Designing the Ultimate Solid Forklift Tire - Tire Review Magazine

Designing the Ultimate Solid Forklift Tire

Designing the new Galaxy MFS 101 Severe Duty Solid (SDS) forklift tire, the Yokohama Off-Highway Tires product development team drew on a world of lessons — literally.

Sponsored by Yokohama Off-Highway Tires America, Inc.

Designing the new Galaxy MFS 101 Severe Duty Solid (SDS) forklift tire, the Yokohama Off-Highway Tires product development team drew on a world of lessons — literally.

“The Galaxy brand has been a global leader in forklift tire design for decades, since we introduced what is now the classic hockey-stick R-4 bar tread with the original Galaxy Beefy Baby,” says Dhananjay Bisht, Product Manager—Earthmover, Construction and Industrial Tires for Yokohama Off-Highway Tires America, Inc. “We went on to redefine the category again and again with innovative tread designs, bead packages, and construction of pneumatic and solid tires.”

Bisht points out that the international Galaxy MFS 101 SDS development team aimed not only at maximizing service life—reducing cost per hour of operation—but also designing and manufacturing a tire that would help address the material handling industry’s growing awareness of the effects of vibration on operator health and productivity.

Reduced Vibration

“There is a growing body of data that documents the long-term health effects of whole-body vibration, as well as jolts and shocks, on operators,” Bisht notes. “Researchers have also charted the effects of vibration and operator comfort on productivity. We made it our mission to create a forklift tire that would contribute to the user’s bottom line not only by delivering a highly competitive cost per hour of operation, but also by minimizing vibration and absorbing shocks.”

The Galaxy MFS 101 SDS features a unique tread pattern with a pair of circumferential grooves shaped like lightning bolts, flanked on their outside edges by tread blocks with Z-shaped sipes. The strong first impression is that the tire delivers plenty of traction on both improved and irregular surfaces, which is absolutely true, Bisht says. But the grooves and the precise sizing and spacing of the shoulder blocks also reduce vibration dramatically.

“Every element of this tread pattern is optimized to absorb or dissipate vibration as the tire rolls in either direction,” he explains. “We combined that with design features that minimize tread wear and heat build-up for extended service life. And beneath the surface, the three-stage construction of the MFS 101 SDS contains a shock-absorbent core. You can’t see it, but the operator certainly feels the difference.”

Three-Stage Construction

Bisht notes that the three-stage construction of the Galaxy MFS 101 SDS wraps the middle cushion layer in a wear-resistant tread compound that is significantly deeper than the competition’s.

“The MFS 101 SDS features more tread compound above the 60J line, which adds up to more wearable rubber on the tire,” he says. “The volume of material and wear-resistant compound formulation add up to longer service life on a wide range of surfaces, including pavement, debris, and combinations of steel and pavement that are common in railyards, ports, and waste handling facilities.

The final layer of the construction features a specially formulated base compound surrounding multiple steel bead bundles that ensure a firm grip on the rim and minimize tire slip.

Unique Tread

The vibration-reducing tread pattern—with its zigzag grooves, squared-off shoulder blocks and z-shaped sipes—also ensures precise steering and sure-footed traction on a wide range of surfaces.

“Forklift operators often work with little room to spare, so efficiency depends upon good steering in both directions,” Bisht says. “The MFS 101 SDS tread pattern features a solid centerline for wear resistance and great traction on smooth surfaces, flanked by a pair of circumferential grooves that enhance steering and also channel away water if necessary. The result is a high-performance tire in both indoor and outdoor conditions.”

Bisht adds that the circumferential grooves, inter-block voids, and Z-shaped shoulder sipes enhance heat dissipation.

“Working closely with forklift fleet managers and operators around the world, we know some of these machines are running 24/7, so we built the MFS 101 to stay cool even under relentless work schedules,” he says. “Combined with wear-resistant design and construction, heat dissipation extends tire life dramatically.”

Greater Stability

“Another key element in the MFS 101 design is stability,” Bisht says. “We achieve outstanding stability through several design elements. First, the MFS 101 has a relatively wide tread face, which puts more rubber on the ground. It’s got a very vertical sidewall with excellent structure. And finally, we designed and constructed the tire to have a very flat contact patch, which enhances stability and ensures long, even wear on the tread.

“In a way, the MFS 101 presents the large, flat contact patch you’d get from a radial tire, along with the sturdy sidewall that many forklift owners liked from bias-ply construction,” he adds. “It’s the best of both worlds.”

The Galaxy MFS 101 SDS is available in 28 sizes to fit rims from 8 to 15 inches.

New Level of Attention

“Forklift tires are getting a new level of attention because of the role they play in productivity, profitability and worker safety,” Bisht concludes. “We developed the Galaxy MFS 101 SDS to deliver industry-leading performance at every level, from the cost per hour of operation to the health and comfort of the operator—indoors and outdoors, whether on a pristine concrete floor or a surface full of nails and torn sheet metal. The MFS 101 is truly the ultimate forklift tire.”

For more information on the Galaxy MFS 101 SDS forklift tire, contact your Yokohama Off-Highway Tires America, Inc. representative, click here or call (800) 343-3276.

Sponsored by Yokohama Off-Highway Tires.

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