offer smart solutions to meet the challenges often faced in the construction, agriculture and specialty vehicles markets. Traditional air-filled pneumatic tire designs lack the reliability for applications in these industries. When driven over rough terrain, pneumatic tires are highly susceptible to punctures, which translates to downtime and maintenance costs for the end user. Another downfall of traditional pneumatic tires is lack of traction that slows or halts work on jobsites, reducing productivity or doing costly damage to properties.
To overcome these challenges, manufacturers have explored several alternative solutions, including reinforced, run-flat and solid rubber or foam tire designs. Yet, these technologies often present performance issues, such as poor damping and decreased wear. Plus, these types of tires tend to be heavy and require considerable time and money to manufacture.
Recently, the construction, agricultural and specialty vehicle markets have started capitalizing on the advantages of non-pneumatic tires. When investing in non-pneumatic technology, manufacturers need assurance that end products will respond to each of their customers’ existing and future challenges. Tires used in construction equipment, for example, require enhanced mechanical strength for carrying heavy loads as well as high resistance to hot and cold temperatures to operate in different seasons. To improve turf care, design must reduce slippage in wet and steep terrain to maximize the contact patch.