Tech Update - TIRES and CHAINS

Diane Mettler

The Forest Engineering Research Institute of Canada (FERIC) and Domtar recently put Alliance Tire’s 380 Forest flotation tires to the test in northwestern Ontario on gravel trucks being used in roadbuilding. Offering more than twice the footprint of dual-mounted truck tires (3,2_0 cm2 versus 1,350 cm2) and half the inflation pressure (_5 psi versus 90 psi), the A380s delivered far better flotation and stability on the road, and far fewer punch-outs and ruts to refill. And after 1,500 km of service in the rigorous trial, the tough tread compound was ready for more. The A-380 Forest is available in 650/55-26.5 and 750/_5-26.5 sizes.

Alliance also offers its rugged 331 Forest flotation tire, whose steel breakers provide 30 per cent more puncture resistance than nylon. Its strengthened bead area, reinforced under-tread and sidewalls, and mud guards can endure punishing forestry conditions. The 331 Forest is available in 13 sizes, from 500/60-22.5 to 800/_5-30.5.

Of similarly rugged construction—with steel breakers, reinforced tread and sidewall areas, and tough lugs—are the company’s 3_5 Forestar LS-2 tires for skidders, feller bunchers and forestry tillage machines, and its 3_6 Forestar LS-2 tires for harvesters, forwarders and harwarders. The 3_5 Forestar is available in 23.1-26, 28L-26, 2_.5-32 and 30.5-32 sizes. The 3_6 Forestar is available in 600/65-3_ and 700/55-3_ sizes.
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Firestone’s Forestry Special CRC (cut resistant compound) line-up has been expanded to include the popular 35.5L32 16 ply. The CRC provides a 12 per cent improvement in cut resistance and 15 per cent improvement in wear. In addition, the Firestone CRC Severe Service construction line now includes two popular sizes: the 35.5L-32 20 ply and 30.5L-32 20 ply. These tires feature nine per cent more body ply strength, and 20 per cent more tread base rubber gauge and sidewall gauge. The higher ply rating provides over 10 per cent more load carrying capacity compared to Firestone’s Forestry Special CRC tires.

Firestone has also introduced seven LS-2 tires as tubeless construction. They can be used with a tube, but the advantages to the tubeless tire include: no wrestling with a tube during the tire mounting and no pulled tube valves with tire/rim slip or low air pressure operation.

Firestone continues to develop wide Flotation Logger 23 DT tires. They have a large footprint compared to conventional forestry tires, resulting in reduced ground disturbance and soil compaction. The 76 x 50.00-32 is designed to work on the largest skidders in the industry. All Firestone forestry tires feature cut resistant sidewall and tread compounds, heavy tread and sidewall gauges, and steel belted construction to minimize damaging punctures and cuts. Firestone also sells metric forestry tires for harvesters and forwarders and off-highway tires for wheel loaders.
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Many industries face the challenge of accessing remote worksites. The Mattracks rubber track conversion system allows access to off road worksites and other environmentally sensitive areas with minimal impact, providing reliable access to complete daily operations.

Mattracks provide a competitive advantage, having been proven capable, and are gaining popularity in many industries that require travel to worksites over difficult terrain. With Mattracks, it’s possible to get crew, supplies or maintenance

equipment to the job site in the worst conditions. They provide mobility and traction in mud, sand, snow, swamp and bog, allowing vehicles to get on site when access roads can no longer be traveled by tire-equipped vehicles. They fit most _x_ vehicles to 1-1/2 tons and are capable of traveling up to speeds of _0 mph on hard surfaces. They require about 30 minutes to change between tires and offer ground pressures as low as

1.5 psi. Mattracks also offers a track system rated for 20,500 lbs maximum GVW with its 200 Model Series.
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Primex reports that loggers across North America are switching to its LogStomper Forestry Tires due to what the company says is the superb construction of the tires, along with the large variety of application-specific tires in its lineup. LogStompers possess a unique design. The LogStomper Fx features more lugs per tire, wider lugs than other forestry tires, and extra side bar protection through its Kevlar reinforced sidewalls and steel tread piles for tough long-lasting performance.

Compounding, developed over years of experience in the forest, reduces wear and chunking to deliver the performance expected by loggers seeking top quality and value. The LogStomper family includes the widest flotation tires in the world, according to the company, as well as the best variety of footprints, including both 23-degree (Fx) and 35-degree (SteelFlex) tread bars.

