Rock to Road

Features Columns Education
The Best Fit

Choosing the right tire for your equipment

October 6, 2014  By submitted by Michelin

Selecting tires for your operation, whether they are replacement or
original equipment, can be challenging with all of the choices

Selecting tires for your operation, whether they are replacement or original equipment, can be challenging with all of the choices available.   Purchasing tires should be made with emphasis put on your operation, equipment, productivity, maintenance practices and total cost of ownership. Making an educated selection for your specific situation is the key.


Tire Selection Tips
The most important criteria in selecting a tire when ordering new equipment or choosing a replacement tire to determine is what the specific equipment does or is required to do on a regular basis.  Do the tires carry a consistent load?  Do they need to off-road, on-road or need to do both?  Tire selection is application specific so determining what type of loads the equipment will carry is critical.

A tire designed for low speed, off-road applications may experience internal damage from heat if it runs at high speeds. If you are replacing the tires, what is the current size and inflation pressure?  Has there been satisfaction with the existing tires’ traction, wear and performance?  In many instances, customers who compare their current set of tires with their current needs find that a change may be in order. The proper selection can prevent expensive downtime.   


Selecting a tire with the steel protective plies can provide a significant improvement in shielding the tire against aggressions and separations. Selecting a tire with a premium sidewall can provide twice the protection to resist cuts and abrasions.

The engineering and design that goes into tires today is amazing. The products offered today are leaps and bounds ahead of the tires made just 10 years ago. From unique compounds and formulas to advanced tread designs, tires perform better, last longer and deliver more safety and better fuel economy than ever before. This means that the correct tire selection can add significant savings to the bottom line. 

Initial outlay
Simply basing the initial price of the tires can be very misleading.  Selecting an inexpensive tire can be problematic in the long run.  An inexpensive selection that fails to perform can quickly become an expensive selection, especially if a crew is waiting for a replacement and the job falls behind schedule.

The tire may not be adequate to properly carry the required loads, stand up to the conditions in which it needs to operate or work effectively with the machine’s weight distribution.  Tire selection should be done with the total cost of ownership top of mind. 

Tire manufacturers know their business. The tires they manufacture are highly complex and engineered for specific applications and conditions.  These experts provide the best experience to give the proper recommendations. Don’t let “I’ve always done it this way” stand in the way of improving tire performance. Getting some advice on selecting the best tire for the application could dramatically reduce tire costs.

The total cost of ownership mindset will take into account not only the purchase price, but productivity, operator comfort, better traction, longer overall useful tire life, and retreadability.

The Casing
Selecting a quality casing is also an important factor for the selection.  The casing provides an overall cooler operating temperature to maximize the potential life of the tire without compromising operating speed or load carrying capacity.

With retreading contributing to the total cost of ownership, it is increasingly common to hear that more customers are retreading to obtain a lower operation cost and a higher return on their casings.

After the Purchase – Tire Pressure
What can maintenance managers do to ensure they are getting the most out of their vehicles’ tires?  The answer is simple – evaluate tire wear on a routine basis through tracking tire life and always matching tire depths according to the OE equipment manufacturer’s recommendations for better wear and less stress on the equipment.

After the Purchase  

Tires need the right amount of air pressure to function at their optimal performance. Any radial or bias earthmover tire that is either over- or under-inflated is vulnerable to potential downtime, therefore, proper tire pressure is critical to a tire’s performance.

Pressures should be adjusted for loads. Tires are designed and optimized to carry a desired load at a specified pressure. Proper pressure for the load being carried is very important. Under-inflation and over-inflation for the loads being carried will affect tire life and performance.

The only way to make sure is to know the loads they are carrying and to use a load and inflation chart to determine what the pressure should be. Every tire manufacturer publishes load and inflation charts for their tires. This information appears in their data book, service manual and on their website.

There are electronic systems designed to monitor the air pressure inside the tires. For example, MICHELIN offers MEMS Evo2 (Michelin Earthmover Management System), a system which monitors the tire internal temperature and allows for optimized air pressure. The internal temperature is also an additional parameter that helps improve safety and tire life. This system helps customers to maximize tire performance and productivity. 

Tire Performance
Tire wear should be evaluated on a routine basis through tracking tire life and always matching tire depths according to the OE equipment manufacturer’s recommendations for better wear and less stress on the equipment.

Tire manufactures, like Michelin, are constantly innovating products for both intrinsic and extrinsic tire performance. The premium solutions optimize the fleet performance and deliver optimal results. By constantly studying tire performance, tires are engineered to deliver extrinsic performance through tire endurance, casing and tread design and new tire compounds and materials. Intrinsic performance is delivered through rolling resistance and traction.

In the long run, tires offer excellent mobility solutions that can lead to cost savings and environmental benefits. Following these simple recommendations will help productivity and add significant savings to the bottom line by reducing tire costs and ensuring safety operation.

Print this page


Stories continue below