Telehandlers are a versatile and multi functional machine that combines the lifting capability of a forklift, with the reach and elevation of a crane for exceptional efficiency. Telehandlers should be fitted with tires that offer high stability given their applications i.e. lifting heavy loads and reaching high heights often on unstable or unfinished surfaces. Tires affect telehandler’s reliability, ride comfort, the total cost of ownership and will impact the rental customer’s job site performance.
Currently there are 3 tire options available for telehandlers viz. pneumatics, foam-filled pneumatics and solids. One should consider the following factors while making a selection.
- Puncture resistance: Solid tires have a full rubber construction and offer maximal puncture resistance, they will never go flat! Foam-filled pneumatic tires are puncture proof but can be damaged by metal or sharp debris. If the tire suffers a severe injury, foam can come out of the tire and can cause unpredictable downtime. On the other hand pneumatic tires are not puncture proof.
- Damage resistance: Solids tires are highly resistant to cuts & impact damage and should be considered in applications where the underfoot conditions are harsh. Foam-filled tires have a similar resistance to cuts and chunking as pneumatic tires.
- Service life: Solid tires have a deeper wear resistance tread and typically last 3-4 times longer than equivalent pneumatic or foam filled tires.
- Stability and Overall comfort: While both foam-filled and solid tires offer very good stability, solids have a lower deformation under loads. This can be an advantage given the purpose of telehandlers. Sidewall apertures helps in shock absorption. Apertures also helps in dissipating heat more effectively, thus making solid tire suitable for continuous operations. Trident has developed new Innovative Non-Directional tread pattern with a continuous center lug & higher lug to void ratio that reduces wear & vibrations.
- Total Cost of Ownership (TCO): Although solid tires generally have a higher acquisition cost, they reduce operating cost during life time of machine. It’s important for tire buyers to look at the total cost of ownership, including serviceability and the potential cost of downtime, not just the acquisition cost.
Given that solids are 100% flat-proof & have a better damage resistance they offer an opportunity to reduce overall tire cost thus contributing to high productivity and profitability in all operating conditions. They also offer a more predictable lifecycle over pneumatic and foam filled tires, which is great for rentals as most of the time they are unaware of the customer applications.