Never get another puncture: Is there a role for ‘airless’ tyres in farming?
Michelin’s so-called ‘X Tweel SSL’ airless tyre and wheel combination will make its debut on this side of the world at this year’s LAMMA show.
For several years, Michelin has sold its range of Tweel products for mowing, agricultural and industrial applications in North America – but the tyre giant’s fitment for skid-steer loaders will be the first ‘Tweel’ to arrive this side of the Atlantic.
The non-pneumatic tyre and wheel will be on display at the East of England Showground exhibition on January 17 and 18.
The X Tweel SSL will be available in two versions – the ‘All Terrain’ (AT), which features a deep, open tread for off-road applications and use on varying surfaces, and the ‘Hard Surface Traction’ (HST), with its smooth tread featuring a claimed 100% contact patch, for frequent use on hard surfaces such as asphalt or concrete.
Poly-resin spokes provide the tyre’s carrying capacity.
Commenting on the launch, Gordon Brookes, customer engineering support manager for Michelin’s agricultural division, said: “We are very excited to be introducing the X Tweel SSL. This is a proven product which has transformed the way skid-steer tyres are specified across North America.
Its introduction into the European market means users in the agricultural and construction markets can benefit from the X Tweel SSL’s performance – and without any risk of a flat tyre.
Michelin says that the product performs like a pneumatic tyre, but without the risk and costly downtime associated with penetrations and impact damage.
The manufacturer says that the X Tweel SSL delivers a “consistent footprint with strong wear life”. It claims that very little maintenance is involved; the fitment is apparently “easy to mount” and obviously doesn’t require air pressure checks.
The X Tweel range is manufactured in the USA at Michelin’s plant in Piedmont, South Carolina, which began operating in November 2014.