A case skid steer loader fitted with Tweels from GKN and Michelin
GKN Wheels has unveiled an airless tyre solution for skid steer loaders, called the Tweel.
The tyre is a single, fully-integrated unit, developed to replace the traditional tyre, wheel and valve assembly.
GKN says the Tweel is the result of a four-year collaborative research and development programme with Michelin.
The team’s brief, says GKN, was to deliver a robust, high-performance and long-life wheel and the answer was to design a wheel that forms a mechanical bond with the tyre, as opposed to the traditional chemical bond.
The Tweel features spider disc tines and an eight-hole, high-grade steel hub, making it stiffer than a traditional wheel and allowing it to cope with different stresses imposed on a completely integrated unit.
Once the unit is bolted to the vehicle, there is no need for any wheel and tyre mounting and no air pressure to maintain.
Aaron Dahl, GKN Wheels’ Chief Engineer, Americas, said: “It’s really exciting to see this innovative new product now in operation, with huge credit going to the joint project team that turned a vision into reality. Bringing together our expertise in wheels with Michelin’s expertise in tyres has proved to be a winning combination.
Dahl said the Tweel delivers significant benefits for skid steer loaders, which typically operate in the most demanding and challenging environments, as it eliminates the risk of punctures, reduces down-time, improves efficiency and ultimately reduces cost of ownership for contractors and rental fleet operators.