Product report

Michelin has taken its three-block XHA loader tire pattern to the next generation. The resulting XHA2 tire offers 5 to 10 percent more life than its predecessor, 9 percent additional tread depth, and an increase of traction in muddy conditions, according to Bruce Besancon, market development manager for Michelin’s construction division.

“Sidewall damage is an end user’s biggest concern,” Besancon says. According to a 2008 Michelin survey, other top tire concerns for North American tire customers are tread life, tread damage resistance and traction. Michelin has addressed these with the XHA2 in the following ways:

· The tire’s new shoulder ridge and additional sidewall protection are designed to improve resistance to impacts and cuts.
· The wider, flatter tire has a 9 percent deeper tread than its predecessor, leading to longer tire life. The tread design is also self-cleaning, expelling earth caught between tread blocks.
· A new belt design facilitates retreading.
· Crack-resistant rubber compounds encourage cuts and splits to move on a horizontal plane instead of deeper into the tire.
· By changing the geometry of the three-block tread group on the tire, the entire center tread block is always in contact with the ground, giving the tire a 9 percent increase of traction while working in muddy conditions.

Although whole body vibrations are not regulated in the United States as they are in Europe, they can still be an operator comfort factor. Michelin says the XHA2 – with its slightly asymmetrical tread that provides gradual contact with the ground – reduces tire-originating vibrations by 50 percent compared to its predecessor. Target markets include loaders working in construction, quarries and cement plants.