Dustin Lancy, marketing manager for the Goodyear’s commercial tire division, said that a proprietary poll of 590 fleets is helping focus the company on the key “must have” attributes of truck tires – and the top one is long miles to removal.
“We surveyed long-haul fleets to find out what the top 20 attributes of their truck tires and long miles to removal came out on top, followed by fuel economy and getting more even wear,” he explained to Fleet Owner during the North American Commercial Vehicle (NACV) show this week.
Thus that demand for “long life” became the development focus of the company’s new Endurance line of truck tires – with Goodyear unveiling the most recent addition to that line, the Endurance LHD tire, short for “long haul drive,” at NACV.
“It’s about getting not just longer life with the initial tread but also as a retread,” Lacy explained, noting that Goodyear is now halfway through the introduction of its Endurance line: three of the line’s six tires – the new Endurance LHD, Endurance WHA (for waste haul applications) and Endurance RSA (a regional long-haul model) – are now available to trucking companies.
By January 2018, he expects the full six-model Endurance line will be available.
Several key design features help the Endurance LHD both attain more mileage and save fuel as well, Goodyear noted:
- A new cap-base and tread combination to help achieve longer miles to removal as well as lower rolling resistance.
- A new sidewall compound to help lower rolling resistance and promote fuel efficiency.
- A steel belt package to help provide enhanced casing toughness
- A “shoulder wedge,” which was developed to help stabilize the tire’s belt package while improving its longevity.
- Goodyear’s proprietary “Tredlock Technology” helps stabilize the tire’s tread area, increasing resistance to irregular wear and thus boosting longevity.
The “zig zag” pattern of Goodyear’s Treadlock pattern in the tire tread blocks runs both vertical and parallel to the tire’s surface, the company added, which helps lead to more uniform wear, a better ride, and less vibration.
The Endurance LHD is currently available in size 295/75R22.5 (Load Range G) and 11R22.5 (Load Ranges G and H). Another size, 11R24.5 (Load Range G), will become available in December. Sizes 11R24.5 (Load Range H) and 285/75R24.5 (Load Range G) will be available in January 2018.
Goodyear also currently plans to introduce a matching retread for the Endurance LHD by the summer of 2018, Lacy noted, using the company’s “spliceless” UniCircle retreading system, which he said helps retreads better match the shape of specific Goodyear tire casings.
The next big tire challenge in the trucking space, however, is going to focus on developing more what he called “hybrid” tires – models capable of operating in both long-haul and regional/urban environments.
“A ‘catch all’ tire is the holy grail,” he explained. “We’re aiming to try and fill that gap for fleets in both long-haul and regional operations with a ‘super regional’ type of tire. The larger fleets are asking for that.”