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Goodyear launches fuel-efficient truck tire lines

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Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. introduced three fuel-efficient linehaul tires today in San Angelo, Texas.

The tires, all featuring Fuel Max Technology, include the Unisteel G395 LHS steer tire, the Unisteel G305 LHD drive tire and the Unisteel G316 LHT trailer tire. They are available in standard (11R22.5) and low-profile (295/75R22.5 and 285/75R24.5) sizes.

Goodyear says the tires deliver up to 4% improved truck fuel economy.

"With fuel prices hovering around $3 a gallon, conserving fuel is on everyone’s mind," says Steve McClellan, vice president, commercial tire systems. "With Fuel Max Technology, we have blended fuel efficiency with long tread life and excellent performance."

While company officials are citing up to a 4% hike in fuel economy with the new tires, actual Society of Automotive Engineers test results showed an 8% improvement in fuel economy compared with standard Goodyear over-the-road tires.

"The test showed what our tires are capable of achieving in a controlled test environment," says Jon Bellissimo, Goodyear's director of technology for commercial tires.

Following SAE test procedures, the new tires were driven at highway speeds at the Goodyear Proving Grounds in San Angelo to benchmark the performance of the Fuel Max Technology line compared to conventional Goodyear commercial tires.

Since no one drives at constant speed on flat terrain for a 10-hour shift, Goodyear engineers adjusted the SAE results to 4% to estimate real-world conditions, such as varying driver inputs, road conditions and terrain and truck aerodynamics.

If a truck's gas mileage is 6 miles per gallon, Bellissimo says a 4% boost in fuel economy will improve it to 6.24 mpg and save the fleet or truck owner up to $2,100 in fuel per year (assuming the truck is driven 120,000 miles per year and fuel costs $2.85 a gallon).

"The use of innovative tread designs, along with advanced compound and manufacturing technologies, allowed us to drive improved fuel economy while maintaining a low cost-per-mile for our customers," adds McClellan.

Goodyear also is offering UniCircle and precure retreading with Fuel Max Technology.

In analyzing rolling resistance factors, Goodyear scientists and engineers found that the tread (design, non-skid depth and tread compound) accounted for more than half of a truck tire's rolling resistance.

"This analysis focused our work on increasing resiliency and reducing heat buildup in our tread," says Bellissimo. "Casing construction and tire manufacturing were also optimized to reduce fuel consumption. The net result was an 8% improvement in SAE fuel economy."

The three fuel-efficient tires will be built in Goodyear's Topeka, Kan., and Danville, Va., manufacturing plants.

For more information on Goodyear's line of commercial tires, visit http://www.goodyear.com/truck.

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