“It weighs more, so it is robust and will last longer.” Are we sure that this equation is real, that it truly works?
Today, the technicians of BKT, one of the largest manufacturers of Off-Highway Tires (OTR) in the world, reveal the details and parameters that affect the weight of a tire.
It is very common to hear that the heavier a tire is, the higher its quality, since it is designed with more materials and is consequently more durable. Weight and quality can certainly be correlated, but only if we consider the weight of a tire as the – reasoned and calculated – sum of each of its individual components.
In short, it should not surprise us that a tire for high loads, which is the same size as others, may be heavier, because the additional elements that strengthen its structure will affect the overall weight.
The tires used by work vehicles, whether tractors or quarry loaders, must be able to guarantee very different performances. Depending on the use, their structure can be integrated with various components, so it is possible to find a significant weight difference in the same model.
In a tire the highest percentage in the weight is the tread, but elements such as the belt, shoulder, bead, and casing that each manufacturer tests and modifies in order to balance performance and costs must also be taken into account.
A strength of BKT is, for example, the greater amount of material on the bead of its tires, a few grams more in terms of weight which mean, however, zero breakages.
But how much does a tire weigh? Just to understand the terms of reference and also to satisfy people’s sense of curiosity, here are some examples from among the best-selling BKT ranges:
- Among the most requested OTR products is EARTHMAX SR 30, which in the 20.5 R 25 size weighs 241.6 kg. It is ideal when using small and medium-sized loaders on dirt tracks.
- The heaviest tire in the OTR range is the EARTHMAX SR 468 in the 40.00 R 57 size, a giant weighing fully 3,819.80 kg designed for rigid dump trucks, it is equipped with an All Steel structure which provides greater resistance to the casing and so against damaging attacks. Winning features of the EARTHMAX SR 468 are the special tread design and its compound, both created to limit the heat generated. The E-4 depth of the tread provides extreme resistance in highly challenging conditions.
BKT is recognized as one of the most important manufacturers of OTR due to its engagement with a wide range of sectors including earthmoving and mining. Each tire is designed according to its use, therefore to the type of work done by the vehicle on which it will be mounted. Robustness, speed, self-cleaning, puncture resistance, these are just some of the characteristics required by those who buy a tire.
Except for particular processes, such as quarry work, where it is still a fundamental parameter in evaluation, weight today is at the center of the development of new tires. For this reason, BKT is investing in research, so that technology supports the development of ever lighter tires.
With a lighter tire, for example, rolling resistance would be reduced, with a consequent reduction in consumption and the related negative impact on the environment, not to mention the reduction in the costs of the materials used, both in terms of weight ranges and of the specific weight of the individual components.
The aim is to achieve performance which is better but above all sustainable for users – in terms of costs – and for the environment, respect of which is now the most important driver of business choices for the Indian multinational.