Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. is making a non-pneumatic tire for lawn care equipment which is made with a complex thermoplastic structure.
The project rolled forward with the upcoming release of TurfCommand, an airless turf tire featuring the firm's DuraWeb technology.
DuraWeb, developed at the tire maker's Akron, Ohio-based technology center, involves a thermoplastic connecting structure that provides both stiffness and flexibility to carry heavy loads and maintain a smooth ride while protecting turf, Goodyear said.
The TurfCommand will be available exclusively for Bad Boy Mowers, which also provided feedback throughout the development of the tire, Goodyear said. The TurfCommand will be manufactured in the U.S., and offered as an upgrade option on Bad Boy Mowers' Outlaw XP, a zero-turn radius model that is due out early next year.
"The commercial release of this turf tire is an important step in our efforts to develop airless tire technology for a range of applications," Christopher Helsel, Goodyear's chief technology officer, said in a statement. "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's non-pneumatic tire development dates back to the 1970s when it worked with NASA to make tires for the Apollo lunar roving vehicle. More recently, it has been working on tire development for future missions to Mars.
Tire maker Michelin also has a non-pneumatic tire, called the Tweel, available for yard care products.
Based in Batesville, Ark., Bad Boy Mowers is celebrating its 15th year of business. Additional information is available online at badboymowers.com.