Bridgestone unveils ultra fuel-efficient, environmentally friendly tires/retreads

March 23, 2012

LOUISVILLE, KY. Bridgestone Commercial Solutions unveiled its brand new line of “Ecopia” truck tires and Bandag “FuelTech” retread solutions at the Mid-America Trucking Show (MATS) this week. Customers and the press crowded the Bandag exhibit here to get a first look at what Scott Damon, vice president marketing for Bridgestone Commercial Solutions, called “one of the largest product launches in [the company’s] history.”

Bridgestone introduced a total of five new tires in the Bridgestone Ecopia line for steer, drive, and trailer positions, and four new tread designs in the Bandag FuelTech line developed specifically to complement the drive and trailer Ecopia tires. Working together, they are designed to provide drivers and fleets with a fuel-efficient and eco-friendly option.

The advanced compounding for lower rolling resistance; new tread designs developed for long, even wear; and the additional technology benefits from the Ecopia tire and casing solution, could save up to 5% in fuel costs, when compared to leading competitors, according to Bridgestone, and up to 29% in total tire wear cost, when retreading an Ecopia casing with a Bandag FuelTech.

The Ecopia line includes the new R283 Ecopia steer, plus wide-base single and conventional duals for drive and trailer positions. For fleets using duals, the new M710 Ecopia drive and R197 Ecopia trailer radials are also designed to deliver outstanding fuel efficiency.

According to Bridgestone, this is achieved through proprietary Bridgestone compounds that lower rolling resistance for optimum fuel efficiency while preserving casing durability and retreadability. This is also true for the Greatec M835 Ecopia drive and Greatec R135 Ecopia trailer wide base singles, it noted. Ecopia radials are EPA SmartWay verified and comply with CARB requirements.

The new Bandag FuelTech retreads complement the Ecopia drive and trailer lineup by extending the casing advantages derived from Ecopia tires for excellent fuel efficiency and reduced CO2 emissions – for added eco-friendly benefits.

“We’ve created a total solution for our customers that didn’t shortchange fuel economy for tread wear or durability,” said Damon. “To do that, we added smarter designs and new technology in our Ecopia products, and implemented technologies that extend the life of an Ecopia casing for our Bandag FuelTech products. These changes mean greater fuel savings for our customers that can contribute to a lower cost of ownership over the life of the tires.”

Bridgestone took full advantage of technology to take its new tire and retread offerings to the next level. According to the company these include:

  • Bridgestone’s patented NanoPro-Tech polymer technology within the tire tread, available in all new Ecopia tires, which helps control particle movement to reduces energy loss for improved fuel economy through lower rolling resistance.
  • A proprietary Fuel Saver Sidewall compound to reduce heat generation, which lowers rolling resistance and improves fuel economy.
  • Bridgestone’s new IntelliShape sidewall, found in the M710 Ecopia drive radial and R197 Ecopia trailer tire, which contains less bead filler volume to reduce tire weight and improve fuel economy—also conserving natural resources.
  • A new Defense Side Groove feature incorporated into the R283 Ecopia steer tire, which creates uniform pressure along the footprint at the shoulder to help extend tread life.
  • A High Rigidity Tread Pattern added to all Ecopia and FuelTech designs to extend wear.
  • A patented Waved Belt design in Greatec Ecopia tires to improve durability, contributing to a more retreadable casing, especially when paired with a Bandag FuelTech product.
  • The use of patented Turn-In-Ply technology to enhance durability and retreadability over the life of the casing.

These features found in Ecopia casings carry through to the retreading side, extending these fuel efficiency benefits while extending the life of the tire, the company noted.

Customers can see for themselves what the Bridgestone’s new comprehensive tire solution could mean to their bottom line thanks to a new online calculator, also introduced at MATS. In developing the calculator, Bridgestone tires were compared to the equivalent-sized competitors’ tires by a third-party laboratory using the SAE J1269 rolling resistance test. By entering a few details, such as purchase price and removal mileage, users can calculate projected savings over the life of their tires – from estimated fuel and tire wear savings to the estimated reduction in CO2 emissions.

“The Ecopia line is Bridgestone’s answer to the bottom line demands of fleets and drivers who want to reduce their total cost of tire ownership and meet the growing demands for more environmentally-friendly solutions,” Damon said. “We’re proud to offer a solution that helps our customers lower costs over the life of the tire, and gives them greener returns along the way.”

About the Author

Wendy Leavitt

Wendy Leavitt joined Fleet Owner in 1998 after serving as editor-in-chief of Trucking Technology magazine for four years.

She began her career in the trucking industry at Kenworth Truck Company in Kirkland, WA where she spent 16 years—the first five years as safety and compliance manager in the engineering department and more than a decade as the company’s manager of advertising and public relations. She has also worked as a book editor, guided authors through the self-publishing process and operated her own marketing and public relations business.

Wendy has a Masters Degree in English and Art History from Western Washington University, where, as a graduate student, she also taught writing.  

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