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Innovations for Forklifts, Skid Steer

Camso, known as the “Road-Free Company,” introduced several innovative new tire designs for both materials handling applications and skid steer equipment at a unique launch event in October at Camp Thunderbird, a YMCA camp just outside of Charlotte, N.C.

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Camso, known as the “Road-Free Company,” introduced several innovative new tire designs for both materials handling applications and skid steer equipment at a unique launch event in October at Camp Thunderbird, a YMCA camp just outside of Charlotte, N.C.

Headquartered in Quebec, Camso (formerly Camoplast Solideal) is a tiremaker that focuses on only 11 percent of the overall tire marketplace, providing advanced tire technology specifically designed for non-road applications. This includes materials handling, construction, agricultural and powersports industries, including all-terrain vehicles.

The tire designs introduced at the event are in direct response to equipment-use trends in the materials handling and construction industries. They include three new press-on (PON) tire designs, engineered for high- and medium-intensity applications, as well as two durable designs for skid steer and construction applications.

Materials Handling Innovations

Unlike a good-better-best approach to their materials handling product line, Camso instead is designing and positioning products based on the intensity of the applications. The focus is on a consistent lifespan across the product line, with each design lasting the same number of hours as the next. The difference between them is based on the intensity requirements of use.

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“Fleet owners expect maximum life for a tire regardless of the intensity of their job,” says Erick Bellefleur, product line executive director of material handling products at Camso. “Our new tire technologies deliver maximum durability by minimizing internal heat build-up.”

To help dealers recommend the appropriate tire for each application, and to help materials handling users better understand their unique tire needs, Camso has developed a proprietary usage intensity calculator. You can find the tool here: maximumlifespan.camso.co. The calculator is a web-based tool that quantifies different levels of forklift application intensities. Fact-based and built on thousands of hours of testing, it takes into account parameters like lifting capacity, working environment as well as idle time, travel distances and maneuvering time. In a few clicks, the system outputs a forklift’s application intensity score. Based on that understanding, dealers and customers can assess tire needs more accurately to make the best recommendation to the end user.

The changes in both the product design and go-to-market approach reflect changes within the materials handling industry, which has evolved significantly in recent years. Material movers now carry heavier loads in tighter spaces while moving faster, using more specialized attachments to increase carry capabilities. Add to this increased travel distance and less cool-down time between jobs and you can see the increase of intensity and demands on forklift tires.

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“When operating in such high intensity applications, tires are pushed beyond their limits and are very likely to experience heat build-up. This can result in rubber fatigue or even thermal tire failure causing unscheduled forklift downtime,” says Bellefleur. “As the world’s largest manufacturer of press-on tires, we know that downtime is not an option for material handling operations.”

Solideal PON 775 has the look of a racing slick versus a traditional solid press-on and is specifically designed for high-intensity applications, with unique innovations in design and compounds to withstand more challenging conditions. When compared to the Solideal Magnum SM ERP, the PON 775:

• Delivers 90% better resistance to internal heat build-up;

• Shows 70% better energy efficiency due to low-rolling-resistance rubber compounds;

• Provides 45% longer tire life due to an abrasion-resistant tread compound.

The Solideal PON 775 also features a unique and patented sidewall design, which helps to relieve stress on the tire edges and reduce ground pressure. It also includes a wear indicator. A full range of sizes is available, up to and including a new 33-inch tire.

Camso’s medium-intensity Solideal PON 555 and PON 550 have been revamped as enhanced versions of the Magnum traction and smooth models. By improving the materials used and tire construction process, these new tires offer:

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• 45% longer tire life

• 6% better resistance to internal heat build-up

• 8% improved energy efficiency

Together, the new Solideal PON 775 and the Solideal PON 555 and 550 were designed as a series, each with consistent lifespan but uniquely designed to cover a range of application intensities.

Skid Steer Solutions

Similar to materials handling, the construction industry has also seen changes in the way equipment is used, inspiring changes in tire designs. General jobs have become more specialized, and the skid steer’s versatility has had to evolve to meet this reality.

The Camso event educated dealers and media introducing two new skid steer tires: the Camso SKS 753 designed for performance on mixed and hard surfaces, and the Camso SKS 532 designed for superior traction on soft soil.

As part of their development, the tires were put through extensive field-testing to direct the focus of R&D. In addition, the tires were put to the test at the launch event in a series of courses designed to simulate typical construction sites.

The SKS 753, a bias-ply pneumatic tire, is intended for rental fleets and other mixed and hard surfaces. Its non-directional tread pattern is designed for durability and versatility. A high lug-to-void ratio provides better wear and puncture resistance on hard surfaces, while stepped shoulder lugs improve traction on softer surfaces. The tire is the next-generation of the well-known Solideal Hauler SKZ and is designed to outlast its predecessor by 30%.

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The SKS 532 is designed for superior traction on soft soil, for digging deeper into pile-like construction and landscaping applications. The bias-ply tire features extra-deep directional tread and curved lugs with a stepped tread pattern to provide exceptional mud clean out. It also features a “void guard” edge to reinforce and protect the carcass to prevent punctures and minimize flats. The Camso SKS 532 replaces the Solideal Xtra Wall, and is also designed to outlast its predecessor by 30%.

According to Camso, most construction tires require replacement due to damage before their actually reaching their intended lifespan. To protect against sidewall damage, both new skid steer tires incorporate Camso’s reverse sidewall design with impact guard to deflect objects and debris away, to better protect the product from sidewall damage thus extending its life.

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