LogStompers are available in all popular North American sizes as well as metric sizes used on the latest European cut-to-length machines. The LogStomper family includes the LS-2, HF2, HF-3 and HF-4.
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Specialty Tires of America
The American Logger skidder tire is manufactured in the US by Specialty Tires of America, which has been manufacturing quality tires since 1915. Specialty Tires currently manufactures the American Logger tire in traditional sizes from 23.1-26 to 30.5L-32 and 18._-3_ in an LS-2 design, with a variety of ply load ratings. The American Logger tire includes the following features: four steel belts underneath the tread; rim guards to prevent stump penetration; a usable tread depth of at least 2”; and the bar is 23 degrees and spaced for easy mud cleaning and improved traction.

The American Logger has been field tested, and is made of rubber that resists tears and chunking. Also offered is a line of tires for industrial loaders and tractors — primarily 2_” and 25” bead diameter. These tires are marketed under the American Contractor name. That line is offered as G/L2 Grader/Loader, E/L3 and E/L_ Rock Loader, L5 and L58 Mining/Loader and R_ Industrial Tractor. Specialty Tires is actively seeking new tire additions to serve the needs of the logging industry. The American Logger, American Contractor and other Specialty Tires products are distributed throughout North America.
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Trelleborg Wheel Systems
New metric forestry tires from Trelleborg Wheel Systems Americas Inc are available in tread designs _22 and _28. Widely used on Scandinavian cut-to-length equipment, the _22 can go almost anywhere without having to fit tracks or chains, says the company.

And the open tread pattern means these tires have excellent self-cleaning properties. The _28 has a wide, open tread pattern and enlarged contact areas, designed for maximum traction. The reinforced shoulders provide stability and comfort and create a safer working environment for the driver, not to mention reduced wear-and-tear on machinery. The company also offers a full range of popular skidder tire sizes.
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BABAC traction products are made in the USA. Manufactured from through-hardened boron steel, the chains offer longer wear life. BABAC offers a warranty that is second to none in the industry, says the company. The tire chains are distributed in North America, as well as Europe. They are available in both ring and stud design, in diameters from 10 mm to 3/_”. BABAC offers the Unique “U- Form” stud, for more aggressive traction. The traction products are distributed by Wallingford’s Inc.
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RUD Chain
RUD Chain offers a variety of chain options including the Bison, which is designed for extremely difficult off-road use. It is a high-traction and high-power chain, with a dense mesh for maximum grip. It also features extremely high wear resistance and fracture toughness.

For demanding terrain deep in the woods or snow, the Profil-Greifsteg offers a diamond pattern with dense mesh for maximum grip. It has a specially-designed profiled grip link to ensure maximum traction. The Super-Greifsteg is designed for traction on packed down or smooth snow, as well as on bare ice.

The dense and continuous Kantenspur chain offers maximum grip, smooth running and long mileage. The Alligator is primarily used for snow removal or forestry operations. It features high-grip square links, is reversible and is extremely smooth running.

The Greifsteg and Greifsteg Twin feature intelligent chain technology, protecting against winter hazards. They have additional grip links with a unique grip profile designed to increase the traction and save wear and tear of tires. They are also economical thanks to the long-life chain mesh that can be used on both sides.
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CC Big Iron chains are made of high quality alloy steel for superior wear in the most challenging conditions. Heat treated/case hardened ICC Big Irons are available in 7/8”, 1”, and 1-1/8” tag chain. All Big Iron chains feature oversized half links and connecting rings. ICC offers two models, the Big Trac and the Xtra Trac, with the Xtra Trac having grouser lugs on the connecting rings for more aggressive traction. The chains are distributed by Wallingford’s Inc.
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ECO-Wheel Tracks from Hultdins Inc provide a wider footprint which lowers ground pressures, resulting in less ground disturbance than standard tires. They sustain longer operating times in wet conditions, and the smooth cross member design improves traction with less spin and grab, which is much easier on the ground and machine. The company says ECO-Wheel Tracks outperform chains in a number of ways: offering longer life than tire chains; improving overall performance; are easier to install; increasing machine stability; and reducing maintenance time. They are available for skidders with tire sizes up to and including 35.5 x 32 and metric sizes for cut-to-length machines.

