AKRON — Goodyear has developed a non-pneumatic tire/wheel product, featuring a thermoplastic connecting structure, for use on a line of zero-turn lawnmowers.
Goodyear said the development of the TurfCommand, an airless turf tire featuring the firm's "DuraWeb" technology, ties in with its efforts to develop airless technology for a range of applications.
"As we look to a future where ride-sharing and autonomous vehicles become mainstream, the demand for lower maintenance, longer lasting tires will continue to increase," according to Christopher Helsel, Goodyear's chief technology officer.
The TurfCommand will be available exclusively as a fitment for Bad Boy Mowers Inc., 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.
DuraWeb, developed at the Goodyear's Akron Innovation 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.
Goodyear said its developments in non-pneumatic tires date back to the 1970s when it worked with the National Aeronautics & Space Administration (NASA) to make tires for the Apollo lunar roving vehicle. More recently, it has been working on tire development for future missions to Mars.
Based in Batesville, Ark., Bad Boy Mowers is celebrating its 15th year of business.