The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company has released a non-pneumatic, or airless, turf tire as a solution for users who desire worry-free performance. The tire is available as an upgrade option on Bad Boy Mowers' Outlaw XP, a zero-turn radius model, with expected availability in early 2018.
The technology is part of the company's strategy to develop maintenance-free technologies for passenger and commercial vehicles, particularly in fleet applications.
"The commercial release of this turf tire is an important step in our efforts to develop airless tire technology for a range of applications," said Christopher Helsel, Goodyear's chief technology officer. "As we look to a future where ridesharing and autonomous vehicles become mainstream, the demand for lower maintenance, longer lasting tires will continue to increase."
Goodyear has been developing non-pneumatic technologies since the 1970s when it participated in the design of tires for NASA's Apollo lunar roving vehicle, and in recent years in the development of a tire for future missions to Mars.
For this new application, the Goodyear TurfCommand with DuraWeb Technology is an optional fitment for the premium Bad Boy Mowers model. Goodyear's exclusive DuraWeb Technology has been in development for the past few years at the company's Innovation Center in Akron, and is being manufactured in the U.S., exclusively for Bad Boy Mowers.
Goodyear engineers and scientists incorporated feedback from field studies that included the Cleveland Metro Parks and with mower dealers, such as Beltz Lawn and Garden Equipment in Akron, Ohio and the team at Bad Boy Mowers to create a product for the benefit of the end-user.
The tire features a thermoplastic connecting structure that provides a unique combination of stiffness and flexibility to carry heavy loads while maintaining a smooth ride and minimizing turf tear. It was designed to deform, absorb impact, and create a smooth ride every time.