Superior Tire & Rubber Corporationhas launched the Next Generation line of polyurethane load wheels branded Velocity™. This patent-pending product, redesigned and reengineered, promises to deliver a longer work-life by keeping the bearings and polyurethane cooler through its new innovative hub design.
Over the last 12 months, Superior Tire has been in advanced trials at several of the country’s largest distribution centers where significant longevity and productivity improvements were reported. “Heat is the enemy for tires and wheels, shortening work-life of bearings, tire compounds, and the bonding systems of solid tires,” says Joe Peterson, Ph.D., VP of Engineering & Quality at Superior Tire. “Traditional solid steel wheels don’t effectively dissipate the heat generated during use and they cool slowly even after the vehicle stops. The new hubs help manage the thermal energy generated by the tire, creating a better performing wheel.” Superior Tire’s team of engineers took a common technology found in radiators and computer components and applied it to load wheels, allowing the Velocity™ to limit and maintain a reduced maximum operating temperature thereby prolonging work-life by up to 100% against traditional wheels. They are calling it HeatSink™ technology.
In addition to extending work-life, Velocity™ wheels are approximately 70% lighter than traditional load wheels, not only providing an ergonomic advantage for techs and field staff but also saving in shipping. “The lightweight has no effect on carrying capacity – in the case of traditional solid steel wheels, that excess material is just wasted mass”, states Dr. Peterson. Superior Tire ran dozens of durability tests and found the Velocity™ wheel can easily support more weight than the bearings can hold. A video of one of these tests can be found here: Velocity™ Compression Test
As with any industry-changing technology, there is one caveat – Velocity™ wheels are currently only available for the most popular 5-inch market sizes for Crown, Raymond, and Hyster-Yale Class-2 equipment. Superior Tire is currently applying this technology to other sizes to fit all makes and models with the goal of 4-inch and 6-inch load wheels mid to late 2022.
“This is truly an exciting time on our industry with the overall growth of the market and fleets/operators demanding longer-lasting equipment. It’s the perfect time to bring a Next Generation solution to our dealers and OEM partners.”, says Jared Steier – VP of Material Handling Sales and Marketing. “The Velocity™ wheel is a perfect tangible example of our slogan – Engineering Revolution.”