Modern Tire Dealer

JUN 2019

Magazine for the professional tire industry

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M T D J u n e 2 0 1 9 44 services to help maximize tire performance and push beyond industry standards such as SmartWay. KELLER, Continental: For our Tier 1 products, we continually innovate and develop our compounds, manufacturing processes and tire designs to improve fuel efficiency, without diminishing other per- formance criteria. e major contributors to fuel efficiency are the tread compounds and patterns. SmartWay is still a priority, but Continental tires oen exceed the SmartWay requirements, especially for long haul and regional applications. e key is to offer the best fuel efficiency without compromising on mileage requirements. SmartWay is still a priority for General Tire products in Tier 2. We use similar methods to develop tires for all our brands, although in order to deliver cost savings to the end user, we will usually rely on older technology and compounds for General tires versus our premium Continental brand. SCHROEDER, Cooper: Improving fuel efficiency while maintaining long miles to removal is a priority for Cooper. ese two factors play significant roles in reducing the total cost of ownership of a fleet's tire program cost. Many factors go into improving the fuel efficiency of a tire including types of materials used, construction and tread pattern, to name a few. From an operating standpoint, proper inflation is also important as running tires at optimal pressures is needed to see the full benefit of SmartWay verified tires. HANCHANA, Giti: Fuel efficient commercial tires are becoming the norm and being produced in other segments for manufacturers' product lines. With Giti's introduction of our new SmartWay-approved long and regional haul products, we have exceeded the requirements for verification. Fleets will continue to spec products that help reduce their vehicles' fuel consumption and lower their overall cost-per-mile. KAVATURU, Goodyear: As a require- ment for long-haul fleets, SmartWay verifi- cation is certainly a priority for us, but we are going beyond SmartWay standards in how we think about fuel efficiency. We are improving fuel efficiency by developing new low rolling resistance compounds. We also are enhancing miles to removal with new tread designs and compounds so fleets can lower their operating costs even more. WILLIAMS, Hankook: Hankook has recently introduced its SMARTec TBR technology to increase fuel efficiency and performance in conjunction with SmartWay certifications. It is an integrated manu- facturing process that combines the five main tire performance factors: safety, mile- age, anti chip-cut, retreadability and traction. SmartWay certification is still an important designation for our products, and we strive to make all of our tires SmartWay certified. SCHWARTZ, Michelin: A 3% reduction in rolling resistance can translate into a 1% fuel savings. GHG rules and SmartWay verification also provide interesting new targets. rough tire design, it is possible to utilize technologically-advanced compounds and tire construction techniques to minimize a tire's rolling resistance. In most cases, the depth of a tire's tread blocks is inverse to rolling resistance. The deeper the tread blocks, the better the grip but the worse for fuel economy. Stiffer sidewalls can also reduce rolling resistance. However there are some design options available (internal components, for example) that can lower rolling resistance in areas not related to grip or other performance traits. Michelin designs products to provide the lowest rolling resistance while improving performance. Tire engineers design stronger, more damage-resistant sidewalls using advanced rubber compounds to further guard against cuts and abrasions from the debris or curbing from an urban application. e tread also provides opportunities to increase efficiency and effectiveness. e tread rubber is designed with compounds capable of withstanding a higher degree of scrubbing that comes with frequent starts, stops and turns for longer tread life — and it also provides greater fuel savings. PARK, Tireco: We have SmartWay- verified medium truck tires. I think customers are more concerned about cost-per-mile than fuel efficiency. Mileage, even wear, along with fuel efficiency, are key selling points. JOHNSTON, Toyo: Toyo recognizes the challenge of creating SmartWay-verified tires that can deliver durability in the North American market. Rising to this challenge Toyo recently announced our new Nano Composite Polymer (NCP). The NCP, combined with our e-balance casing and innovative tread designs, allow us to focus not only on achieving the SmartWay verification but also providing our customers with tires that last, which saves them money and adds value to their business. LUTHER, Triangle: Fuel efficiency will continue to evolve as fuel economy remains a paramount priority for commercial fleet operators. Fuel is still one of the top expenses to running a commercial fleet and even the slightest increased savings can mean substantial annual savings. Fuel efficiency can be increased by modifying tread depth, tread compound and casing design. e Triangle research and development centers focus tremendous resources on tackling this nuanced balancing act of fuel savings, overall tire mileage and traction. With the eventual onset of electric commercial vehicles, fleets will become interested in receiving as many miles possible between battery charges and the reduction of tire rolling resistance will continue be important. CLAUER, Yokohama: ese are a few of the components employed in reducing RRC: compounding; new high-strength, lightweight materials; and tread and casing designs. SmartWay is still a benchmark, however we continue to push our designers, engineers and chemists to develop new methods and materials to take our products beyond those benchmarks. e power and trailer OEMs continue to push the fuel-saving envelope, as will we. LI, ZC Rubber: SmartWay verification is more like a passport to enter the market because of the government regulation, but not the real demand from the end users. We prefer to keep the balance between the fuel efficiency and mileage. We still believe mileage, instead of fuel efficiency, brings more value to the end user. ■ Michelin manufactures truck tires in the U.S., Canada and overseas. Its goal "is to produce the majority of our tires in the markets where the tires are sold." PHOTO COURTESY OF MICHELIN NORTH AMERICA INC. T r u c k T i r e s

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