The 5 Biggest Tires on Earth

The tires we deal with in our day-to-day material handling and manufacturing operations are no match for the hulking rubber monstrosities on this list. Here are five of the largest tires ever produced.

BKT Monster Truck Tires

BKT is the exclusive tire partner for Monster Jam, the world’s largest organizer of monster truck spectator events. From Gravedigger to El Toro Loco, all the monster trucks in Monster Jam are equipped with BKT’s larger-than-life monster truck tires. These tires must be exceptionally durable to stand up to the high-flying acrobatics and punishment delivered by a fleet of 10,000-pound trucks each night. Over five feet tall and nearly 4 feet wide, these monsters are bigger than anything you’re likely to see on your local streets—but they’re downright shrimpy compared to the tires to come on this list.

Firestone Alaska Tundra Tires (Bigfoot 5 Tires)

Originally developed for use with a specialized vehicle called a “Snow Train,” these enormous Firestone tires found their way onto the Bigfoot 5—which holds records as the world’s heaviest, tallest, and widest pickup truck. The truck began its life as a Ford F-250, which was designed specifically with these 10-foot-tall, 2,400-pound tires in mind.

The 63” Titan Tire

Manufactured by Titan Tire Corporation in Bryan, Ohio, this beast is considered by some to be the world’s largest mass-produced tire—and it certainly lives up to its manufacturer’s moniker. Notably, the 63” name refers to the diameter of the rim this tire is placed upon, not the size of the tire itself, which weighs a whopping 12,500 pounds and stands at 14 feet tall. This massive tire is among the most popular and durable brands used for industrial mining equipment.

The Firestone 707057SRG

Manufactured exclusively for the LeTourneau L2350 Loader—the largest loader in the world—Firestone also lays claim to the title of “world’s largest tire” with these 13-foot diameter, 8-ton giants. These massive earth-moving monsters carry a price tag as big as their girth, coming in at a whopping $135,000 USD each.

The Uniroyal Giant Tire

Though it’s technically the world’s biggest tire, you won’t see this behemoth rolling down the road anytime soon. Constructed by the Uniroyal Tire company for the 1964 World Fair in New York, this “tire” is in fact a highly imaginative ferris wheel. Over 2 million people are said to have ridden this gargantuan tire-shaped attraction, which was designed by the architect of the Empire State Building. Today, the Uniroyal Giant Tire rests in Allen Park Michigan, where it is situated near a freeway as a roadside attraction.

Big or small, UMD has the state-of-the-art material handling systems you’ll need to get your tires where they’re going. Contact us today to discuss a custom-built system designed to meet your unique needs.

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5 Tips for Improved Warehouse Efficiency

 

Achieving maximum efficiency is of the utmost importance in operating a modern warehouse. As any experienced warehouse manager can tell you, improving efficiency reduces overall costs. What’s more, there is a strong relationship between customer retention and warehouse efficiency—not to mention the implications for employee safety.

If you believe your warehouse processes are due for an overhaul, here are a few common areas concerning overall efficiency that you could consider:

Review Existing Processes

To identify inefficiencies in your warehouse, it may be necessary to examine your longstanding processes with fresh eyes. Are you doing certain things because they are the most efficient way, or because “that’s how we’ve always done it?” Identify any areas where workflow, storage, etc. may be slowing you down and make changes accordingly.

Rethink Layout

With commercial real estate prices at an all-time high, it’s more important than ever to make the most of your existing workspace. Make the most of your available storage footprint by building upward. Increasing vertical storage could improve your inventory capacity exponentially.

Additionally, give careful thought to right-of-way lanes for all powered reach equipment. Having a standardized flow for order pickers, forklifts, and other such equipment is crucial to maintaining employee safety, which is directly tied to the overall productivity of your team.

Incentivize Staff

Introducing a quota system tied to bonuses and incentives for your team can greatly boost employee productivity. If implemented correctly, these programs pay for themselves and then some, and give workers a personal stake in promoting efficiency.

Be Mindful of Inventory

Inventory management is the cornerstone of an efficient warehouse. An experienced inventory manager and/or a well-implemented inventory management software can help reduce costly over/understock headaches. Modern inventory management technologies also allow you to forecast product demand well ahead of time. Create a standardized review process to track trends in inventory, taking metrics such as a product’s average turnover rate, days spent in the warehouse, and gross profit tied to items in storage.

Implement Technology

Through nearly every stage of a warehouse’s operations, automation offers solutions to improve efficiency. Through our ongoing commitment to research & development, UMD can custom design and manufacture equipment specific to the specifications and needs of your supply chain, ensuring your operation is as efficient as possible.

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Building Resilience into Your Supply Chain

As recent widespread disruptions have shown, the global supply chain network can be a fragile thing. In the 2021 MHI Annual Industry Report, MHI President Bill Paxton outlined the importance of building resilience into supply chains. As Paxton notes, companies who had integrated digital technologies into their supply chain processes were far better equipped to weather the pandemic, and even thrive in face of the challenges of the previous year-plus.

