OTR, the most competitive, cost-oriented tyre sector

OTR, the most competitive, cost-oriented tyre sector

The production of Off the Road Tyres,” commonly called “OTR”, requires special know-how as it is a huge tyre segment and never forgives manufacturing faults. Failures leading to tyre losses in production or on the part of the customer are always problematic due to manufacturing defects. On the other hand, the use of such tyres by mining companies requires special care and attention to protect and extend the life of the tyres

By Ertugrull Bahan, Senior Tyre Expert

The OTR tyre sector is a unique segment that requires a very special experience for both manufacturers and users. It is never the driver of the entyre tyre sales. Investments in infrastructure, construction and mining are drivers of OTR sales. The current total sales of 15 billion US dollars account for only 1/8 of the global tyre market. However, the OTR segment is always known for tyre brands that demonstrate their technological capabilities. They show significant growth momentum and gain more market share, offer more flexibility under heavy load in difficult conditions and reduce fuel consumption. Their longer life and better traction are their superiority.

OTR manufacturers should always be aware of changing market trends and keep their production line flexible enough to meet the specific customer requirements of OEMs in particular. Tyre manufacturers should be able to minimize the time of product delivery and the requirements date.

If the world economy does better, it will create great opportunities for mining and selling OTR tyres. The global annual growth rate of the OTR tyre segment is 2%, along with a developing part of the world where the annual growth rate is about 5%. Only choosing the right tyres will improve the business in the OTR segment. The goal is to lower the costs of tyres and thus optimize profitability. Today, the main operating costs for fleets and gross vehicles are the fuel and then the tyres. The costs that come from the tyres can be controlled and bring more opportunity costs. OTR is a unique segment that barely gives cheap tyres a chance and usually regrets the results

Most cost-oriented tyre segment

One way of using OTR tyres could be to buy and own the tyres, and secondly, to complete a B-to-B contract and pay the cost per mile. In this case, the tyre manufacturer is responsible for downtime of the fleet due to lack of tyre supply or failure. In the end, the life of tyre manufacturers becomes more difficult. Customers always specify limited tolerances for tyre failure or problems.

Not only the initial and the tyre costs per mile are the concern of all tyre users, also the additional or lower fuel consumption after a brand change is a big concern. Fleet and mining companies always have the ability to compare the total tyre cost and fuel consumption per mile. Being able to survive in these tyre segments is becoming increasingly difficult for tyre manufacturers. The vehicle manufacturing techniques are improving so fast that the problems with vehicle parts are less than with the previous generation. So the same is expected from the tyre.

OTR segment specialty

The production of Off the Road Tyres”, commonly called “OTR”, requires special know-how as a huge tyre segment and never forgives manufacturing faults. 27.00R49.33.00R51, 40.00R57 and 46 / 90R57 are becoming increasingly popular, which until very few years ago were rare. Such sizes of tyre weight vary between 4 and 8 tons. Failures leading to tyre losses in production or on the part of the customer are always problematic due to manufacturing defects. On the other hand, the use of such tyres by mining companies requires special care and attention to protect and extend the life of the tyres. Correct pressure and maintenance are more important for these giant tyres than for other tyre segments.

A longer carcass life is more important for a huge group of tyres than for the lower segments, as the tyres should be retreaded several times. A 7-year-old tyre carcass might suppose to be retreaded after the 3rd retread, even if some major repairs have been made. Ensuring retreaded tyre performance is another specialty in the tyre business. In most cases, the original company name of the carcass maker is not written, but the name of the retreading company is on the stage. However, the first retreading of OTR tyres is generally under the warranty of the tyre manufacturer. Tyre manufacturers generally observe vehicle fleet, mining and tyre maintenance capabilities to provide comments on tyre renewal reports.

The correct tyre pressure, transport speed, load per tyre, and road surface maintenance are four basic parameters for the carcass durability of the OTR tyre group. No one can say that one of the above parameters is more critical than the others, but all are time dependent. If one is not correct and gets out of tolerance and takes up the entire operating time of a day, the tyre can be lost the next day. Heavy cuts and extreme heat are enemies of these segments of tyres for a longer life.

Competition opportunities in the OTR segment

New tread patterns that optimize wear, cut resistance, traction and fuel economy are more demanding than they were yesterday. Sophisticated computer simulation techniques should be used to minimize the try-and-error cycle. Original size tests are almost impossible with giant tyres. OTR tyre manufacturers compete with regard to tread and sidewall durability as a prerequisite cut damage while significantly enhancing retreading performance. Everything is far away from the classic tyre design.

High performance can only be achieved with high performance compounds using nanomaterials or nanocomposites with improved thermal and mechanical stability. The R & D work of many tyre manufacturers focuses on graphene, single wall nanotubes, nanoclay and nanocellulose. OTR tends to use these new generation materials. The studies will ultimately lead to better composite performance than of the RSS. The same is possible with carbon black, which will compete sooner or later with nanoadditive mixtures.

Mobility megatrends of such as autonomous vehicles, connectivity and electrification are being reconciled with sensor-based, improved tyre and equipment integration systems that allow longer life and lower costs. This corresponds to the possibilities in the OTR tyre segment.


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