Global off-the road (OTR) tyre heavyweight, Balkrishna Industries Ltd. (BKT) has announced that it will soon go into the testing phase with its new 57-inch giant Earthmax SR 468 tyre developed for rigid dump trucks.
The Indian multinational said the prototype of the huge tyre is ready and has been made in the 40.00 R 57 size, with tests to commence shortly by BKT engineers, which will go on until at least spring next year. The new tyre joins BKT’s large Earthmax family of radial tyres for off-road vehicles equipped with all-steel structures which provide greater resistance to the casing and hence against damage.
According to BKT, a special feature of the Earthmax SR 468 is the tread design and the compound developed to limit heat generation. The E-4 depth of the tread provides extreme resistance in highly challenging conditions, said the manufacturer.
BKT said in an announcement that the new tooling required to manufacture the Earthmax SR 468 was delivered to its plant in Bhuj, Gujarat, in January, but was installed only after full operations resumed following a temporary shutdown due to Covid-19. The new machines to manufacture the new tyre were installed by BKT engineers with online support from the supplier.
Rajiv Poddar, joint managing director, BKT, said: “Despite the pandemic and the extreme difficulties caused by the situation, in BKT we achieved the impossible: going ahead very determinedly but with a similar focus on people, who for us are the company’s real assets. With this giant 57” tire, the prototype of which has been made thanks to the extraordinary determination of my fellow workers, we wish to send a positive message to the market, to our partner distributors and to our end users. In BKT, research and development into new products which help the company evolve but also the whole sector has not stopped. Thanks to enthusiasm and know-how, BKT always finds new ways to grow, even in the most complex situations.”
Dilip Vaidya, president and director of technology, BKT, said: “At this time we must call on all our strength, energy and all our creativity. That is what drives BKT’s initiatives and also its products. The giant tyre will now be subject to the most rigorous testing up to the spring of 2021, until we are sure we have achieved the highest possible level of quality and reliability, as always. Only when we are absolutely sure we can offer our users the best Earthmax SR 468 possible, will we officially launch the new 57” tyre.”