The harsh working conditions often encountered by earthmover vehicles—and the tire damage opportunities that subsequently arise—has prompted tire supply and service company Kal Tire to further develop its “fendering” process for earthmover tires.

“The sidewall of a tire is a large exposed area and, at the same time, is the thinnest part of the tire,” said Wayne Cornell, Kal Tire’s U.K. and Africa manufacturing manager. “In harsh working environments this area is more susceptible to damage as the sidewall makes contact with objects—so the logical solution has always been to protect the sidewall by fendering.”

The improved fendering process is being implemented as the company (formerly OTR Tires Ltd.) completes its integration with North American parent company Kal Tire, which now claims to be the world’s largest earthmover and mining tire service company, with operations in North, Central and South America, Europe, Africa and Australia.

“Without going into too much detail, we have gone from the initial manually applied ‘slab’ process to a totally automated ‘strip build’ process, allowing for continuous compound application, with width and depth of rubber to suit vehicle and working environment,” said Cornell.

Kal Tire believes some elements of its process are unique. “With results proving so positive, we are now regularly being asked to fender new, first life tires, especially for the harsher working environments,” Cornell said.

The retread manufacturing plant at the company’s Alfreton headquarters houses specialist equipment for retreading and remolding earthmover tires, including the capacity to retread 57-in.-diameter tires.