As the United States begins work on the most ambitious infrastructure initiatives in decades, the tire industry is poised to play a vocal role in guiding some key policies of its own within that realm. The U.S. Tire Manufacturers Association (USTMA) last month sent a letter to Congressional leaders identifying six policy areas it hopes to advance:
- Investments for the research and integration of rubber modified asphalt (RMA) to advance infrastructure projects.
- Research investments for tire derived aggregate (TDA) in storm water infiltration galleries.
- Research investments for storm water runoff and roadway runoff mitigation efforts.
- Incentives for the use and manufacturing of retreaded tires.
- Incentives for the use of low rolling resistance tires for public and private use.
- Federal fleet management policy that ensures 100% of tires in the federal fleet enter circular and sustainable scrap tire markets.
“We have a once-in-a-generation opportunity to truly transform the country’s infrastructure by focusing on our shared priorities,” says Anne Forristall Luke, USTMA president and CEO. “The tire industry is ready to lead, with innovative technologies that not only improve the fuel efficiency of vehicles but also enhance the performance and durability of our roadways.”
With that in mind, here are some of the latest updates and innovations from top tire suppliers.
Continental announced the development of its Conti EcoRegional Generation 3+, a tire line suited to mixed regional and long-distance haulage. The line has been developed for journeys involving multiple deliveries over the course of a day, driving in heavy traffic and winding roads. The tires’ standout characteristics include reduced rolling resistance and superior fuel efficiency, their low carbon dioxide emissions contributing to sustainable mobility and future-proof logistics, it says.
“The Conti EcoRegional HS3+ for the steering axle and Conti EcoRegional HD3+ for the drive axle represent an uncompromising upgrade for this tire family,” said Hinnerk Kaiser, head of product development bus and truck tires at Continental, in a statement.
Meanwhile, the new Conti EcoRegional HS3+ retains the innovative tread design of its tried-and-tested predecessor. The new-generation tire once again features pocket sipes to minimize uneven wear and improve water dispersion for optimized performance in the wet. Full-depth sipes continue across 50% of the rib width. Specially designed groove geometries ensure uniform transfer of power together with a long tire service life, it says.
For Class 4 to 6 trucks and vans, Cooper Tire’s Work Series offers a couple of different options.
Its Work Series All Steel Drive (ASD) tire is an open shoulder steel-belted drive tire while its Work Series All Steel All Position (ASA) tire is an all-position, steel-belted tire with a less aggressive tread pattern. Both are in a 19.5-inch size deal for equipment within those vehicle classes, targeting final-mile delivery applications that necessitate smaller vehicles.
According to Gary Schroeder, executive director of Cooper’s Global Truck and Bus Tire business, the Work Series ASD and ASA tires can withstand punishment from constant curbing. Cooper’s team has engineered the tires with an extra strip of rubber on the side wall that helps ensure the side wall’s integrity.
“More and more vans and delivery trucks are on the road in final-mile deliveries, and those operations continue to grow exponentially,” Schroeder says. “These customers are looking for highly engineered tires that can hold up for long miles to removal, while providing excellent ride characteristics.”
Last summer the Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. completed its acquisition of Cooper Tire.
Speaking of Goodyear, Cooper’s new parent company markets the Goodyear Endurance RSA regional and urban all-position tire, which it says help fleets reduce their cost per mile and maximize productivity on the job.
The Endurance RSA features what Goodyear calls an innovative tread compound for enhanced fuel efficiency and scrub resistance. Its special tread block geometry provides optimal traction and quick braking while driving on wet or snow-covered roads and its premium rigid casing construction facilitates consistent footprints and maximum retreadability. The tires are available in 19.5-inch, 22.5-inch and 24.5-inch sizes.
Michelin North America recently launched new pre-mold retreads to extend its portfolio of tire retread technologies. The Michelin X Multi T-SA pre-mold retread is designed to address the scrub and stresses in spread-axle and tag-axle applications, as well as provide better mileage performance in regional operations.
A new rubber compound enhances scrub resistance and wear rate, while the rounded, solid shoulder offers resistance to aggression. The company says the X Multi T-SA provides maximum tread-to-shoulder adhesion in high-scrub applications and can offer up to 25% more mileage than conventional tires.
In other Michelin news, the company announced last fall that its Michelin OnCall Emergency Roadside Service — which it launched in 2009 — has surpassed 2 million roadside tire service events.
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