Profiles of earth-moving tyres

Earth-moving tyres (OTR – off the road) is a collective name given to tyres used on large machines. Such machines are mostly used in the construction, road-building and mining industries, where hardened roads are few and far between. These circumstances place extra demands on resistance, grip and durability. But profile depth is also important and can be selected separately (depending on the area of deployment).

Various area-specific profiles are available. These profiles have been designed to offer effective traction (grip) and terrain compatibility (‘flotation’), and are able to resist damage, incisions, heat and wear & tear. There are five basic profiles for earth-moving tyres.
In fact, type of machine, nature of activities and condition of the terrain determine which tyres will be selected. And formulas can be used to generally calculate life-span (ton-mile-per-hour) and deployability (‘work capacity’). However, if the wrong tyres are selected, this could make activities more difficult to perform, lead to extra expenses and present additional risks. 

Rock profile

Tyres with this profile are used in rocky surroundings, where extra resistance against damage and incisions is required. This gives tyres a large and very durable contact surface.
These types of earth-moving tyres are characterised by S-shaped (zig-zag) profile rows and grooves, which go from left to right on the tyre, thus perpendicular to the driving direction.

This profile type, which is non-directional, has another version with extra contact surface: the linked rock profile. In this case, the S-shaped profile rows are connected to each other along the centre line of the tyre. This version is thus more robust and subject to less wear & tear. In general, both versions are the two most popular profiles for earth-moving tyres.

Profile thickness/Profile depth

According to the international guidelines of the TRA, there are 3 general classifications for profile thickness and depth. They are: regular profile, deep profile and extra deep profile.

Deep profiles are an average of 1.5 times thicker than normal profiles; extra deep profiles are 2.5 times thicker than normal profiles; the latter thus indicates standard thickness. The thicker the profile, the more effective it is at resisting incisions and damage, and the greater its durability (sustainability).
Overview of the possibilities:
- Extra deep profile: L-5, L-5S
- Deep profile: E-4, L-4, L-4S
- Standard profile: E-2, E-3, G-2, G-3, L-2, L-3

Traction profile

Earth-moving tyres with a traction profile are always directional tyres. Therefore, it is important to pay attention to assembly when mounting them on wheels. The profile structure of these tyres results in very good traction.

Block profile

Compared to other earth-moving tyres on the market, earth-moving tyres with a block profile generally have a relatively large profile width and (more) rounded shoulders

The advantage of a block-profile tyre is that equally distributed or row-based blocks result in a relatively large contact surface. If heavy loads need to be transported, this only places relatively low pressure on the ground and flotation qualities remain intact
This tyre is ideal for use on soft, middy ground. 

Without profile (slick)

As the name suggestions, tyres without a profile do not have any grooves, indentations, etc. other than the two narrow grooves on the shoulder, which serve as indicators for wear and tear. Such tyres offer maximum resistance against wear and incisions, and are often used in road-building when smoothing and/or flattening surfaces or when rolling roads. They are also used on wheel loaders in the mining industry because they offer high resistance against damage and excellent robustness.