Michelin North America Inc. is targeting a fast-rising segment of the truck tire industry with its new Michelin X Multi D, a regional drive-position tire designed for trucks and fleets making shorter, more regional urban hauls.
Michelin expects the regional and urban applications market — which includes delivery services, beverage companies and even energy and construction industries — “to continue outpacing the market by 3%” through 2018. “The fleets operating in these segments have unique needs,” says Adam Murphy, vice president of marketing for Michelin Americas Truck Tires, a division of Michelin North America.
And Murphy says the X Multi D offers the key qualities regional fleets need: long lasting tread life, all-weather traction, scrub resistance, a durable casing and driver satisfaction.
The tire’s tread is made up of a combination of specialized rubber compounds. The top layer provides scrub resistance, and the bottom layer compound allows the tire to operate while keeping the casing cool. The tread also is maximized by teardrop grooves at the bottom of the siping which help prevent torque cracking, while also decreasing heel-toe wear. In every size, the X Multi D comes with 28/32nd tread depth.As for traction, Michelin says the tire offers “more grip, less slip.” The pass-through open shoulder allows for quick evacuation of material, whether it’s water, mud, snow or slush. The X Multi D features tread regeneration. As the tire wears, matrix siping evident at 28/32nd opens up to create a tread groove at 14/32nd, and it opens even wider at 6/32nd. That tread regeneration provides traction throughout the tire’s life, the company says.\
The casing is double treated to help resist ozone damage and weathering, and the full width protector ply provides a guard against penetrations.
Michelin says the X Multi D’s biting edges help the tire grip onto surfaces quickly, even in snowy conditions. In a standardized snow test, Michelin says its tire traveled 80% farther than the Bridgestone M726ELA in the same size, 11R22.5.
The X Multi D will get 65% better mileage than its predecessor, the Michelin XDE M/S tire, says the company.
“This next-generation regional drive tire offers first-class performance and is designed to excel in high torque applications and delivers all the key performance benefits needed in a regional tire — traction, high removal mileage and scrub resistance — with no trade-offs,” says Murphy. “With an aggressive open-shoulder design that contributes to outstanding water evacuation for an optimized contact patch in all-weather conditions, the new Michelin X Multi D delivers the maximum tread life, traction and casing durability fleets demand.”
Sizes and retreadability
The X Multi D initially is coming to market in two sizes and three load ranges. Size 11R22.5 will be available in both load ranges G and H, and size 11R24.5 will be available in load range H. A fourth size, 275/80R22.5, load range G, will be available in the third quarter of 2017. Two more sizes are coming in the first half of 2018. The tire is available in the U.S., Canada and Mexico.
The tire is retreadable, Murphy says. “We are actively working on an X Multi D retread. We’re not ready to announce the launch of the retread, but it’s absolutely in development as we speak.”
The Confidence Guarantee
Michelin is standing behind the X Multi D with the Confidence Guarantee. “If the tire does not meet expectations for mileage, traction and driver satisfaction, then Michelin will reimburse any cost difference for a competitive drive tire,” the company says.
“We absolutely recognize the fact that we command a premium for the Michelin brand,” Murphy says. “We think the guarantees like the Confidence Guarantee are helpful in giving the fleet (and driver) confidence.”
Murphy provided an example of how the guarantee would work, using round figures for easy calculations. If a customer pays $500 for the Michelin X Multi D and isn’t satisfied, and a competing drive tire is $425, Michelin would reimburse the customer $75 for each tire purchased. ■