One of our main tyre products within the Commercial Tyres category is TBR tyres, which stands for Truck and Bus Radial tyres. As the name implies it’s mainly for trucks and buses such as passenger bus or coaches, prime movers, refuse trucks and dumper trucks. The usage of TBR tyres is quite high in Singapore as it supports a lot of industries especially within the logistics and construction sectors. In fact, TBR tyres make up quite a significant cost for companies that operate trucks and buses as their vehicles usually hit a high mileage on an annual basis. For example, a dumper truck that requires 10 TBR tyres averages about 70,000 km within one year.
TBR Tyre Sizes
There are a variety of TBR sizes. The common ones used in Singapore are 295/80R22.5, 315/80R22.5, 11R22.5, 12R22.5, 10.00R20 and 11.00R20. Which TBR tyre size to use will depend on the vehicle type and also the existing rims installed.
For instance, a dumper truck can use either 295/80R22.5, 315/80R22.5 or even 10.00R20. Suppose its existing rim size are for 295/80R22.5 tyres, then in order for the dumper truck to change to a 315/80R22.5 size, it would have to replace all 10 rims to effect that change.
TBR Tyre Specifications
Specifications Printed Onto A TBR Tyre
You can find much information imprinted onto a TBR tyre. Think of it as its birth certificate. It even has its “date of birth” information. We break down and explain some of the common specifications for a TBR tyre.
TBR Tyre Size Breakdown
First we break down the tyre size information. Similar to passenger car tyres, it too has 3 separate numbers. This is best explained with an example – 295/80R22.5
- 295: Refers to the nominal section width (sidewall to sidewall) of the tyre in mm
- 80: This is an aspect ratio which refers to the height of the sidewall or known as section height. It is expressed as a percentage of the section width. Ie 80% of 295mm
- R: Implies Radial Construction
- 22.5: Refers to the diameter of the rim in inches that is to be used with this tyre.
Let’s look at another example – 11R22.5 tyre. In this case, the nominal section width is 11 but the unit is in inches. The rim diameter is the same at 22.5. But you probably
notice the aspect ratio is missing. In this case the default aspect ratio is 90%. Ie the section height is 90% of 11inches.
The Load Index (LI) is a reference code that indicates the maximum load carrying capacity in KG. For instance, a LI of 108 means the tyre’s maximum carrying capacity is 1000KG. The higher the LI means it can handle a higher load capacity.
For TBR tyres, you will find 2 LI. E.g. 152/148. 152 equates to 3550KG and 148 equates to 3150KG. These LI indicates the maximum load capacity for dual and single wheel use. The higher LI would therefore indicate capacity for dual wheel and the lower LI for single wheel configuration.
Speed Symbol (SS) denotes the fastest speed a tyre is certified for. For instance, a M symbol is equivalent to 130km/h. Thus, a higher SS would give you better control and handling of the vehicle at higher speeds. This is contingent on the operator maintaining proper tyres pressure and ensuring it carries within the stipulated load capacity, amongst other conditions.
Also, contrary to popular belief, a SS does not guarantee the tyre will perform as intended at the specified speed, as it only certifies the tyre meets certain standard’s requirements within a tightly controlled lab condition.
Regrooving is the process of cutting the tyres to achieve additional tread depth to extend the life of the tyres. Not all tyres are regroovable, but those that do will allocate additional tread depth of about 4mm+-. Tyres can be regrooved of around 2mm+- and it depends on the manufacturer’s recommendation to increase its lifespan. This is subject to the condition of the used tyres. Regrooving may be governed by local laws and should only be done by professionals with qualified tools.
This is the equivalent of DOB (Date of Birth). There are 4 numbers imprinted after the letters DOT. The first 2 digit denotes the week the tyre was manufactured and the last 2 digit denotes the year.
DOT 2519 means the tyre was manufactured in the 25th week of 2019.
Fun Fact: DOT actually means “Department of Transport”. It is a symbol that certifies the manufacturer has complied with the United States’ Department of Transportation National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) tyre safety standards.
