If you are a heavy equipment operator and one of your pieces of equipment suddenly gets a flat tire, this unexpected downtime becomes costly. This blog post will explore the potential usefulness of a commercial grade heavy duty tractor tire sealant for off-road heavy equipment tires.
To be useful, there are certain parameters and features that a quality heavy duty tire sealant must provide. A tire sealant should be able to seal a puncture quickly, it should lower tire temperatures, prevent rim rust, prevent bead welds, and be operational during cold weather. A quality tire puncture sealant is made up of specialized suspended fibers suspended in a complex liquid solution. Take the example of a logger working deep in a forest and suddenly one of his pieces of equipment gets a flat. Without a tire sealant, the logger is forced to wait around for the tire to be repaired, and all the while his equipment is sitting idle. The cost of this idleness can be huge. Utilizing a heavy duty tire sealant could reduce flats caused by punctures in the tread area by up to 50%.
Consider, beyond the puncture in the tread area, what would would be the cost if the tire bead is unfortunately welded to the rim? Trying to separate the tire bead from the rim without damaging the tire bead can be extremely difficult. Certain tire sealant manufacturers make claims that utilizing a properly formulated tire sealant can virtually eliminate the possibility of a tire bead welding itself to the rim. If your equipment utilizes some very large tires, you obviously know that replacing such tires unnecessarily due to bead welds can cost anywhere from $5,000 to $20,000 per tire. If this issue could potentially be avoided, considering the use of a heavy duty tractor tire sealant can make a lot of sense to a heavy equipment operator’s bottom line.
Another potential benefit in the utilization of a commercial grade tire sealant would be reducing temperatures in a tire while in operation. Large off-road tires can generate huge extreme temperatures throughout the day, especially during the hot summer months. These large tires are being exposed to extreme internal temperatures day in and day out, leading to the rubber becoming less and less pliable. Also, these temperatures eventually lead to rust, corrosion, and bead welding. Properly formulated tire sealants are designed to vastly lower internal tire temperatures. By keeping temperatures down, the tire life is vastly extended, which contributes to less downtime and cost savings.
Many tire sealants on the market are nothing more than a quick fix and must be removed once the puncture is manually repaired. Many lower grade tire sealants can be difficult to remove from the tire and these are ones to avoid. A proper heavy duty tire sealant is designed to stop punctures and leaks by forming a pliable plug. This plug prevents a loss of air from the tire. In fact, these specialized tire sealants are so good that there is no need to remove the tire for fixing the plug. Another area to consider when choosing a tire sealant is its ability to work in cold temperatures. Be sure the tire sealant was designed to work in cold temperatures. Such a tire sealant typically utilizes a specially formulated anti-freeze.
One thing to note: tire sealants for heavy equipment do have their limitations. Such a product is not recommended to be installed in tires for over-the-road use if speeds are exceeding 45 mph. Understand, if a tire sealant is used, you’re adding the solution inside the tire, so any speeds above 45 mph could cause imbalance issues at higher speeds. Additionally, speeds above 45 mph could negatively effect the sealant’s ability to seal a puncture at higher speeds. For heavy equipment that is run at less than 45 mph speeds, such a product would be useful to a maintenance program.
If your operation runs tractors, lawnmowers, fork lifts, garbage trucks, logging equipment, golf carts, farm equipment, excavators, etc., flat tires caused by punctures can be a frustrating occurrence. Can a commercial grade heavy duty tractor tire sealant really be worth the investment? Well, based on how much there is to lose if equipment is down due to a punctured tire or how much is unnecessarily lost if a tire is destroyed because the bead of the tire was welded to the rim, then investing in a heavy duty tire sealant might be the low cost solution to greatly reducing downtime and tire expenses.