Having the right shoes for the job is pretty important.
Last week Heart of the City got “new shoes” for its pair of Segway i2 Patrollers. The ‘Ambassador’ staff use their Segway Personal Transporters (PTs) on the streets of Auckland’s CBD, greeting tourists and visitors, offering advice and guidance, and handing out free maps. Auckland Police have remarked about the positive contribution the Ambassadors on Segway PTs make towards enhancing public safety in the downtown area.
For most applications the standard Segway i2/i2 SE tyre is the ideal choice, and this is what Heart of the City had been using since late-2010. Because the standard tyre is non-marking it is ideal for indoor and outdoor use, and it offers a comfortable ride and range-per-charge
After conducting a six month trial using a pair of alternative tyres on one of their Segway PTs so comparison data could be gathered, Heart of the City decided to fit both machines with IRC Snow Tyres when new tyres were required. These tyres have a deeper tread and offer improved traction under certain outdoor conditions, and a longer wear period so replacement is less frequent. Typically, the impact on comfort (a slightly firmer ride) and range-per-charge (slightly reduced) with these tyres is minor. These effects become more significant at higher speeds. Because the Ambassadors voluntarily program the maximum speed limit on their Segway PTs to about 10 km/h, the actual impact is insignificant in practice.
The Ambassadors themselves much prefer to be wearing out the rubber of their Segway PT tyres than the leather on their shoes. To date, this pair of Segway PTs have transversed well over 12,000 km around Queen Street, High Street, Custom Street, Quay Street, the ferry and cruise ship wharfs, and along the beautiful Auckland waterfront (see our previous story about how Auckland’s BIG Little City Guides clocked up almost 6,000 km during their first 18 months).
In most environments where more grip is required customers select the wide-track x2 SE model with its larger, wider, deeply treaded “ATV/quad-bike” tyre and greater ground clearance. This model is also available with Turf tyres (sometimes known as “golf cart tyres”).
But deep in the city it is the Segway i2 SE that is most convenient, and in some instances using an alternative tyre can be “just what the cobbler ordered.”