As a contractor, your biggest concern is avoiding flat tires on your telehandler. So, it makes sense to look for tire solutions that cannot go flat even when they’re damaged. This gives us to two main options: (1) solid telehandler tires and (2) foam filled telehandler tires. Both will prevent flats, but there are still significant differences between them. Here are some of the important distinctions between the two:
Foam Filled Telehandler Tires
At first glance, foam filled telehandler tires can seem like a great solution to your tire flat problem. Instead of being filled with air, they’re filled with thick foam. The advantages of foam filled telehandler tires is that the foam won't leak out through small holes, like those made by driving over nails. You will also typically see a significant reduction in the number of flat tires. However, this comes with trade-offs and costs that you will likely find unacceptable over time if you run a machine long enough.
One of the biggest trade-offs is that foam filled telehandler tires easily take on sidewall damage the same as a pneumatic tire. When the damage is severe enough, the foam will start squeezing out of the tire resulting in a hobbling tire and eventually a flat. This type of damage is common on construction sites and in industrial areas. Once this happens, there’s no way to fix the tire. The entire tire must be replaced at great expense. Expenses come not only in the cost of a new tire but also with labour costs to replace the tire. Another costly expense also happens with the tire itself, as often the damaged tire still has quite a bit of useable tread depth remaining meaning that you rarely get full life or value out of a set of foam filled telehandler tires. This means that in the end you’re paying twice as much if not more for that one damaged tire because you only used part of the wear life that the tire should have given you.
Another unexpected cost associated with the replacement of foam filled telehandler tires is higher expense in labor and service calls. That's because, unlike air-filled tires, foam filled telehandler tires typically have to be cut off of the rim. This is a slow, tedious, and demanding process that significantly increases labour hours. Not to mention the fact that your telehandler is out of service while awaiting repair.
Depending on what you'd normally be using that equipment for, the delay could cost your company thousands in downtime. While foam filled telehandler tires are a lower up front cost, they’re significantly more costly over the lifespan of the tire because of replacement, labour, and downtime costs.
Solid Telehandler Tires
Solid telehandler tires are made entirely of a consistent rubber compound. This means there’s no air or foam to leak out of the tire no matter what type of damage the tire gets. They never flatten under any circumstance. But this has more benefits than simply preventing flats. They can handle cuts and chunking without compromising the integrity of the tire. And when it finally does come time to replace them, either the tire and rim can be replaced at the same time, a new tire can be pressed on, or if the tire is serviceable new segments can be installed.
Other benefits of solid telehandler tires include traction, stability and extended wear life. Solid telehandler tires will typically have a taller, wider and deeper tread than pneumatic tires and foam filled tires because the absence of a tire casing which allows for greater design possibilities. Another benefit is increases stability compared to pneumatic tires and foam filled telehandler tires because when they lose air or foam, it causes excess bouncing when the machine hits a bump. Solid telehandler tires don’t experience this excess bouncing. Increased stability also occurs with solid telehandler tires because the rubber compresses at a consistent and predictable rate when it’s loaded. This means operators will have more control over the loads they’re carrying at extended reaches.
Another advantage of solid telehandler tires over foam filled telehandler tires is improved wear life. This is due to the increased lug sizes and normally harder rubber compounds. In fact, wear life for solid telehandler tires is estimated up to three times more compared to foam filled telehandler tires.
What Makes Evolution Wheel’s Solid Telehandler Tires Different?
Our segmented solid telehandler tires take these benefits even further. Since no tire is completely invincible, we make ours with easy servicing in mind. This saves you significant amounts of time and money when it does come time to repair a segment. Key word REPAIR the tire. Our design ensures that you will likely never have to replace the entire tire when damage occurs, just repair it as needed.
The key to our tires is that they’re made up of separate segments instead of being pressed onto the rim as a single unit. Each segment is separate from the rest, so if one segment gets damaged, you only need to replace that one segment. Each individual segment bolts onto the rim, so the damaged segment can be fixed without having to remove the tire from the machine. This design saves you not only the cost of an entire new tire and the service call, but the money saved by your equipment getting back to work within just a few minutes.
It also means that you’re getting the FULL wear out of each tire as you’re only ever replacing the individual damaged segment rather than the whole tire. Our segmented solid telehandler tire also makes for quick and easy fixing as the machine operator can replace the damaged segment on their own with a simple tool such as a wrench.
To learn more about our segmented EWRS-TH Evolution Wheel solid telehandler tires, contact one of our Evolution Wheel product specialists and they can take an in depth look at your exact tire needs. We'll be glad to discuss with you our solid telehandler tires and other machine segmented solid tires options available.