The ideal specialist tyres for yard and farm-based use

19th March 2013

Those in industry or farm-based jobs have a number of tyres available which will help them fulfill their work effectively should they need to step behind the wheel of a specialist vehicle.

From compact machines to higher capacity telescopic loaders and more sophisticated telehandlers, there are plenty of vehicles to choose from when carrying out tasks in a yard.

Ron Wood, the automotive engineering manager of Mitas Tyres, has been particularly keen to highlight the current popularity of telehandlers.

Such vehicles are being used by operators for much longer hours than in previous years, and require specialist tyres to handle such a high level of demand.

Analysing the tyres that should be used on more sophisticated telehandlers, Mr Wood told the Farmers Guardian: “In construction, cross-ply tyres are preferred, due to their stronger, stiffer carcase, which resists sidewall damage when continually placing heavy loads with the boom extended and forks or bucket up high.

“The stiffer carcase increases stability, whereas radials can give some sidewall movement.”

What’s more, Mr Wood acknowledged that tradition often drives the choice of tyres that operators purchase for their vehicles. 50cm wheels are often fitted to more compact machines, while 61cm products can usually be found on higher capacity telescopic loaders.

Mitas Tyres’ automotive engineering manager added: “The UK market prefers a traction type, rather than industrial tread, even where the machine is largely used in the yard.

“The downside of this is agricultural type tyres do not wear well on hard surfaces.”

In order to attempt to avoid this problem, Mitas Tyres manufactures industrial pattern tyres suitable for farm telehandlers in both radial and cross-ply formats. On top of this, Mr Wood pointed out that his firm also produces a hybrid tyre for when a ‘compromise’ tyre is required.

These particular products are distinguishable as while they still have a traction pattern, the inclusion of wider lugs make them harder to wear.

Mr Wood continued: “The positive/negative ratio indicates how much tread is in contact with the ground.

“On a standard agricultural tyre, 30 per cent of the rubber contacts the ground, while on an industrial pattern it is more like 50 per cent. On any tyre it is only the lugs which make contact with the ground, so the wider the lug, the less the wear.”

Moving back onto the topic of telehandlers, Mr Wood stated that a 460/70 R24 is the most popular size. As such, the TI-22 tread product from Mitas Tyres has a traction pattern but with wide lugs.

On top of this, a cross-ply 500/70 25 complete with T05 traction tread is another suitable choice to be fitted to telehandlers, while the 405/70 20 MPT 21 can be fitted to assure a perfect 50:50 ratio to the vehicle.

“The other benefit of the industrial tyre pattern is it is non-directional, so can simply be fitted the other way round as the outside starts to wear, rather than needing to swap it over, as would be necessary with a traction tyre,” Mr Wood went on.

“This is particularly useful on a telehandler where operators tend to turn in one direction to give them the best visibility around the boom.”

It is not just Mitas Tyres that has a variety of products available for those undertaking yard work with the assistance of vehicles.

Those operating skid-steer loaders, for example, may want to check out the BibSteel Hard Surface tyre from Michelin, which was launched only last year to replace the outgoing Stabil’X XZSL radial fitment products.

Michelin has designed this new range specifically for compact vehicles working on asphalt and other hard, abrasive surfaces, though the BibSteel All-Terrain product is also available for off-road use.

Mike Lawton, the commercial director of Michelin’s agricultural division, acknowledged to the Farmers Guardian: “For telehandlers, we offer the XMCL, and the 460/70-24 is the top size on the market.”

Elsewhere on the tyre market, the IT 520 tyre from Goodyear is an all-purpose product which is designed with a radial construction and reinforced lugs.

On top of this, Phil Stanton, the farm business manager at Goodyear, commented: “The IT 620 T is made specifically for telehandlers [hence the ‘T’ in the name] and has an advanced farm tyre profile, making it suitable for road and soft soil applications.

“This tyre has a new agricultural type tread lug shape and profile for better traction and self-cleaning in soft soils.”

Continuing with the Goodyear range, the IT 630 is a tyre designed for use on telehandlers which are in regular operation on hard surfaces such as concrete, though the product’s heavy shoulder notching gives the tyres ideal traction off-road too.

ATS Euromaster provides a wide range of tyres for yard and farm work use, ready to purchase right away.

Posted by Danielle Barge