Ever think about all the different vehicles that use rubber tires? Tractors, industrial equipment, everything else that rolls on rubber?
Each specialized type of tire requires a specialized design for its specific purpose. Aircraft tires, for instance, have to be very robust and handle a great deal of weight and stress, but for only a short period of time. Aircraft tires are often filled with an inert gas such as nitrogen, for more stable inflation levels, and are designed with specialized fusible plugs which provide a safer failure mode (rather than a sudden, catastrophic tire explosion).
Off-the-road tires, for vehicles such as graders or mining equipment, operate at low speeds but have to be able to withstand severe service conditions while handling heavy loads. They’re designed with tough, thick carcasses to resist cuts, tears, gouges and punctures while still providing decent control and ride quality for the operator.
Agricultural tires are designed for good traction while not compacting soil too heavily. They feature a large footprint to disperse the weight of the vehicle, and may feature a paddle tread for tractor tires or a knobby design for turf machines such as mowers.
Industrial tires, such as for forklifts, backhoes or dock equipment, often have to encounter chemicals and other substances that can be damaging to ordinary tires. They’re tough and rugged and often come in solid, non-pneumatic designs.
Tires for heavy duty trucks and buses need to put in long hours and many miles hauling heavy loads. They’re designed to minimize dangerous heat buildup and offer good traction on wet or dry pavement. A relatively new innovation for heavy trucks is the “Super Single,” a wide single tire that replaces the dual rear wheels of older truck designs. Super Singles offer better fuel economy as well, with a weight savings of around 200 pounds per axle.