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2020 / 2021 Edition

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Caterpillar Flexport tyres cut down time and improve cost per tonne

Caterpillar’s extreme-duty Flexport solid tyres are proving popular in a range of industry sectors, with an increasingly diverse mix of machinery. While some customers may think of the Flexport tyre as a solution designed purely for compact machines such as skid-steer loaders, the concept is also available both new and remanufactured for all of Caterpillar’s small and medium wheel loaders.

Mick George Ltd is one of the leading suppliers to the construction industry in East Anglia and the East Midlands in the UK, specializing in providing bulk excavation and earthmoving services, aggregate supply and waste-management services. The company has always used wheel loaders for re-handling tasks, but in the past has suffered numerous punctures, causing extensive down time on site. UK Cat dealers Finning provided Mick George with an ultra-high lift loader arm solution for their 950H wheel loader. At the same time that this machine was delivered to the site near Cambridge, it was also equipped with Cat Flexport tyres.

Two years on, and the company reports zero downtime due to tyre issues. Peter Newman of Mick George Ltd said: ‘They were a new idea to us and they were more expensive than some of the other options that were presented to us. However that has been money well spent because we’ve suffered no down time due to tyres since the machine has been on site.’

It is estimated that this increase in uptime, and the subsequent reduction in tyre replacement costs, has saved the company in excess of £1,500 (€1,700) per year.

Flexport tyres are designed with holes moulded through the outer ring of the sidewall. This provides the necessary flexibility and comfort, as there is no air cushion within the rubber. This increased tyre flexibility offers an improved ride compared to other solid tyre solutions, reducing operator fatigue, increasing comfort and boosting productivity. Flexport tyres absorb much of the shock loading, protecting machine components and reducing stress regardless of the application.

The elliptical design of the holes in the tyre is designed so that under load, it compresses into a round shape, reducing stress points and preventing cracking. Other designs that have round holes, can become flattened under load, causing cracks and stress points in the rubber.

Caterpillar Flexport tyres are available for all small and medium wheel loaders and integrated tool carriers from the 924F to the 962H. The tyres can be ordered in a 59x9x20.5 size and a larger 62x9x23.5 fitting, and both sizes are available new or remanufactured.

In the case of remanufactured Flexport tyres, the tyre uses 100% new rubber, only the steel rim is reused. This provides the same, as-new, service life expectancy as a new Flexport tyre and customers receive a core refund if the steel rim is undamaged when the time comes to change the tyre.

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