The entire supply chain industry is scrambling to incorporate the digital technologies that bolster resilience and adaptability. Here are just a few of the major advantages offered by new technologies to help your supply chain survive unforeseen challenges in the future.

Combat Labor Shortages

One of the enduring problems brought about by the pandemic is the continuing labor shortage. Though conditions in the labor market will likely normalize in time, that reality does little to remedy ongoing slowdowns in your supply chain.

Though some jobs will always need a human touch, automating certain tasks can ease some of the pain caused by flagging job market. Automation provides a reliable solution no matter how unstable the employment picture becomes.

Make the Most of Your Current Property & Facilities

Another harsh reality of our modern era is the rapidly rising cost of real estate. With prices soaring to unprecedented levels, your business would be better served to make the most of its existing space before expanding to new facilities.

Automation reduces the space needed to maintain efficient supply chain processes vs human-led operations. Before Sinking millions into top-of-the-market real estate or a new warehouse, consider the return on investment that consolidating operations in your existing footprint could bring.

Predictability

The adaptability of human employees in a warehouse setting once held a big advantage over automated systems. With cloud computing driving so much of today’s commerce, it’s easier than ever to predict market trends and the needs of consumers before they even happen. This means your supply chain must be faster and more efficient than ever to keep up. This is where the natural reliability of machine systems can provide a huge advantage. Machines are where you need them, when you need them.

UMD’s custom designed and manufactured equipment is built to your specific requirements and specifications, giving your supply chain the ever-important resilience needed to survive in the face of unpredictable modern challenges.

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Package Transportation from Start to Finish

Today, people depend on shipping companies to deliver everyday goods directly to their homes. From online shopping to commercial shipping, these companies provide invaluable logistics services that help keep the economy moving.

Thanks to the efforts of online retailers and their shipping partners, getting consumer goods where they are needed is faster and easier than ever before. But have you ever wondered the steps it takes for a package to arrive at your doorstep from its source?

Once an order is placed, the warehouse where your goods are stored is notified. A worker (or in some cases, a robotic picker) will use a bin number to track down the selected item from the bin where it is stored. A barcode on the bin will be scanned and the item added to the appropriate order.

After ensuring that the selected item is accurate for the given order, the items in your order are routed to a packing station. Again, this process might be executed by associates in the warehouse or be fully automated.

Once packed, shipping is negotiated with the supplier’s shipping company of choice, and postage is applied. The package is now ready to be placed in another bin for outgoing orders or palletized and loaded onto a truck, depending on the size of the items.

Finally, the carrier picks up the order, processes the package through its own system of warehouses, and sends the order out on a truck destined for your door. The package will undergo scans throughout each step of this process to enable tracking.

Obviously, this is a simplified breakdown of the steps necessary to get a package from point A to B. Many operations will rely heavily on automation, taking the human element out of almost every step. No matter what means are used to convey a shipment, materials handling systems are a vital component of any shipping operation.

UMD Package Transport Systems ensure that boxes and totes move through the distribution process efficiently and accurately with every package in the right place at the right time. Our completely integrated systems maintain a consistent flow of product without delays, back-ups, or damage.

UMD is on the leading edge of self-contained, electronically controlled trailer conveyor systems designed for just-in-time delivery of boxes, totes, and palletized products. Our trailer systems are designed to match plant receiving systems without the use of manual handling. UMD also reconditions or retrofits existing transportation fleets to satisfy unique or changing shipping needs.

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Understanding Bulk Material Handling

From conveyor belts and screw conveyors to stackers and bucket elevators, bulk handling systems come into play in a variety of industries. To put it simply, bulk handling systems are utilized in any field in which a large quantity of dry material needs moved from one place to another. From the sugar in your breakfast cereal to the polymers in your car’s tires and even the gravel used to build the road itself, bulk handling has an impact on countless facets of our daily lives.

To better understand the impact of bulk handling in modern society, let’s take a look at some of the many fields which rely to these systems as part of their operation.

Ore and Minerals

The raw materials used to create steel for construction and manufacturing comes from unrefined ore mined deep within the earth. The same is true for the minerals needed to produce microprocessors used in smartphones and other devices. Without material handling systems to move them, the raw materials for all of our modern technology would be about as useful as a rock in the ground.

Sand and Gravel

More than just the stuff in your driveway or your kid’s sandbox, gravel and sand are important construction materials needed to ensure proper grade and drainage for roadways and structures. These materials are among the most common goods moved by various bulk handling solutions.

Sugar

Americans consume about 11 million metric tons of sugar each year. To bring a spoonful of sugar from its raw cane form to your cup of coffee, the commodity must first undertake multiple trips across numerous material handling platforms.

