We first covered this innovative airless tire wheel technology from Michelin back in the Spring of 2010 and did an update article in November of 2014. (https://citroenvie.com/michelin-talks-tweel-for-north-america/). However, we had not seen it in practical use – until now. While recently travelling in Africa near the Mozambique border at Malawi, Citroënvie member Prakash Raja saw this poster as well as a set of Tweel wheels on a vehicle.
Raj thought to himself that it’s odd, as he recalled the stories we did on them but didn’t think that they had gone into production. A quick search on our end was a discovery that much to our surprise, Michelin now offers a whole range of Tweel for many applications, even golf carts: http://www.michelintweel.com/
One of the concerns we had for winter driving or in muddy conditions was what might accumulate in the support cavities making the wheels easily off-balance, but for slow vehicles such as construction vehicles, golf carts and lawn mowers, that does not pose a problem. Plus they absorb bumps far more effectively than conventional tires as this video shows:
In construction applications, a flat tire can be a huge problem. They can’t afford the downtime and can easily justify the increased cost of Tweels.