An airless tire, you say? How can that be?
First introduced as a prototype in 2005, Michelin began distributing the Tweel tire in 2012 and, in 2014, the company expanded the lineup and announced the opening of a 135, 000 square-foot processing facility in South Carolina.
Tweel tires are “airless,” radial tires that use polyurethane spokes and a tread band to connect a steel hub to the tread band. The first of these tires commercially available were developed for skid steers: the all-terrain and hard surface SSLs. The tires are largely promoted as a solution to perpetual flats, but are also meant to increase operator comfort, improve productivity and provide excellent traction.
Now, Tweel is also offering turf tires, for John Deere 900 ZTrak B, M and R series mowers.
“We have been working with the John Deere team for several years and the result is a partnership that has the potential to dramatically change the commercial mowing market,” said Ralph Dimenna, head of Michelin Tweel Technologies, in a release last fall. “Our Michelin X Tweel Turf provides the benefits associated with pneumatic tires, but it won’t go flat.”
We’re still waiting to hear of an airless radial tire for four wheel drive tractors.
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