Corn

As an alternative to sugar, corn finds its way into most of the sweets enjoyed in the US in the form of high fructose corn syrup. Corn is also utilized in the petroleum industry, with a portion of the gas found at every pump made up of some percentage of corn ethanol. Corn and other grains are also essential in the diet of animals raised for human consumption, not to mention as the raw ingredients in most beer and liquor produced around the world. With so many goods coming from a single commodity, it’s easy to see the many ways in which bulk material handling impacts our lives.

At UMD, we understand your bulk handling needs. A heavy-duty bulk material handling system built by UMD is engineered to withstand the rugged use and wear that the industry demands. Built to your custom specifications, our Bulk Handling systems are designed with you in mind, assuring that the system will work efficiently for your application.

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Conveyor System Safety

UMD’s conveyor systems can be purpose-built for virtually any materials handling application imaginable. Whatever their use, workers who come in close contact with conveyor systems should take care to maintain the proper safety practices demanded by these specialized pieces of equipment.

Use the following tips to make sure you and members of your team remain safe when working around conveyor systems.

Do not let your body come in contact with the conveyor at any time. This means no sitting, standing, riding on or touching the conveyor, even when turned off. Failing to keep clear of a moving conveyor could lead to serious injury and/or damage to the equipment. Always be sure that all personnel are clear of the equipment before starting.

In addition to keeping clear of the conveyor, it is important to avoid the risk of entanglement by loose items of clothing. Never wear any dangling or loose-fitting clothes, jewelry, or other items near conveyor systems, and be sure that long hair is safely secured.

Never load a conveyor while the system is stopped. This simple measure can help prevent wear and tear on the equipment, since starting with added weight can introduce undue friction into the system’s moving parts.

Do not perform maintenance on conveyor until the system has come to a complete stop and has been disconnected from all sources of power (or blocked in the case of gravity-fed systems). All maintenance should be performed by properly trained personnel only.

Always operate conveyor systems with safety covers and guards in place. If removed for maintenance or cleaning, return all guards and safety measures to their proper location before using the equipment.

Never modify or use conveyor controls for any reason other than their intended purpose. Be sure to note the location of all conveyor start/stop controls in case an emergency stop is necessary.

Maintain a clean workspace free of debris, oil, and other trip hazards to avoid unintentional contact with conveyors. Only clean the working area while conveyors are safely powered down.

Report any issues (maintenance needs, other potentially unsafe conditions) to a supervisor immediately.

Though far from comprehensive, these tips provide the basics needed to maintain a safe working relationship with conveyor systems.

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How Green Tires are Manufactured

Producing tires the traditional way leads to high levels of pollution. The usage of unsustainable resources such as rubber and petroleum-based substances has a negative environmental impact. Additionally, with crude oil prices constantly changing, material costs are inconsistent and can cause higher manufacturing costs.

Green tires are manufactured in a way that reduces carbon dioxide emissions. They are specifically designed for lower rolling resistance, which leads to lower fuel consumption over a tire’s life. With a green tire, materials are made of recycled and sustainable materials. Green manufacturing practice thorough testing before the tire is sold and used on a car.

Planning & Design

The process starts with a computer calculation, which converts the car’s unique requirements into specifications. Afterward, a prototype is made to check the tire design’s capability. Designing a tire for a specific car or truck can take several months of screening, inspection, and testing by the tire manufacturer and the vehicle manufacturer. After all of that has been done, the vehicle’s manufacturer can commit to ordering tires.

Sourcing Sustainable Products

Finding and sourcing sustainable and recycled products is essential for any green tire to be produced. While several compounds are discovered in green tires, such as recycled plastics and rubber, silica has been the main commonality. It is a versatile and sustainable chemical compound that is found in sand, glass, and quartz. It’s important to know that when silica combines with a large quantity of natural rubber, this can be problematic. It is highly recommended that silica be combined with a specialized non-polar E-SBR rubber. Carbon black is typically used for traditional tires and is omitted when making a green tire. It has a harmful global warming impact, even worse than carbon dioxide.

The advantage of using silica in a green tire is that there is lower rolling resistance. Lower rolling resistance reduces fuel consumption. This reduces harmful emissions and reduces the cost of gas for the consumer. The disadvantage of a green tire is that it reduces the tire’s grip when it rains.

A Banbury mixer combines the different raw materials to create a homogenized gooey substance. The mixing procedure is computer-controlled and automated to guarantee uniformity. Then the compounded materials are sent out to machines for further handling.

Constructing the Tire

Constructing the tire takes place on the tire building machine. The first part to be put on the machine is the inner liner. It is a unique rubber that repels air and moisture, as well as adds strength to the tire. Then the plies and belts are cut to a specific size recommended by the engineer. These offer tire stamina and flexibility. Bronze-coated strands of steel wire are looped and implanted right into the tires’ sidewall to develop the bead, assuring an airtight fit of the rim. The sidewalls are taken into placement over the belt and body plies.

