Understanding the composition and features that make OTR tyres different from others

Axis Tyres on 6 June 2019

Tyre manufacturing is a unique science. There’s so much more to the appearance of treaded rubber that (sometimes) encapsulates an air-filled tube. Even for regular cars and SUVs there are hundreds of tyre variants and a specialist fitter will make recommendations based on the vehicle type and use, mileage undertaken and any load carrying needs.

OTR (off the road) tyres bring additional layers of requirement due to their heavy-duty applications in construction, waste, steel, mining and ports, forestry and road works. They need to be built tough to last the distance through rugged conditions and heavy use.

It’s a significant operational cost to have forklifts, trucks, dozers and the like frequently unavailable getting tyres replaced. Or worse, experiencing mechanical issues or damage due to incorrect tyre application.

Every industry operation has an off the road tyre to serve it. The Axis Tyres team provides OTR tyre expertise and knowledge.

OTR tyre features


There are a wide range of off the road tyres to suit your loader, skid steer, dump truck, forklift, grader and wheeled excavator.

Bias versus radial tyres

OTR tyres are available in bias ply and radial ply constructions. Both types have their benefits for different industries.

Bias tyres can carry heavier loads compared to radial tyres of the same size, however, they sometimes experience higher friction, faster wear and increased fuel consumption.

Radial tyre composition offers a more comfortable ride, greater shock absorption, last longer and experiences better traction.

When looking for OTR tyres, you want them to provide stability, traction, reliability, durability. You will be factoring in many features, including:

  • Tyre size and dimensions
  • Tread depth, design, pattern and groove
  • Carcass (tyre casing) structure
  • Ply rating
  • Sidewall strength
  • Load carrying and speed capacities

OTR tyre technologies

On the inside of a tyre, underneath the tread, there are layers of steel, rubber compounds, and other synthetic reinforcement and linings which function together to offer the stability, traction, reliability and durability you need. 

Off the road tyre manufacturers are always striving to find new techniques and compounds that will increase the life of their tyres while maintaining high performance. They are continually innovating to meet the practice needs of industries and the various machinery types used.

OTR tyre manufacturers must meet strict testing, inspection, design and safety compliance before their tyres can go on the market.

Heat and friction reduction

off the road tyres

Heavy machinery carrying tons of cargo and constantly driving at speed all day will generate heat in many parts of the vehicle, tyres included. Manufacturers experiment with new rubber compounds that aim to reduce heat and friction. Various chemicals in the rubber work at micro levels to minimise heat generation without affecting the tyre performance.

Skim compound techniques work like insulation to improve heat resistance and therefore tyre strength and longevity. Radial ply reinforcing cords, for example, cover the steel components. It helps bolster the carcass (internal cord layer of tyres that sustain load and shocks) and the belts located between the carcass and tread.

No stone unturned

Stone ejector technology prevents rocks from getting lodged in the main grooves and tread block. This helps maintain tyre durability and prevents rocks from being projected onto oncoming vehicle and people.

Why use OTR tyres for your machinery?

Most OTR tyre manufacturers invest considerable time and money on research and development to create cutting edge off the road tyres. They are dedicated to understanding the different industry operations and uses and ensure their product meets this demand, as well as their own industry standards.  

Incorrect tyres pose just as much risk to personnel and machinery as poorly maintained ones. OTR tyres and wheels should be supplied and fitted by reputable, highly trained and knowledgeable providers.

Off the road tyre maintenance

off the road tyre maintenance

Despite their durable components and hefty design features, keeping your OTR tyres in good shape requires frequent inspections, accurate record keeping and proper maintenance.

All tyres in your operation should have regular inspections. We recommend having a tyre maintenance program to monitor and record your tyre’s use and address any issues before they become hazards.

Not sure which OTR tyres to choose? 

Our tyre fitters and inspectors have the knowledge to match tyre technical features to your industry’s environment and operations.

Get expert advice from our team. Find us in Melbourne, Sydney, Wodonga or Adelaide.