Graders are capricious equipment when it comes to tires. Could it be worse if a side blade is added to a grader? The answer is obvious when we look at this picture.
For our northern climate, snow clearers and government bodies are trying to make their equipment versatile, so they can use them all year long. Talking of which, I recently met a user who had added a side blade to his grader and… his tires wear quickly. Here are the reasons why:
- The side blade adds resistance when pushing snow. If you look at this picture, you can see that the rear tires try to compensate the lateral thrust by inclining towards the inside. As a result, the tires will show uneven wear at the end of their life. In this particular case, the left rear tire will be worn on the outside, while the right rear tire will be worn on the inside. In extreme cases, there will be wear or even cuts on the beads of these tires (bead wear).
- The side blade adds extra weight on one side only. It therefore makes it impossible to have the same radius from one side to the other and to adjust our ratios. If the side blade of the grader is little used, it is better to over-inflate the tires on the blade side. Inversely, if the blade is used on a regular basis, the tires need to be under-inflated on this side since when the blade is used, there is less weight on that side.
In any case, the tires will wear more quickly and unevenly when a side blade is added to a grader. To minimize this impact, I recommend you to review your habits to properly adjust the pressures and especially encourage your operators to work while considering the additional strain on the equipment and adjust the force exerted on the side blade. Insufficient force on the blade side will add a considerable load on the tires on this side and conversely, a great force (ground pressure) will make the tires slide.
Have a nice summer!
Daniel Marleau – CEO LanOTR