The green tire is now ready to be cured. The tire is positioned inside a mold to form a tread and the tire identification information. It is heated at least 300 degrees Fahrenheit for at least 12 minutes, stimulating a chemical reaction to bond the elements and cure the rubber.

 

Safety & Testing

After the tire has cooled, the tire is taken out of the mold and is ready to be evaluated. Each tire is thoroughly checked for imperfections. These could be bubbles, spaces in the rubber of the tread, sidewall, and the inside of the tire. Afterward, the tire is positioned on a test wheel, pumped with air, and rotated rapidly.

Random samples are pulled for safety tests. As part of these tests, tires are cut apart, x-rayed, operated on test wheels, road-tested to examine handling, mileage, and grip efficiency. If correctly taken care of, tires can last a long time- typically from 40,000 to 80,000 miles. When the tire has been adequately tested, it can be transferred to a distribution center and installed on a vehicle.

In Summary

Manufacturing green tires are produced in an environmentally friendly way, using sustainable and recycled products. They are designed for reduced rolling resistance, which is means lower gas consumption.  When getting a new set of tires, consider going green!

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How Automation is Helping E-Commerce Businesses

Online Shopping with Robot holding phone

E-commerce has boomed and transformed thanks to automation. With collaborative robotics, customer support, and data analytics, distribution centers are progressing to fulfill skyrocketing demands. 

With increased popularity in online shopping since the pandemic, demand for deliveries to be trackable in actual time is important for the business and for customers. From the minute an order has been placed to when it reaches somebody’s front door is paramount. With enormous e-commerce titans like Amazon and Walmart+ providing 2-day and same-day delivery for online orders, large retailers need to supply in-stock in multiple locations.

Automation with Help From Robotics

This fast change in online shopping has caused a boom in implementing automation systems within e-commerce businesses. Automation and robotics have helped services stay on-trend with expanding needs while being affordable. These advancements in innovation assist with order picking, tracking, customer assistance, data analytics, and more. Automated ordering systems are becoming more budget-friendly and readily available. Additionally, they are offered in numerous flexible setups so they can fit in a business’s distribution center accordingly.

Micro-Fulfillment

Micro-fulfillment includes making use of automated order-picking systems that are ideal for large warehouses. They can fulfill consumer orders for home delivery or store pickup faster and with less labor than a manual approach.

In Summary

Companies selling products of all kinds are embracing the e-commerce boom by incorporating innovative automation. With robotics, customer assistance, and data analytics, e-commerce businesses have incorporated automation to make their business more competitive and cost-effective. If you are an e-commerce business and have a need to automate your material handling, let UMD’s Engineering Group design an expert solution for your process.

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Warehouse Systems

UMD specializes in complete warehouse system design, creating solutions for whatever your specifications may be. Our proven modular design approach coupled with our standard conveyor components saves upfront engineering costs, reduces scrap and helps keep future upgrade costs low. With years of design engineering and manufacturing experience, UMD gives you the best overall value in the industry:

  • Lower overall investment
  • Best system design and highest quality components
  • Less time to implementation
  • Less and easier maintenance
  • Longer service life

Warehouse Solutions

Handling: This refers to all the motion that goes into a distribution center or warehouse. When a package is being moved into, out of, or throughout the DC, it falls under handling. It can also include labor to re-warehouse, repackage or refurbish damaged products.

Storage: This is usually for any product that isn’t moving and is being kept in a warehouse or distribution center. The costs are usually not as flexible because it’s based on the occupancy of the space whereas handling costs can be adjusted with better systems.

While each warehouse and distribution center function differently, we offer solutions for any business that could benefit from an updated warehousing or distribution center system.

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Benefits of Loading and Unloading Systems

Our loading (or unloading) systems help move trailers away from the dock faster, saving you time and money. The few minutes spent on prepping equipment for loading and unloading may seem insignificant, but you could be losing hours in your process. Our automated loading systems cut the time between unloading or loading a trailer and getting the products where they need to be.

Benefits of Loading and Unloading Systems

Save Time and Money

Automating your loading system saves your business money. It requires less manpower involved in the storage and handling process which saves on overall costs. Unloading systems with forklifts requires operators and the cost of purchasing and maintaining the forklifts. An automated loading and unloading system requires less maintenance and costs less to operate and its long lifespan creates a great overall savings.

Safety

By having employees using other equipment, the danger of forklift accidents is reduced. Keeping staff out of this unloading process gives the company a chance to adopt safer practices throughout the warehouse.

Versatility

All of our systems are modular and created uniquely for each organization. We will create your loading or unloading system based on your business’ specific needs. The versatility of our systems gives you the chance to make all parts work together.

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