June has been designated National Safety Month by the National Safety Council. The aim of this initiative is to highlight the importance of safety…at home, on the job or anywhere in the public sector. Sounds good, right? But, at Carlisle TyrFil, a Carlisle Company, where we manufacture TyrFil™ flatproofing technology, we actually challenge this notion. That’s right—we take exception to the need to carve out 30 days of the year to shed light on this important issue.
Why would we say this? Because at Carlisle, a Carlisle Company, we believe the concept of safety adherence should envelope not just 30 days—but 365 days—each and every year, around the clock.
That means observing 1) safety on the job, 2) safety in the dealer shop, and 3) safety in the field, where commercial work site conditions are especially hazardous—for every minute that a worker is engaged and interfacing with our technology. And, as the leading producer of polyurethane tire fill, commonly referred to as foam-fill, for the Off-the-Road (OTR) tire and equipment marketplace, the implementation of proper safety measures has always been our number one commitment. Our dealer training protocols are unique within our space and something we’ve consistently championed—not just for 30 days out of the year, but also for the past 18,000+ days that we’ve been in operation. It’s a business, R&D and service philosophy that’s central to all that we’ve done as an organization.
Today, Carlisle TyrFil™ is proud to rededicate efforts to providing the industry’s most stringent safety measures to better protect technicians at the dealer level, enhance operating conditions for drivers out in the field, and help maintain proper functioning of costly OTR equipment. This commitment even helps to protect our end-customers’ fiscal bottom-line—because proper operating protocols ultimately equate to stronger productivity and profits.
Carlisle TyrFil™ began manufacturing our polyurethane tire fill technology nearly 50 years ago. Since that time, our brand’s mission has been to successfully provide the commercial tire marketplace with an optimal flatproofing solution for the construction, mining, equipment rental, waste management, military and agricultural industries. And the single most important role that TyrFil™ flatproofing can play in the marketplace is to help keep field operators injury-free, even amidst a highly adverse job site environment. Off-the-Road tires filled with TyrFil™ flatproofing remain virtually flat free because they can easily glide over the typical debris (such as nails, glass, sharp rocks and rebar) that can quickly damage traditional pneumatic tires. By eliminating tire flats, operators can reduce the dangerous equipment stability scenarios that put work crews in serious jeopardy.
But it’s equally important that the technicians who prepare and apply our TyrFil™ flatproofing product in the shop also remain protected at all points along the tire filling process.
That’s why training by TyrFil’s Technical Support Team is essential to any successful flatproofing operation. All flatproofing technicians need to go through our certification process, which includes training videos, demonstrations, hands-on practice, and a short quiz. Supplemental information including training manuals, reference cards, videos, etc. is available by request and on our website: https://carlisletyrfil.com/resources/safe-operating-procedures/. Carlisle scientists, R&D, and tech support teams have put forth rigorous requirements for the safe handling of our tire fill material across every step of the production chain—guidelines that are regularly provided to Carlisle’s worldwide network of OEMs, dealers and distributors. Also, TyrFil’s Global Technical Support Team is available 24/7 to assist with questions relating to safe operating procedures.
How exactly is TyrFil™ flatproofing processed?
Carlisle technology consists of a polyurethane tire fill that can be easily pumped into any pneumatic tire to replace air with a synthetic elastomer core that eliminates tire punctures.
TyrFil™ flatproofing is delivered through a valve stem and cures within 24 hours. TyrFil™ flatproofing works in any tire with a sound casing and is designed to maintain tire pressure and footprint shape—even in the most adverse weather conditions, including temperatures as low as 70 degrees below zero, and sweltering heat.
Before beginning the actual tire filling process, dealers should have the following on hand:
- A flatproofing log for record keeping
- An approved cleaning solvent such as Biosolve or isopropyl alcohol
- Hypodermic needles, tools and rags for clean-up
- A container to store parts with Biosolve or isopropyl alcohol
- Safety items such as safety glasses, chemically resistant gloves, a fire extinguisher, safety vest and face shield
- Tire safety cage
- First aid kit with eye wash station
- Easy access to comprehensive safety datasheets
The minimum space required for tire fill processing is 400 square feet (37 square meters). This area should be well lit, well ventilated, and heated (if necessary) to maintain a minimum of 72° F (22° C). Due to the combustible materials involved with tire fill handling and application, wall and door signs indicating “no-smoking, grinding or open flames” should be prominently posted throughout the work space—and spectators should be carefully monitored. Flatproofing material should be stored indoors in a controlled environment of 72 degrees Fahrenheit or warmer—and materials should never be outside. Conversely, in cold weather environments, technicians should allow for extra curing time (24 to 48 hours is recommended).
Before tire filling begins, responsible technicians should also undertake the following steps:
- The inside of the tire must be cleaned and dried. Water, sealants, glycol, calcium chloride, soaps, bead lubricants and dirt must be removed from the tire.
- Wheels should be inspected for cracks, metal fatigue and corrosion. Bent, cracked or rusted wheels are a safety hazard and should not be used.
- New tires should be pre-stretched by inflating to operating pressure for 24 hours at 72 degrees Fahrenheit before filling. Pre-stretching the tire ensures that it will be filled to its capacity and will minimize long-term carcass growth during service.
- For the actual tire filling stage of the process, the tire to be filled should be safely placed in the tire cage with the air water valve at the six o’clock position.
- Technicians should always verify the tire manufacturer’s recommended PSI prior to filling, and they should never pressurize a tire above the maximum pressure specified by the manufacturer, as this can directly enhance overall risks and leave workers vulnerable to serious injury.
If production guidelines are correctly observed, the tire filling process is highly safe and effective—and results in an ultimate polyurethane-filled tire available for OTR applications that eliminates on-the-job flats.
In accordance with the landmark Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, employers are required to provide a safe workplace for their employees. Carlisle, a Carlisle Company, has developed best practice material handling recommendations and training resources to help our customers promote safety in their fill rooms. OSHA’s role is to help employers and employees reduce injuries, illnesses and deaths on the job in America. To this end, ALL TyrFil™ dealers are instructed to refer to OSHA standards for additional safety information. And while compliance is unique at each location and should be in accordance with all local, state, and federal regulations, Carlisle remains vigilant in providing the instructional tools to aid in the safe application and use of its TyrFil™ flatproofing technology.
As noted by Kevin Rohlwing, senior vice president of Training for the Tire Industry Association (an Carlisle Tire Fill strategic partner) in a previous industry article for Modern Tire Dealer magazine: “The tire dealer or shop manager should want to protect his people, and that should be the main reason to care about workplace safety, because it’s the right thing to do.”
At Carlisle TyrFil™, we couldn’t concur more—and that’s why job safety has been our leading priority for the past nearly five decades and it will remain as our top focus for the future of our business. “No flats” on the job equates to vastly improved work site productivity and, ultimately, greater safety for all parties concerned. And, smart tire care starts in the shop…at the tire filling application stage where safe material handling practices help to keep the OTR industry operating efficiently and without incident. True to our motto, Carlisle, a Carlisle Company, is proud to “Keep the World Rolling.”
For more information, please visit www.CarlisleTyrFil.com.