Separated At Birth: Two-Piece Tire Assembly Comes Apart at the Tread
Akron, Ohio-based Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. has rolled out a package that some claim is the most innovative creation in the company's 105-year history. Product engineers say the new two-piece tire assembly grew out of a need in the mining business to cut the time it takes mechanics to change tires on off-road trucks, a process that often consumes a grueling eight or nine hours per wheel. In development for five years, the tire assembly is now available in a 45R57, 57-in. configuration and more sizes are expected down the road.
The assembly's outer tread is held tightly against the casing by air pressure and can be swapped in about three hours, according to various mine operators that Goodyear enlisted in a two-year field test. But improved vehicle availability is not the only benefit. "By being separate, it gives us some latitude in the design," says Perry Marteny, a polymer physicist and Goodyear's off-road tire team leader. He believes the tire's divided personality is an evolutionary step forward from the steel-belted radial, which is structured to protect a tire's inner pneumatic lining from the foreign objects, friction and heat. Besides saving labor and transportation costs and storage space, the separate tread belt has a footprint that is 11% flatter than other tires of its size, which reduces ground pressure by 7.8% and improves traction, Marteny says. "The function is the same as what a conventional tire does [but] it's more like a track-type application," he says. Users eventually will be able to change tread patterns to match their environment, although Goodyear only offers a standard tread at the moment.
Users may experience a hint of tread-separation anxiety at first, but short-term trial users have praised the assembly for its cost benefits. Goodyear is ambiguous about pricing and future plans, but it says it may explore the concept for use on other construction equipment and even on-road vehicles.
Caterpillar Inc.; 309/675-8995; www.cat.com
The WD600-3 is a rubber-tired wheeled dozer designed for mining, coal stockpile, woodchip and general earthmoving applications. According to the manufacturer, rubber-tired dozers like this model offer lower operating costs and higher travel speeds than tracked machines. The unit pushes with 485 flywheel hp at 2,000 rpm and has a maximum rim-pull force of up to 94,300 lb. An on-board monitoring system notifies the operator of machine problems before a costly failure occurs. Komatsu America Corp.; 847/970-5815; www.komatsuamerica.com
Boom and Jib System
The new LR 1130 crawler crane operates from a large support-base area. It is powered by a 327-hp Liebherr diesel engine and has two 12-t winches for high rope speeds so that rapid load lifting and high lifting capacity are possible even when working in multiple-reeved mode, according to the manufacturer. The LR 1130 is fitted with an innovative self-erecting and self-loading system that makes a second crane unnecessary for either of these tasks.
Liebherr; +43 5525 606-473; www.Liebherr.com
Heavy Equipment Goes Prime Time
Contractors who tune in to cable television regularly for an after-work escape may be in for a surprise. A large equipment manufacturer conglomerate based in Westport, Conn., has launched an aggressive advertising campaign to spotlight a lineup of low-cost loader backhoes to equipment buyers. According to company officials, the program is a "limited experiment," based on recent market research. The plan reportedly has helped generate sales and increase brand awareness for the company. "This is the first time we ever did it, and so far, so good," says Sara Froyd, director of marketing for Terex Corp. Froyd says that the manufacturer's unusual approach to showcasing equipment through a medium most people generally consider a consumer outlet "shows how Terex likes to have fun and do everything a little differently," she says. The company is pushing ads through such cable channels as Fox Sports, ESPN and TNN to reach general contractors who intend to purchase equipment in the near future. The company says its target demographic consists primarily of men, ages 25 to 54. It wrapped its first six-week run in early August and plans to start up again this month and continue as needed in the future.
Screen, Stockpiling Unit
This closed-circuit horizontal impact crusher plant, called Pegson 4242 SR, produces up to 396 tons per hour, depending on the feed material and finished product size. The machine's features include a screen and stockpiling conveyor with magnetic separator on one self-contained chassis. It is suitable for primary or secondary applications with concrete and asphalt rubble, demolition debris and aggregates, especially limestone with low-to-normal silica content. The plant uses a heavy-duty, two-step vibrating grizzly feeder with built-in underscreen and folding side conveyor for either stockpiling waste material or a fourth product. BL-Pegson; 502/736-5200; www.blpegson.com
Tilting, Telescoping Boom
Manufacturer introduces the new XL 4300-II hydraulic excavator. It is in the 45,000-lb-class range and offers the combined advantages of a tilting, telescoping boom for full versatilityeven on low overhead jobs. Equipped with load-sensing hydraulics, the unit is capable of performing excavation, demolition and other high-productivity jobs. Maximum digging depth is 20 ft, 11 in., while the boom radius at groundline is 30 ft. The rated boom force is 22,075 lb. Gradall, a wholly owned subsidiary of JLG Industries Inc.; 330/339-2211; www.gradall.com
Updates to the 928G wheel loader and the IT28G integrated toolcarrier help reduce emissions. Both machines now are equipped with an electronically controlled Cat 3056E direct injection turbocharged engine with air-to-air aftercooling, rated at 131 net hp. It offers one of the lowest fuel consumption rates in its size class and meets EPA Tier 2 emissions requirements. The engine's 48% greater torque than earlier models allows increased power during heavy-duty use. Also, redesign of the operator's station along with new features make the units more compatible with the environment. The two machines share a common design except for their front linkages.