Let it roll

April 21, 2010

The truck tire market might still be struggling, but you wouldn’t know it judging by the many new truck tires that were introduced during the first quarter.

Bridgestone Bandag Tire Solutions (BBTS), Continental Tire the Americas LLC, Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co., Hankook Tire America Corp., Kumho Tire U.S.A. Inc. and Yokohama Tire Corp. all rolled out new medium truck tires during the first three months of the year.

The Firestone FT455 PLUS is available in size 295/75R22.5 in a G Load Rating. The tire has been designed for free-rolling wheel positions such as trailer axles, tag axles and converter dollies.  It also contains “innovative cap, base and sidewall compounding for exceptionally low rolling resistance,” according to Chris Hoffman, manager, TBR and Retread Product Marketing, BBTS.

“With traditional tandem drive tractors pulling single trailers, our research has found that about 43% of tire fuel economy was attributable to trailer tires.”

Other features of the FT455 PLUS include a shallow 12/32-inch tread depth, solid shoulder ribs, “straight flow-through tread grooves,” and extensive rib siping.

The tire also meets California Air Resources Board requirements. “Starting this year, all 2011 model year trailers must use low rolling resistance tires verified by SmartWay in order to run in California.”

Continental Tire the Americas LLC unveiled the HSL1 Coach, a premium steer and all-position tire for long-distance motor coach use. “Not only does the HSL1 Coach offer a quiet ride, (it also offers) a low rolling resistance compound and a special tread design” in order to provide “excellent fuel economy,” according to Continental officials.


Goodyear introduced several medium truck tires for a wide range of applications, including a line of SmartWay-approved Dunlop tires: the SP 384 FM steer tire, the SP 456 FM drive tire and the SP 193 FM trailer tire. All three are available in standard (11R22.5) and low-profile (295/75R22.5 and 285/75R24.5) sizes.

The Akron, Ohio-based tiremaker also rolled out the Goodyear G296 MSA and Goodyear G296 WHA tires. The G296 MSA is a super single tire for mixed service applications like mixers and dump trucks. It is available with Goodyear’s DuraSeal Technology in size 425/65R22.5, making it the only wide-base truck tire available with “built-in puncture sealing,” according to Donn Kramer, Goodyear’s director of commercial tire marketing. The G296 WHA is a super single waste haul tire available in size 425/65R22.5 in Load Range L.

Also new from Goodyear is the Kelly Armorsteel KLS, a steer axle tire that features 18/32-inch tread depth in a five-rib design. The KLS comes in four sizes: 11R22.5, 11R24.5, 295/75R22.5 and 285/75R24.5. It’s “highly retreadable thanks to a four belt package which helps lower overall life cycle costs.”

Hankook unveiled five new truck tires. One, the DL07 long-haul drive tire, is available now. The rest will be available in the third quarter and will be offered in four sizes: 11R22.5, 11R24.5, 295/75R22.5 and 285/75R24.5.

They include the DL11, a long-haul drive tire that features a new fuel efficient tread compound, and the AL11, a long-haul steer tire that comes with an enhanced decoupling groove and a new sidewall design. Both the DL11 and the AL11 have earned SmartWay certification.

Also new from Hankook are the DH06, a regional drive tire that offers 28/32-inch tread depth and wide tread grooves, among other features, and the AH24, a regional all-position tire designed for long service life thanks to new compounding and an extra-wide and deep tread pattern. The tire will compete against the Michelin XZE2, the Goodyear G661HSA and the Bridgestone R260F truck tires.


Not to be outdone, Kumho Tire U.S.A. Inc. unveiled four medium truck tires. They include the KMA01, an on/off-highway steer and trailer tire with a four-rib design engineered for “good tread wear and cut-and-chip resistance,” according to Kumho officials; and the KMA02, a wide-base mixed service tire for enhanced traction.

The KMA01 is available in five sizes: 11R22.5, 11R24.5, 12R22.5, 225/70R19.5 and 315/80R22.5. The KMA02 is available in three sizes: 385/65R22.5, 425/65R22.5 and 445/65R22.5.

Kumho also introduced the KLS02, a premium line-haul steer tire that comes with a five-rib design. It features a decoupler groove for steering stability and extra resistance to irregular wear.

The KLD02 is Kumho’s next-generation, premium line-haul tire. It boasts a 30/32-inch tread depth and is available in 11R22.5, 11R24.5, 295/75R22.5 and 285/75R24.5. The KLS02 is available in the same sizes, according to company officials. Kumho says it will submit the KLS02 for SmartWay program approval by mid-2010.

Yokohama Tire Corp. rolled out the 101ZL, the latest addition to its Zenvironment line of environmentally friendly truck tires. It will come in four sizes: 11R22.5, 11R24.5, 295/77R22.5 and 285/75R24.5. Features include Yokohama’s patented Zenvironment construction, which controls casing growth and reduces strain in the tire’s shoulder, as well as “contact pressure equalizer sipes” that optimize rib contact pressure to resist uneven wear.


The tire also contains stress equalizer ribs to boost road contact at the shoulder’s edge, as well as serpentine grooves for extra rigidity and multiple sipes “that create an ideal footprint for optimal rib edge contact pressure,” according to Yokohama officials.

The 101ZL has received SmartWay approval, they note.

Also new from Yokohama is the MY627W, which made its official debut at last month’s Mid-America Trucking Show. It will replace the Yokohama Y773 and boasts such features as a wide outside rib for improved traction, sidewall indentations designed to dissipate heat during stop-and-go driving, an angled double wave outside groove to sustain rib rigidity, and more.

Designed for vehicles that require high load carrying capacity, the MY627W will be available this June in size 315/80R22.5 in Load Range L.    ■

Cosmo-politan debut -- Private brander launches truck tire line

Private brand companies are even getting in on the new truck tire introduction game. Miami, Fla.-based Tire Group International Inc. (TGI) has rolled out a premium radial truck tire line under its Cosmo brand name.

The tires are available in the following sizes: 11R22.5-16PR (highway, lug and semi lug), 11R24.5-16PR, 12R22.5-16PR and 295/80R22.5-18PR. The last three sizes are available in both highway and lug, say TGI officials.