All tyres to be used in Europe must be certified with an E Mark. An E Mark indicates that the manufacturer has complied with European standards. This gives users the assurance that specifications such as dimension, load index and speed rating have been verified according to requirements. The number after the E refers to the EU country that granted the approval. (Eg 4 = Netherlands). The series of alphanumeric characters after the E mark refers to the certificate number.
Common TBR Tyre Tread Pattern
Selecting the correct tyre tread pattern is important as different tread are designed for different purpose. In Singapore there are 3 commonly used tread patterns.
These are colloquially called 幼花 (yòu huā) and are used mainly on road conditions. For mixed use, such as dumper trucks, they are used in the front axle for steering purposes.
Colloquially known as 粗花 (cū huā) and are used mainly in off road conditions such as within construction sites. For mixed use, such as dumper trucks, they are used at the back for driving purposes.
These would be known colloquially as 麻将花 (májiàng huā). It’s popular with cement mixers and refuse trucks. As it is suitable for travel on road conditions and somewhat off-road conditions.
Tube Type Tyres
CEAT Tube Type Tyres with Inner Tube and Flap
Sizes such as 295/80R22.5 and 315/80R22.5 are tubeless tyres. Ie it does not require an inner tube to inflate the tyre. But for tube type tyres, they require an additional inner tube to contain the air within the tyres. It also requires an additional flap as a protection for the inner tube to prevent overheating. These type of tyres take a little more effort to maintain compared to tubeless tyres. And they are usually used by older vehicles which have yet to switch to tubeless rims.
Tubeless Rim vs Tube Type Rim
Tubeless and tube type tyres use a slightly different type of rims. Tube type rims require an additional rim pin to hold the tyre in place. Tubeless tyres do not require a rim pin and includes a tubeless valve to inflate the tyre. We have sold tube type tyres since the early 1980s and till today there is demand for these tube type tyres, albeit much lower in recent years.
Vehicles Using TBR Tyres
There are a variety of vehicles in Singapore that use TBR tyres. This is not an exhaustive list as we attempt to list out only the common ones found in Singapore.
Buses in Singapore
The first category of vehicles would be coaches and buses. A standard coach would usually require 6 to 8 pieces of TBR tyres. The common sizes are 295/80R22.5, 275/70R22.5 and 11R22.5. Although 275/70R22.5 are more commonly used by Singapore’s public bus transportation companies such as SBS Transit and SMRT.
295/80R22.5 Bridgestone R156 Ecopia RIB Tyre
The popular tread patterns installed are RIB (steer) as buses typically travel only on roads and highways.
Trucks in Singapore
As for trucks, the range would include dumper trucks, refuse trucks, tankers, cement mixers, trailers and prime movers. Again we attempt to list out the common ones and this is not an exhaustive list. Depending on the vehicle type, they can use anything from 6 pieces to 26 pieces of TBR tyres.
Different Tread Patterns
The common sizes used for trucks are 295/80R22.5 and 315/80R22.5. The popular tread patterns are RIB (steer) and LUG (drive). Another common tread pattern is the Semi-RIB type, which are popular with refuse trucks.
A dumper truck with RIB at the front axle and LUG tyres at the back.
One of the popular tread combinations is to install RIB at the front and LUG tyres at the back. This would give them the steering power at the front but also the driving force over off-road terrains such as within construction sites.
Our TBR Tyre Source
We cater to all segments of the market by providing a wide range of tyre products to suit different customer requirements. To do so, we source our tyres locally and overseas. We work with reputable China manufacturers that provide economy products that consistently maintain low Cost Per Kilometre TBR tyres. These help our customers to manage their costs but does not sacrifice on quality or reliability. At the same time, we also cater to customers who require premium TBR tyres due to their unique requirements. We source our premium tyres from main distributors such as Bridgestone, Yokohama, Continental and WestLake tyres to provide top quality TBR tyres.
TBR Tyre Import Export
Tyre Import Export
At Ling Boon Keng Tyre, we also do export of TBR tyres. Some of our common sizes exported are 295/80R22.5, 315/80R22.5, 10.00R20 and 11.00R20. Contact us if you have specific TBR tyre requirements. Our strength lies in our ability to mix and match brands and sizes to suit your requirements.