Michelin partners with Yellowstone Foundation
Michelin North America Inc. (MNA) reports it will continue providing tires to Yellowstone National Park by renewing its commitment to the Yellowstone Park Foundation (YPF).
Since 2008, Michelin has donated more than 1,400 tires to help equip Yellowstone National Park’s fleet of 800 vehicles, which includes everything from patrol cars and garbage trucks to giant earthmoving vehicles, rotary snow plows and large load-hauling tractor trailers.
Through the partnership, Michelin is helping Yellowstone National Park reduce its operating expenses and lower the park’s consumption of raw materials. The company is also helping the park lower its overall fuel consumption with the use of Michelin’s green tire technology. This focus on efficient tire performance, as it relates to improving the park’s sustainability, is significant given that, on average, Yellowstone vehicles collectively travel 3.75 million miles per year on the park’s more than 420 miles of roadways, MNA notes.
“We began this partnership with the Yellowstone Park Foundation with the shared hope of boosting fuel economy to help the park reach its goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by up to 30% by 2016,” says Pete Selleck, chairman and president of MNA. “So far the results have been encouraging, and we are proud to renew our commitment to supply tires and expertise to the country’s most revered historical national park.”
Through its donations and work, MNA has helped Yellowstone National Park save approximately $275,000 to $300,000 annually, which this year represents about a 12% reduction in the park’s fleet and road maintenance budget.
In addition to tire donations, Michelin regularly deploys its field engineers to consult with the park's fleet managers on optimizing tire use for better fuel economy and performance. Additionally, they provide training on the mounting of very specialized tires, including oversized earthmovers and Michelin XOne wide-base tires. This training has led to improved product performance, efficiency and safety, and a considerable reduction in maintenance costs.
“National park budgets have been cut dramatically due to sequestration,” says Karen Bates Kress, Yellowstone Park Foundation president. “By saving Yellowstone over a quarter million dollars each year, Michelin’s exceptional generosity allows the park to divert the funds it saves to other important projects, and maximize its resources.”
Other benefits from the Michelin partnership with the YPF include:
* Donated Michelin X-One wide-base tires that have reduced the number of tires needed on the park’s tractor trailers. This saves 800 pounds of weight, allowing the units to haul more materials and reduce the number of trips needed, which in turn saves fuel and reduces greenhouse emissions.
* As a result of its experience on Yellowstone terrain, Michelin technicians and engineers were able to develop a new tread design that allowed the park year-round usage of just one tire for snow, ice, mud and bare pavements at the park while providing the extended wear of a Michelin product.
* By providing training for National Park Service personnel on the mounting of giant earthmover tires, the park saves $1,200 per loader vehicle that uses these large tires.
* Before Michelin’s involvement, Yellowstone National Park replaced tires on an annual basis. Since that time, Michelin tires have been running approximately two to three years per unit doing the same work and thereby dramatically reducing the consumption of raw materials.
* Along with the additional wear life of the tires, fuel economy for the fleet has improved by 2% from the years previous to the Michelin partnership.
* In using Michelin tires, there has been a dramatic reduction (estimated at 60%) in tires that need to be “chained-up” in winter, saving tire wear, labor, and fleet down-time.
For more information, see Yellowstone Park Foundation.