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Continental open shoulder drive gets high-five from SmartWay

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The Continental HDR1 Eco Plus has been SmartWay certified by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. The open-shoulder drive tire is designed for local pickup and delivery fleets.

"With its advanced fuel-efficient compounding, regional fleets will find that this tire lowers their driving costs, mile after mile, and has the traction features they want," says Clif Armstrong, director of marketing for commercial vehicle tires for the Commercial Tire Division of Continental Tire the Americas LLC (CTA).

Designed and produced at Continental’s manufacturing plant and research center in Mt. Vernon, Ill., the HDR1 Eco Plus keeps the same open shoulder design and reduced stone retention that the original HDR1 model, introduced in 2009, featured. Continental’s truck tire engineers also included the following in the new Eco Plus version:

* an innovative lug angle that resists irregular wear over the extended lifetime of the tire;

* a high endurance tread design with grooves that reduce stone retention; and

* advanced fuel-efficient tread compounding.

The compounding advancements allowed the HDR1 Eco Plus to become verified for low rolling resistance by the U.S. EPA SmartWay Transport Partnership, joining an elite list of tires that can help reduce emissions and fuel consumption for line-haul, class 8 trucks.

“Our engineers in Mt. Vernon have balanced the major needs of the on-highway regional fleet – traction, durability and fuel economy,” says Roger Stansbie, Continental’s director of commercial vehicle tire technology for the Americas. “While the HDR1 Eco Plus still offers the open shoulder and superior removal miles in the drive tire position, we’ve now upped the ante with a 19% improvement in rolling resistance over our original product.”

The fuel-saving capabilities of the HDR1 Eco Plus are particularly exciting for regional fleets that have been following the proposals of the U.S. EPA and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Regulations proposed in late October aim to further regulate greenhouse gas and fuel economy standards for vehicles ranging from heavy-duty pickups to commercial trucks, starting in 2014 and 2018. Since regional fleets may be affected by these regulations, they’ve been awaiting a low rolling resistance drive tire to meet their needs, adds Armstrong.

The HDR1 Eco Plus is now available through Continental dealers in the United States, Canada and Mexico in size 275/80R22.5, load ranges G and H. For specifications on this product and the complete lineup of Continental truck tires, visit

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