Sailun Tire Americas has launched its Terramax RT light truck tire, which focuses on “good traction, good mileage and good value,” says Jared Lynch, director of U.S. sales, Sailun.
According to Lynch, the rugged-terrain (R/T) tire segment is continuing to grow and especially has grown in the last three to four years.
Because of the relative newness of the segment, Sailun decided to wait a few years before creating its own R/T tire.
“We decided to wait a couple of years, collect data from North American consumers and then design it in-house — in North America — to meet their needs.”
RT tires are good for both everyday use and people who occasionally take their vehicles off-roading, he continues.
“It needs to do well in the gravel, it needs to do well in the mud and it needs to do well on rocks.”
Lynch says Sailun decided to give the Terramax RT a wide range of sizes to accommodate numerous vehicles. The tire also has a 45,000-mile warranty.
The tire officially debuted during a ride-and-drive event outside Las Vegas, Nev.
Understanding the tire
Lynch says Sailun focused on three main things during the tire’s design, which took place at Sailun’s facility in the Chattanooga, Tenn.: sizes, esthetics and an actual understanding of how the tires are used.
The Terramax RT is offered in 36 sizes that fit 17-inch to 22-inch rim diameters, with larger flotation sizes available.
Having a diverse range of sizes was important to the company so that the majority of the market was covered, says Lynch.
The tire also has an F Load Range to accommodate electric trucks coming into the market.
“We want to set our customers up for success today and for success in the future,” he says.
“These electric trucks that are slowly hitting the market weigh 50% more than internal combustion engine vehicles. So we wanted to make sure that as that segment continues to grow, our customers will be covered.”
The aesthetic of the tire was something the company really focused on. Lynch says Sailun talked with customers to see what look they preferred – both in the sidewall and the tire’s tread.
This led to construction considerations, like proprietary anti-tear rubber compounds that Sailun engineered into the Terramax RT’s tread and sidewall, for example.
“This gives the tire better traction and protection and it looks cool,” says Lynch.
“We designed this tire to have 16/32s of tread depth in P-metric sizes and 18/32s of tread depth in LT.”
During its research, Sailun found that many of the target customers for the tire live in areas that see lots of snow.
The Terramax RT is 3-Peak Mountain Snowflake (3PMS)-certified. (“Our company headquarters is in Toronto, so we are very aware of ice and snow,” says Lynch.)
“We thought if we could create an R/T tire with 3PMS, then we could save our customers money by allowing them to keep the same set of tires on for all seasons. That’s very important to us – to have a stable tire that is also saving our customers money.”
He says that customers can keep the Terramax RT on their vehicle all year, which removes the need to buy a second set of tires.
Tying in the Terramax name
Sailun also offers an all-terrain (A/T) in the Terramax line.
The Terramax AT was launched several years ago and “caught on like wildfire,” according to Lynch. “That tire model, just because it was so successful, really built a name for the Terramax.
“We wanted to create an R/T that was in that family of tires because customers who have used the Terramax AT know how good of a tire it is and this is an extension of that.”
The new Terramax RT “represents a lot of what the all-terrain offered customers over the years – great value and great traction.”
As the RT segment grows, Lynch says this could alter the market for A/T tires. Right now, the R/T segment is “eating the MT (segment’s) market share,” he adds.
Customers “need good traction, but road noise (reduction) is very critical to them. That’s why we focused our efforts on making the Terramax RT a quieter tire.”
Lynch continues by saying road noise is one of the top things customers complain about when it comes to the more aggressive tires.
He says Sailun did a lot of research on how to make the tire quieter. The Terramax RT has both “good traction capabilities and good road manners.”