Drawing the line on tyre life
At first glance the Pit Stop Line from Trelleborg Wheel Systems is just a thin orange band hiding inside a solid rubber tyre. But for the forklift industry, the Pit Stop Line represents a new era in tyre management – maximizing tyre life, raising productivity, improving safety and reducing environmental impact.
The Pit Stop Line from Trelleborg is developed to end the uncertainty about when to replace a solid tyre, and it does this in the simplest way possible: visually. The orange line appears on a tyre when it wears down; telling the operator there is an estimated tyre life of 80 to 100 hours remaining.
This gives ample time for tyre replacement to be scheduled when it is most convenient for the user. To replace a solid tyre on a forklift in a busy factory or warehouse means taking a valuable machine out of service for a period of time.
If tyre replacement can be incorporated with planned maintenance routines, it delivers users two huge benefits. Firstly, it minimizes the length of time forklifts are out of service, and it avoids taking machines out of service prematurely for tyre replacement. Both scenarios cost time and money. With millions of forklift trucks in service globally, this new tyre feature has the potential to offer considerable savings and efficiencies for owners and operators of forklift fleets.
When the tread pattern on a solid tire disappears it may be only 50 per cent worn and can continue to perform well beyond the point where a treaded road tyre would need to be changed. The Pit Stop Line completely removes that misconception and ensures that tyres are used for their whole life, giving customers maximum value and machine uptime.
The design team took 18 months to develop the Pit Stop Line feature from concept to production, utilizing rigorous testing. At a manufacturing level, the challenge was to create the orange pigment band of the correct thickness in a specific position within the tyre – a challenge made more difficult by the size variations of the Trelleborg range of tyres.