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PUBLICATION NOTICE: Snow-Road Light-Truck Tire Testing

US Army Engineer Research and Development Center
Published April 7, 2020



Report Number: ERDC/CRREL TR-20-2

Title: Snow-Road Light-Truck Tire Testing

By Terry D. Melendy Jr., Amelia Menke, Daphnie C. Friedman, and Reed R. Winter

Approved for Public Release; Distribution is Unlimited February 2020

ABSTRACT:  The United States Antarctic Program (USAP) anticipates replacing the light-truck fleet in the next 2–5 years and requested a detailed look at the potential tires to be used for ice-shelf work. The USAP fleet management team has worked to reduce the curb weight of potential truck options in an effort to minimize the impact on the snow roads. With current Ford F-350 pickups weighing in at 7840 lb empty and a ground pressure of approximately 17 psi, selecting a lighter truck frame would present major advantages. Similarly, operating the current Mattracks (track system in lieu of tires) installed on some of on the light-truck fleet has run between $35 and $50 an hour over the past 6 years, costing the USAP program as much as $40,000 per season per vehicle. A light truck on tires, for comparison, operated at $6 per hour at McMurdo Station over the same time span. Following testing of nine different types of tires, this report concludes that a suitable tire replacement for the light-truck fleet is commercially available. The BFGoodrich K2, particularly in the Light Truck 32.8 in. (nominally 33 in.) diameter size (BFG LT33), shows significant advantages at all sizes in this tread pattern.

47 pgs / 6.29 MB

Release no. 20-027