A Shock to the System

When an Off-the-Road (OTR) equipment operator climbs into the cab to log in his eight to ten-hour shift, little does he know that the rougher the ride, the higher the probability his body might be incurring serious physical damage.

If the equipment that he is driving – typically for 5-6 days a week, 12 months out of the year – is equipped with solid aperture tires vs. polyurethane-filled pneumatics, the operator may be exposed to a rough and jolting ride phenomenon referred to as Solid Shock. Daily exposure to Solid Shock – the industry terminology used to describe the repetitive harsh impact of g-force vibration transmission to equipment and operators – can cause headaches, lower back pain and fatigue. Prolonged exposure may cause serious muscular/skeletal and neurological impact… which many field operators in the construction, mining and material handling industries aren’t even aware.

Solid Shock is an offspring of Whole Body Vibration (WBV) which is the repeated occupational exposure and jarring to the human body from the use of heavy equipment. Addressing the negative effects of WBV, unfortunately, hasn’t been a real priority of the industry over the past decades, but the effects are measurable.

WBV can cost companies who rent or own heavy equipment time, money and manpower due to employee absences, jobsite injuries, or lowered job performance as a result of excessive fatigue. When it becomes a chronic condition, WBV can cause muscular-skeletal, neurological or spinal injury which may result in worker’s compensation claims.

Not only is WBV a “shock” to the operator, but it can also cause serious damage to an OTR fleet. Constant vibrations can hasten premature fatigue and wear on tear on equipment – damaging suspension systems (including axles and other expensive parts) and causing early equipment denigration that’s entirely avoidable. When operators are impaired and equipment suffers from early, and unnecessary, deterioration – there’s only one result: Operators quickly lose valuable resources that set them behind in their production schedule… and their profitability.

There’s an answer for all of this that’s simple and cost-effective: using polyurethane-filled pneumatics instead of solid aperture tires.

Tire fill, known in the industry as foam fill, is a shock absorbing, flatproofing alternative to solid tires, which helps to prevent the harmful effects of Solid Shock and its unwanted companion – Whole Body Vibration. Tire fill is a polyurethane liquid that is pumped into pneumatic tires to replace the air with a resilient, synthetic elastomer core that eliminates flat tires and provides a smoother and safer ride.

Recent testing confirmed that polyurethane filled pneumatics transfers significantly less g-force than solid aperture tires. The testing measurably validated that TyrFil™, Accella’s branded foam fill line, offers better shock absorption and a more comfortable, safer ride – something that should be imperative to OTR operators concerned with protecting their people and their equipment. The full results of the independent studies can be viewed here: www.carlisletyrfil.com/no-more-solid-shock/.

For additional information, please visit www.carlisletyrfil.com.

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