Nokian Heavy Tyres, Nokia, Finland- Railway use sets special demands for a backhoe loader tire. Half of the tire is on metal, which can cause uneven wear and shorten the tire life. Nokian Tyres has been perfecting a special tire for railway use for several years, and now the unique Nokian Ground King Semi-Slick tire variant solves many problems that were previously typical when using a backhoe loader on railroads.
In 2019, Nokian Tyres released Nokian Ground Kare - an excellent all-round tire for wheeled excavators and backhoe loaders working on soft surfaces. At the same time, there was a release of a tire variant that is optimized for very special purpose: working on railroads. Since then, Nokian Tyres has developed the concept even further, resulting in the new Nokian Ground Kare Semi-Slick tire.'When a backhoe loader is driven on rails, the tire shoulders that run on metal tend to wear out quickly', says Kimmo Kekki, Product Manager at Nokian Tyres. 'The Nokian Ground Kare Semi-Slick tire variant is designed with this particular use on mind. We have managed to even out the tire wear, improving the service life significantly.'
Different looks, long service life
The Nokian Ground Kare Semi-Slick tire looks special with a slick section covering about third of the tire tread. The other half shares the same advanced block pattern found in the standard Nokian Ground Kare excavator tire.
'The patterned part of the tire still works well on soft soil and road transports', says Kimmo Kekki. 'But the slick part with a thick solid rubber shoulder really takes the grinding of steel under a heavy machine, making sure the tire won't wear out prematurely.'
The reports by users prove that the tire holds up very well. 'After nearly 1,300 hours of use, the semi-slick area has still no signs of wear', says Norwegian Nils Arne Mikkelsen, Construction Manager at Infranord Norge. 'The tires give a very good overall impression.'
Steady and stable
For added protection against cuts and cracks, the Nokian Ground Kare tire family also has a steel belt under the tread. The tire carcass is developed with good shock-absorbing properties in mind. 'In any excavating and loading work, the tire stability is essential', Kimmo Kekki points out. 'Swinging makes the accurate control of the bucket more difficult and less effective.'
The Nokian Ground Kare Semi-Slick tire also has one of the highest load-bearing capacities in the market. 'The backhoe loaders are getting bigger and heavier', says Kekki. 'Also, many special jobs require heavy work attachments that require stable foundation from tires.
Even a highly specialized tire should also be comfortable on the road. Here the Nokian Ground Kare Semi-Slick tire really shines. 'Today, you must keep up with the traffic speed', Kimmo Kekki reminds. 'The Nokian Ground Kare Semi-Slick tire has bigger tread blocks in the center that allow a fast, steady ride.'
What's more, the same shock-absorbing structure that makes working more stable also reduces vibrations on road transports.
'Nokian Tyres creates special tires for special needs', Kimmo Kekki sums up their design philosophy. 'The Nokian Ground Kare Semi-Slick tire is a good example of our out-of-the-box thinking that results in a new kind of solution to a known problem. The improved stability, load-bearing capacity and service life will make railway work more efficient.'