Michelin brings out new airless skid-steer tyres
Michelin has introduced two new versions of its Tweel SSL airless radial tyres for skid-steer loaders — one for all-terrain use and the other for use on hard pavements.
Having first shown the world the Tweel — a combined tyre and wheel that can never go flat because it contains no air — in 2005, Michelin further refined the concept for skid-steers and introduced the first commercial earthmover model two years ago.
At this stage the product is only available in the United States and Canada.
The company says the development of the technology is significant since skid steer loaders equipped with traditional pneumatic tires experience at least two or more flat tires per month.
"Desperate to find a solution to reduce flat-tire downtime, many users resort to using foam-filled, solid tires or other alternatives that result in diminished traction, handling and ride comfort," Michelin says. "The 12N16.5 X TWEEL SSL provides the advantages of no air pressure maintenance, easy mounting, damage resistance, increased operator comfort, reduced operator fatigue, improved productivity and longer wear life than pneumatic tires."
The two new models are:
12N16.5 X TWEEL SSL All Terrain
Designed for more rugged off-road working conditions, the All Terrain Tweel has a deep, open tread for maximum traction and high-strength, poly-resin spokes to "carry the load, reduce machine bounce and provide excellent operator comfort".
Michelin says this model, whose spokes are engineered to be self-evacuating in muddy conditions, is aimed at industries such as construction and landscaping,
12N16.5 X TWEEL SSL Hard Surface
Designed for very high-use operations, the Hard Surface Tweel has a smooth tread with a 100 percent contact surface ratio which provides the maximum tread life for pavement applications.
On both models, the tires have a deep underlying tread layer that allows the core outside tread to be retreaded numerous times.
"Our newest versions of the 12N16.5 X TWEEL SSL provide the benefits associated with pneumatic tires, but they don't go flat," Michelin Tweel Technologies head Ralph Dimenna says. "This is a breakthrough innovation for skid steers in the landscape, construction, contracting, refuse/recycling and agricultural industries."
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