Ensuring the Stability of Large Wheel Loaders

Ensuring the Stability of Large Wheel Loaders

The Yokohama Y524, Y524Z, and Y545: Delivering Stability to Large Wheel Loaders

Large wheel loaders play an essential role in mining applications. These powerful machines are used for vital jobs such as digging, hauling, and loading materials. Stability is one of the primary challenges facing wheel loaders working in mining, as uneven terrain, shifting loads, raising/lowering buckets, and tires all work together to keep equipment in balance.

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Tips to Ensure the Stability of Wheel Loaders

Fortunately, everything from following a few best practices—like understanding straight tipping and full-turn static tipping loads, using counterweights, and proper operation—along with the right set of tires, can improve wheel loader stability.

Understand the Straight Tipping Load of Equipment

Straight tipping load (STL) is a pretty straightforward metric: it’s the weight a wheel loader can safely lift when in the straight position. As its name implies, exceeding the static tipping load of a machine can result in a loader tipping over. STL is determined by a number of factors, including axle position, counterweight, and center of gravity. Manufacturers publish the STL in the spec guide for their equipment.

Know the Full-Turn Static Tipping Load of Loaders

Although the straight tipping load of a wheel loader is valuable, these machines articulate, making it imperative to know the full-turn static tipping load (FTSTL) of a wheel loader, which is lower than STL. FTSTL is the amount of weight a wheel loader can lift when the wheel loader is fully articulated. Like STL, exceeding the FTSTL of a wheel loader can cause a machine to tip. Also similar to STL, manufacturers publish the FTSTL of their wheel loaders in their spec guides.

Use Counterweights

Counterweights can help improve the performance of wheel loaders. Counterweights help keep machines in balance when lifting and lowering loads and can increase a loader’s lift capacity, traction, and stability.

Proper Operation

Operators play a considerable role in ensuring the stability of equipment. There are a number of steps operators can take to avoid accidents like tipping or rollovers, the most important of which is to avoid carrying more than a machine’s maximum rated load. Other tips for operators include:

  • Transporting loads with the bucket close to the ground
  • Carrying half loads when working on steep hills or challenging terrain, like loose gravel
  • Taking the time to ensure stability and avoid accidents in demanding applications—sometimes slow is fast
  • Using techniques like traveling in reverse when carrying materials on steep ground to keep equipment's center of gravity stable 

Of course, wheel loader operators should remember to take other simple safety precautions to protect themselves and those around them. For example, operators should remember to wear their safety belts and vigilantly check that no one is around the machine when it’s working.

Yokohama Tires

Tires are another factor that contributes to the stability of wheel loaders. Not only can the right tire help stability, but it can also improve traction, reduce fuel consumption, decrease the odds of downtime, and provide a lower total cost of ownership. Three notable tire options include the Yokohama Y524, Yokohama Y524Z, and the Yokohama Y545, all of which feature bias construction and provide extremely stable platforms for large loaders to operate on.

Yokohama Y524

1The Yokohama Y524 is a bias tire engineered to provide long-lasting service and high performance to wheel loaders working in the most difficult mining and quarrying operations. The Y524 is an L-5 tire and features a super-tough rock tread pattern that is 2.5 times the depth of a standard OTR tire. The Y524 delivers exceptional resistance to cuts and abrasion in both the tread and sidewall.

The stiff bias construction of the Y524 makes it a particularly strong performer on loaders operating on hillsides and other terrain where stability is a priority. Bias tires are built with a crisscross pattern of overlapping body plies, which results in a tire with stiff sidewalls that excels on steep hillsides and rough terrain.

Benefits of the Yokohama Y524

• Very deep tread: 2.5x the tread of a standard OTR tire for excellent stability, durability, and long service life

• Rock tread pattern: protects against cuts associated with mining coal, rock, and ore

• Bias construction: for extra stability operating on hillsides and uneven terrain

• Side protector: helps prevent damage to the sidewall and shoulder area

• Special compounds: formulated to resist cuts and abrasion

Yokohama Y524Z

y524zThe Yokohama Y524Z is a bias tire built to thrive in demanding rock, coal, and ore mining applications. The Y524Z features a half-slick asymmetric tread pattern which delivers the benefits of two tire types in one versatile package: the traction of a rock-treaded tire and the abrasion resistance of a slick-treaded tire. An L-5 tire, the Y524Z packs 2.5 times the tread depth of a standard OTR tire.

The bias construction of the Y524Z further protects against downtime, as its thick sidewalls provide excellent resistance to cuts and tears. The tire’s thick, rigid sidewalls—courtesy of its bias construction—also provide stability to machines working on hillside applications.

Benefits of the Yokohama Y524Z

• Very deep tread: 2.5x the tread depth of a standard OTR tire for improved stability, reduced downtime, and longer service life in mining and quarrying applications

• Half-slick asymmetric tread pattern: provides the ideal balance of traction and protection

• Bias construction: for extra stability operating and sidewall protection

• Side protector: guards against damage to the sidewall and shoulder area

• Special compounds: designed to resist damage and extend tire life

Yokohama Y545

tire-image-2The Yokohama Y545 is also a bias tire designed to deliver long service life and stability to wheel loaders working in mining and quarrying applications. The Y545 is an L-4 tire with a rock tread pattern that is 1.5 times deeper than a standard OTR tire. L-4 tires like the Y545 help better manage heat (the greatest enemy of tires), while covering relatively longer distances for load, haul, and dump operations.

The robust and rigid sidewalls of bias tires like the Y545 make them an optimal choice for wheel loaders employed in applications on hillsides and uneven terrain where stability is of the essence. It’s here that the rigid bias construction can prevent swaying, lessen the chance of a rollover, and allow for a more secure-feeling operation.

Benefits of the Yokohama Y545

• Deep tread: 1.5x the tread depth of a standard OTR tire for superb stability and long wear in demanding mining and quarrying applications

• Rock tread pattern: delivers protection against cuts and tears

• Bias construction: for extra stability operating on hillsides and uneven terrain

• Side protector: guards against damage to the sidewall and shoulder area

• Special compounds: engineered for cut and abrasion resistance