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Major Trends in OTR Tire Market, 2021

Major Trends in OTR Tire Market, 2021

Automotive | Feb, 2021

Recognizing Off-the-road (OTR) tires as engineering marvels would not be an overstatement. OTR tires are more than just bigger versions of conventional tires on your car as a lot of what lies under and inside those mountains of rubber makes them unique. OTR tires are made to be tougher than tires used for road vehicles to carry tonnes of weight and enable transportation through rough and unprepared terrain. Heavy-duty equipment and vehicles used for mining and construction activities utilize OTR tires to travel long distances beyond normal roads and withstand extreme environments. While a few years ago, it was difficult to find the right size of OTR tires, now the supply seems adequate. Rise in mining and construction activities, developing end-user requirements and major technological innovations are driving the off-road tires market into unchartered territory, presenting a plenty of growth opportunities as well as fresh challenges to manufacturers and suppliers.

According to TechSci Research report, “Global OTR Tire Market By Vehicle Type, By Demand Category, By Region, Competition, Forecast & Opportunities, 2015-2025”, the global OTR tire market is projected to surpass USD 31 billion by 2025, on account of growing OTR vehicle sales, increasing OTR vehicle fleet size and steadily rising OTR tire prices. With increasing number of development activities being witnessed across the globe, especially in construction, mining and industrial sectors, demand for OTR tires is expected to increase at a healthy pace during the forecast period. On account of modernization and increasing use of latest technology, agriculture sector in emerging economies is also witnessing growth. Various types of advanced OTR vehicles are being introduced for farming, which help in overcoming the problems associated with manual labor and aid in achieving higher productivity.


OTR Tread Designs & Different Tire Applications

OTR tires have diverse applications so they come in different tread design to ensure efficient operations. The most common types of tread designs include Rock pattern, Traction pattern, Ribbed pattern, Block pattern, and Smooth pattern tread designs.

Rock Pattern Tread Design:

·         Ideal for rocky terrain where the chances of damage are high

·         Pattern reduces damage and maximize traction

·         Common applications include Earth movers, Graders, Loaders.

Traction Pattern Tread Design:

·         Provide stability to vehicles on rough surfaces

·         Ensure the pattern on the tread aligns with the movement of front wheels

·         Common applications include Loaders and Dozers, Grader, Earth movers

Ribbed Pattern Tread Design:

·         Ideal for use with free-rolling axles

·         Have low rolling resistance

·         Common applications include tractors and trailors

Block Pattern Tread Design:

·         Ideal for use in soft surfaces that limit mobility such as mud

·         The wide tread neutralizes the weight of loaded truck to reduce contact pressure

·         Common applications include Earth movers

Smooth Pattern Tread Design:

·         Ideal for applications where mobility is not a priority

·         Common applications include compactor, loader, and dozer

How are technology and connectivity aiding the management of OTR tires?

Tire Management Software

From original installation to the scrap pile, Tire management software gives fleet managers a complete history of every tire. In addition to helping fleet managers make more informed decisions about the tire selection and document in-depth descriptions of the tire condition, the software allows a better cause-and-effect analysis of tire problems. The software can even document the condition of removed tires with remaining life to ensure that they can be reinstalled and used to their full potential rather than being thrown in the waste.

Tire Pressure Monitoring System

The Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS) is installed internally on the tires and set to integrate with the telematics system of the machine. The system monitors internal operating temperatures and real-time inflation pressures. Some of the benefits of TPMS include less variance in tread wear, increase stability, and the ability to retread a tire if necessary.

Intelligent Tires

Tires are becoming more intelligent as they continue to become connected. Intelligent tires are a new concept that tell useful information about your tire including traction, tread wear, load, and temperature through a small sensor. The smart tires allow continuous connectivity and real-time data sharing, which ensure safe end-result and cost-efficient mobility and maximized uptime.  

OTR Tire- Supply chain and sustainability

OTR tires for mining and construction are produced at very few plants in the world. It takes more than a day to build one giant OTR tire to manufacture and cure it in a press. And only a few companies across the globe have the advanced technology and expertise to build moulds. Leading OTR tire producers such as Bridgestone, Michelin and Yokohama have invested significantly in the past years to accelerate their production capacity. Witnessing growth forecasts, suppliers such as Cabot are now sharpening more attention to OTR and expanding capacity. In case of large OTR tires, sustainability is another area of potential development, which is less about extending service life through retreading and more about recyclability.

