Tire and steering options for MEWPs

Consider what type of tire or track is best suited for their worksite environment and needs.

by Sean Larin, Genie product manager

Tire and steering systems on MEWPs may be overlooked, but it is an essential consideration for MEWP.  When evaluating which MEWP best meets the needs of the jobsite, you should consider these questions:

  • Where will you use the lift?
  • What are the ground conditions?
Genie offers tire and steering selection tips
Consider what type of tire or track is best suited for their worksite environment and needs.

Tire and Track Options
Non-marking tires: These are tires that are manufactured without the carbon black found in common tires. They leave no black marks on the floor and are standard on most industrial models. They’re most commonly made of hard rubber but are also available in pneumatic styles. Non-marking tires are good to use if marking is a concern in applications such as late-stage slab construction.

Foam-filled tires: Pneumatic tires that are injected with a polyurethane-type substance that adds rigidity to the tires and prevents flats. These are required on some models to provide necessary stability. They are also good for environments with nails and other ground debris that tend to puncture tires.

Air-filled tires: Designed to increase a MEWP’s performance in sensitive ground conditions, such as sand and turf, air-filled tires are engineered to “float” on soft or delicate surfaces to protect softer surfaces during operation that could be damaged by the more aggressive tread on regular rough terrain tires.

Rough-terrain tires: These tires have an aggressive tread design for improved rough-terrain capability. They are standard on rough-terrain models and are best to use on unimproved sites and muddy, wet ground conditions. Many rough-terrain tire options are available as non-marking versions for jobs that start as dirt and end as slab.

Independent tracks: This four-point track system provides extra traction when traveling over mud, sand, gravel and soft-soil conditions while also minimizing damage to grass. Independent tracks provide greater maneuverability when compared to traditional dual-track systems.

Rough terrain options
Rough terrain (RT) model: These units are designed to travel over unimproved construction site terrain. The “rough terrain” designation often includes the addition of lug tread tires and combinations of other features including patented active oscillating axles, engines with higher power ratings and two- or four-wheel drive.

Oscillating axles: Axles that are designed to pivot in the middle to compensate for uneven terrain and keep all tires on the ground. Genie active oscillating axles feature a patented automatic hydraulic adjustment system that maintains ground contact and a solid four-point stance, continually adjusting as the machine drives.

Full-time positive traction drive: This option ensures that power reaches all drive wheels even if one wheel loses traction in mud, snow or sand. It helps machines overcome uneven terrain.

Steering options
Two-wheel steering: This is the standard type of steering on most models in which the two front tires steer the machine.

Four-wheel steering: Featured on some models in which all four wheels can be utilized to steer the machine, it makes it much more maneuverable in compact environments. On Genie equipment, the operator can often select from four steer options, including two-wheel front steer, two-wheel rear steer, crab steer or coordinated steer.

Coordinated or oblique steering: A four-wheel steering option on all Genie GTH telehandlers and the Genie Z-62/40, Z-80/60, ZX-135/70, S-40 XC, S-45 XC, S-60 XC, S-60 HF, S-65 XC, S-65 HF, S-80 XC, S-80 HF, S-85 XC, S-85 HF, SX™-105 XC, SX-125 XC, SX-135 XC, SX-150 and SX-180 booms in which the front wheels turn in one direction and the rear wheels are coordinated to turn in the opposite direction, allowing the machine to turn around a sharp corner within a minimum amount of space.

Crab steering: This is a four-wheel steering feature on all telehandlers and the Genie Z-80/60, ZX-135/70, SX-105 XC, SX-125 XC, SX-135 XC, SX-150 and SX-180 booms in which all four wheels turn in the same direction, allowing the machine to be driven diagonally for greater maneuverability.

Different worksite conditions and customer needs require different tire and steering options. When considering what tire is best fit for your customer it is important to consider where the lift will be used and what the ground conditions will be. Understanding these important features will allow you to make the best recommendations to your customers.