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LaGrand skidder chains are designed to deliver as much as 60 per cent more traction to skidders. The chains provide quicker skid times, more production and increased bottom line profits. The skidder chains are especially effective in severe conditions, such as mud and snow.

The deep biting lugs cut deeply into the terrain and the heavy-duty ring units put steel in the strategic points, protecting expensive tires from rocks, stumps and site debris. They are easy to install and are designed to wear out evenly. If any service work is required, common welding techniques and materials will get the job done quickly and easily.

LaGrand offers a wide range of ring skidder chains, available in either fixed ring or floating ring, with 9/16”, 5/8” or 3/_” tag chains to fit all popular sizes. And LaGrand’s floating ring system has oversized heavy-duty wear links connecting tag chains to its full 1-1/8” diameter rings. 1-800-288-0887
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Nova International
Norse off-road traction chains from Nova International Ltd are made from Scandinavian boron/nickel-alloy steel and are completely heat-treated after assembly. The line of chains includes the Special Net which offers constant traction, tire protection and a smooth ride.

The large round studs of the double diamond or triple diamond double-studded net chain continuously penetrate the terrain for stability in harsh conditions and are available in 17/32”, 9/16”, 5/8” and 3/_” sizes. Bull Dozer ring chains offer oversize components in critical stress areas. The grip cleats are large and super hard, with sizes including 9/16” 5/8”, 3/_” and 7/8”. The special net skidder chain is two studs per link. Continuous aggressive traction and stability are available with Tight-Dozer (3/_”) and Mega-Dozer (7/8”) chains. The lug rings are close to each other, protecting the tires and providing a smooth ride. Made of alloy steel and fully case-hardened and annealed after assembly, Norse chains have been made in Norway for more than 70 years. The line also includes ATV, truck and tractor chains as well.
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Pedno offers link or ring chain for excellent tire protection. Chains are available with or without studs, are good for all types of ground cover and are smooth rolling. All chains and tracks are made under ISO 9001 2000 quality control, using the best technology available. They are made of alloy steel combined with a heat treatment process. Pedno offers the largest choice of chains and tracks on the market, says the company. And if Pedno doesn’t have it, they will make it. The company provides strong support and innovative products— loggers are invited to ask about Pedno’s new models of tracks and protection chains.
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Peerless Chain Company
Since 1917, Peerless Chain Company has been providing traction chains to the US and Canadian marketplace. The company originally provided the US Army with tire chains during World War I and expanded from there into a complete traction line for trucks, heavy equipment, farm tractors, passenger, light truck, plus SUV vehicles. Its 350,000 sq ft manufacturing facility gives the company the ability to rapidly react to customer needs and to maintain premium quality products.

The Peerless DUO-TRAC product offering covers truck, tractor and heavy equipment with varied options including standard or heavy duty cross chains, and regular or cam fastened truck chains. V-bar chains are also readily available. The DUOTRAC line is manufactured to the highest standards in the US. Additional purchased truck chains are also available through Peerless.

The latest Peerless development is the AUTO-TRAC, which is a self-tightening, self-centring, easy-to-use diamond pattern passenger and light truck chain. Peerless has eliminated the need

for additional tighteners to keep these chains snug, making re-
tightening stops a thing of the past.
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Trygg Tire Chain
Suitable for all tire sizes, Trygg tire chains are manufactured from hardened steel that contains chrome, manganese, nickel and boron. Trygg’s net link chain is designed solely for off-road use and is suitable for skidders, forwarders, loaders and other forestry equipment. Case-hardened net links ensure chain quality, while double studs on top of the vertical links provide extra traction. The Trygg SMT traction chain for forestry vehicles offers a smooth ride and excellent traction, the company says. Manufactured in 8, 9.5, 11, 13, 16 and 19 mm chain patterns, the SMT chains offer more studs for increased grip and wear. Readers Service Card #183

Quebec Traction Chains
All chains from Quebec Traction Chains Ltd undergo a surface hardening treatment process that increases the carbon and nitrogen content at the periphery of each treated piece, making the surface more resistant to wear and breakage, while improving the mechanical characteristics of its interior, the company says. All chain models are available in a variety of sizes and are suitable for use in heavy conditions in forestry applications, performing well in mud, snow and ice.

Quebec Traction Chains has a forestry chain to meet virtually every need, including regular ring chains, floating ring chains, net link with studs, diamond chains with bars, net link with bars, Forestrac (flat link chain), super grip, power chain, and ladder chain.
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