In the face of critical tire and wheel shortages that are expected to last through 2007, polyurethane flatproofing product sales have seen a jump since flatproofing increases the longevity of existing tires in addition to eliminating flats and reducing downtime.
"The current shortage of oversized tires is causing serious problems for dealers and operators, and any product that will squeeze more hours out of their tires takes on critical importance," says Arnco President Larry Carapellotti. "As a result, flatproofing is now being used on larger off-road tires for virtually all applications because it dramatically extends the life of the tire."
Mr. Carapellotti cites a recent forecast study from the Association of Equipment Manufacturers that shows construction equipment manufacturers expect overall industry growth to continue through 2006, but at a somewhat slower pace than 2005, with gains predicted across the United States, Canadian and other worldwide markets.
Based on the study, earthmoving equipment sales were expected to increase this year by 12.9 percent in the United States and 14.3 percent in Canada, and to increase another 6.6 percent in 2006. Light equipment sales increased in 2005 by 10.5 percent and 13.7 percent in the United States and Canada, respectively, and are expected to increase next year by 9.3 percent in the United States and 7.5 percent in Canada. United States sales of concrete and aggregate equipment were 14 percent higher in 2005, and are expected to increase another 10.2 percent in 2006.
"The continued increase in equipment sales combined with the shortage of tires and wheels means that dealers and equipment operators must do everything they can to extend the service life of their tires," adds Mr. Carapellotti. "By filling tires with Arnco flatproofing, for instance, operators eliminate punctures and cuts - which account for nearly half all tire failures -- and, they don't have to worry about maintaining proper air pressure to ensure maximum performance and longer life."
Using one of Arnco's flatproofing fill materials, SuperFlex, there are no flats, blowout hazards, costly downtime or tire repairs. The formulation from Arnco is an ideal flatproofing product to use when ride, footprint and floatation are needed since a SuperFlex filled tire functions similar to an air-filled tire. It protects both operator and machine from vibration and jolting, increases tire life and performance, adds ballast and maintains proper tire pressure and footprint.
The polyurethane liquid is pumped into the tire by an Arnco Certified Dealer, and cures into a soft rubber-like material that fills the tire. It eliminates flats, blowouts or other damage that can occur with air-filled tires, works in any tire with a sound casing, and has superior shock absorber properties with a "softness" of 8 (durometer). SuperFlex is particularly effective for skid steers, mining tires, AG tires, ATV, mowing sweepers, grader tires, ditchers, trenchers and front-end loaders. SuperFlex can be used with over-the-tire track systems, and has been approved by many original equipment manufacturers. Arnco is the world's largest supplier of polyurethane flatproofing fill for tires used in construction, mining, aircraft ground support, material handling, roofing and lawn and garden industries, and Arnco filled tires have become widely used in steel mills, scrap yards, land fills, coal mines, factories, construction sites, aerial lift equipment, original equipment vehicles or wherever the operating environment is hazardous to conventional pneumatic tires.
For use in off-road tires, QuikGel is a self-sealing polyurethane liner that provides protection from punctures up to 5/16 inches in diameter and is a lighter alternative to Arnco's line of polyurethane flatproofing fill materials.
The new liner offers protection and true sidewall coverage to the middle of the sidewall. It has extra shoulder coverage for lateral punctures, optimized coverage in high-risk areas of the tire and maximum protection in the tread area versus the tread centerline.
Ideal for skid steers, agriculture, telehandlers, golf cars, lawn/garden, ATV and other applications where less weight is needed, QuikGel liner has received approval from Case New Holland, and Gehl Company to protect tires from punctures on all Case, Gehl and Mustang skid steer models. CNH and Gehl are among several equipment manufacturers who recognize and appreciate the advantages to skid steer operators of installing the liner to reduce downtime. The self-sealing polyurethane gel membrane is sufficiently lightweight to allow the tire and vehicle to perform as designed; is centrifugally cast balanced to ensure a smooth ride, and is re-treadable for the best return on investment.