A close partnership with customers and sustained fieldwork would drive the incisive OTR producers to become more agile, and better at adjusting capacity for growth or contraction.

Major advances in OTR tires

The demand for technological development in off-the-road (OTR) tires has increased as the construction equipment has evolved in terms of size, power, and weight. Now, the tire manufacturers are developing more enhanced compound and design characteristics, which can adapt to a jobsite's specific environment.

 

Solid Tires

Many construction companies are looking for reliable solutions to prevent flat tires and the downtime associated with changing tires, especially in remote locations. Made from whole rubber, solid tires serve as a good alternative as they have high elasticity, good heat dissipation, better stability, large surface area, good wear resistance, and better grasping ability. Ensuring good adhesion between the wheels and the road, solid tires ensure high working efficiency and good safety working performance. The base ring of the solid tire is composed of rubber and steel with high strength and rigidity, which ensures tire stiffness and fastening of tire and rim, that eliminate the problem of slip rings, thickening of tread layer, and ensure long service life. 

Radial Tires

Heavy off-load equipment continues to move towards radials and this trend is being driven by the advantages the new technology offers. Offering lower fuel consumption, better traction, and flotation improved cut resistance in the tread area, radial tires become an obvious choice for construction equipment, rigid-frame haul trucks, and transport machines. The tread of radial tires provides improved durability, stability, and maneuverability. As radial tires generate less heat, they tend to last longer.

Airless OTR Tire

Airless off-the-road (OTR) tire are a new type of airless (semi-solid) tire, designed specifically for heavy duty industrial machines, agricultural and construction vehicles. The airless tires are a maintenance-free OTR tire, which provides exceptional tread life, soft-cushioned ride, and durability, enhancing operator comfort and machine transmission life. Major advantages of airless OTR tire include:

·         Improved machine productivity (Tire damage is eliminated)

·         Increased safety (Easy to fit and no risk of blowout)

·         Superior durability (Four times longer tread life than pneumatic equivalents)

·         Higher ROI (Increased tire longevity)

 

Low sidewall OTR Tire

Low sidewall OTR tire feature a larger rim diameter and smaller sidewall than traditional tire options to enhance the productivity of equipment operator. Besides being more durable, low sidewall OTR tires offer decreased flexibility and reduce the chance of recoil and bouncing while working. In addition, low sidewall tires allow for carrying the same weight at 40% less inflation than standard OTR tires, making an excellent choice for those operating within the mining and construction industry. Benefits of low sidewall OTR tire include

·         Reduced Material Loss

·         Increased Stability

·         Quicker Recovery

·         Ensures safety

Multipurpose Tires

Due to rise in rental tire market, the end-users in the construction and mining segment need to deal in an array of different environments. The equipment can be used on either soft surface or off-road, depending on the job site location, which creates a need for customers to seek a more versatile and multipurpose tire solution.

Accelerated Change Technology

The ACT wheel enables a service technician to replace or rotate the rear tires on a mine haul truck in a fraction of the time thus helps to enhance safety and increases profitability by reducing tire maintenance downtime. The ACT wheel also decreases the usage of heavy impact wrenches required to torque and retorque 50-60 wheel nuts when removing a wheel and tire assembly. Also, ACT wheels are available for every haul truck make and model.

According to TechSci Research report, “Global Tire Market By Vehicle Type, By Demand Category, By Radial Vs Bias, By Region, Competition, Forecast & Opportunities, 2013 – 2025F”, the world tire market is forecast to cross USD 300 billion by 2025. Major factors that are expected to drive the market include rising demand for tires from OEMs due to various technological advancements in automotive industry in terms of better lifespan of tires, light weight, environmental-friendly tires, imposed strict safety regulation by governments of various countries across the globe coupled with growing tire sales in the replacement market, globally.

Conclusion

By their very character, off-the-road tires are difficult to manage and recycle. Transportation and handling costs, processing equipment, trained employees, safety, and a processing space large enough to accommodate giant tires are all major issues in OTR recycling. However, the new initiatives are making OTR tire processing and recycling more feasible and profitable, increasing sustainability within the market.

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