Behind the Wheel is a blog created by Stellana for the wheel industry. Whether you are new to polyurethane wheels or have been in the business for a long time, this blog is a great tool for polyurethane education, industry safety, company news and updates, and much more.
Long Live the Stellana Tire: A remarkable life of 9,190.40 hours
How long will a polyurethane tire last? This is a hard question to answer, and the best answer would be "it depends" because the life is not the same for any two products. Our engineers can calculate estimates for how long they should last, but the material, tire size, load, speed, floor, and environmental conditions all play a factor.
What does a tire look like after 9190.40 hours of use? Take a look!
The pictured tire may be an outlier, but its life span is pretty impressive. Bill Rohan, Parts Manager at Trupar America, sent us this photo of a diamond grooved Gmax™ tire that was just shy of turning four years old while on the job. After being placed on the equipment October 15, 2015, this tire just retired July 2, 2019, with total usage of 9190.40 hours.
This tire's life in hours equates to 1 year and 18 days of use, but it was not running continuously. Impressively though, it was working around the clock approximately 47 hours a week over the last 193 weeks. This number, 9190.40, is over double a 4,000.00-hour life – which would be considered a good run. According to Bill, 4,000.00 hours are at the lower end of our brand’s average lifespan, and he’s seen quite a few over last 6,000.00 hours. Across the board, Stellana tires been seen to outlast the other tires in the market whether they last 4,000, 6,000 or 9,000+ hours.
Depending on the manufacturer, some lift trucks have an estimated life of 10,000 hours. According to a post by Toyota Material Handling – Northern California, "For a single-shift operation with an 8-hour workday, the average forklift runs 2,000 hours/ year. The average lifespan of a forklift is 10,000 hours, but this depends on the manufacturer". Meaning this Gmax™ tire could have lasted for much of the vehicle's life! Being relatively new to Stellana, it is hard for me to think that this tire was originally placed on the truck when I was a sophomore in college! After graduating and beginning my career, this seems like it was ages ago!
So, what does this mean?
This tire is an extreme example, but Stellana tires have been proven to last longer than other polyurethane tire brands both in lab testing and in the field. Beyond that, in controlled testing done by both Stellana and independent customers, we have all reached the same conclusion – Stellana tires outlast the others. Customers and dealers often share feedback that they have found our products to be the longest lasting in the field. Our tires are the premium product in the industry and are often associated with higher upfront costs, but the longevity of these products quickly offsets any price difference. In this instance, one Stellana tire spanned the life of what could have been four changeovers if another tire brand was used.
In addition to lower costs and downtime, fewer tire changeovers lessen environmental impacts when compared to the more frequently replaced products. Repurposing or "recycling" polyurethane tires creates a larger carbon footprint than discarding them does. For that reason, nearly all users discard the tires after use. Choosing a longer lasting tire is one of the most environmentally responsible actions you can take with a product of this nature.
This disposal conflict is not unique to our product. You may be surprised by the amount of flexible plastic packing that cannot be recycled. Single material recycling streams do not accept multiple resin structures. However, using lighter packaging has significantly less impact on the environment than the previously used rigid packaging because more goods can be shipped at once, the package’s weight decreases, it eliminates the need for secondary packaging, extends shelf life and so on. The environmental benefits of these package types outweigh the effects of the disposal for flexible packaging. Higher quality polyurethanes outlast their lower quality counterparts reducing the rate that these parts become landfill – while it may not be a perfect solution is the better alternative.
How could this affect dealers?
Going through fewer tires may seem unattractive to the dealers. Bill joked, "We cannot make any money off your product lasting this long, but we are keeping the customers happy." While tire sales may decrease, this adds value for our dealers. Rather than spending the time and resources on warranty issues and paperwork, more time can be allocated towards selling other products and keeping the customers happy so that they continue their sourcing through you. For more information about our tires and the benefits of long-lasting, high-quality polyurethanes contact us today!
Have you had any components last exceptionally long on your equipment? We'd love to hear about it! Comment below with your story and subscribe to our blog for additional success stories, tips, industry, and company insights.
Stellana US is a world-class manufacturer of solution-oriented polyurethane wheels, tires, and custom parts. Stellana provides solutions for several industries, including material handling, automation technology, construction, and more!
To learn more about our capabilities at Stellana, visit us at our website.
John Sullivan, Toyota Material Handling – Northern California
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