When looking at the impact of tire selection on fuel economy, the rolling resistance of your truck tires will have an impact on a truck’s overall fuel efficiency.   -  Photo: Michelin/Continental/Bridgestone/Work Truck

When looking at the impact of tire selection on fuel economy, the rolling resistance of your truck tires will have an impact on a truck’s overall fuel efficiency. 

Photo: Michelin/Continental/Bridgestone/Work Truck

When you think about truck tires, technology might be the last thing that comes to mind after rubber, metal, and air. 

Changes in tire compounds, new smart tech, AirFree concepts, connectivity solutions, and more are either already here or coming to work truck fleets soon. 

Work Truck reached out to the top truck tire manufacturers to find out what fleets can adopt now or expect in the future.

New Compounds at Toyo Tires 

For many years, tires were made of the same compounds. But today, tire manufacturers are researching alternative solutions to rubber for longer tire lives and reduced environmental impacts.   -  Photo: Toyo Tire

For many years, tires were made of the same compounds. But today, tire manufacturers are researching alternative solutions to rubber for longer tire lives and reduced environmental impacts. 

Photo: Toyo Tire

What are tires typically made of? Natural rubber, synthetic rubber, steel, carbon black, and other materials are often used. But Toyo isn’t settling for typical. It’s interested in using a specialized silica compound.

“Innovative compounding, casing construction, and new polymer development is pushing today’s truck tire technology into the future. Toyo is continually innovating its products to prepare for the next generation of commercial vehicles,” said Dave Johnston, senior manager, commercial business and product development at Toyo Tires.

Continental Makes Tires Smart

Technology has helped make your fleet truck smarter for years, now it’s helping make truck tires smarter, too. New technology provides additional details on tire use and wear.    -  Photo: Continental

Technology has helped make your fleet truck smarter for years, now it’s helping make truck tires smarter, too. New technology provides additional details on tire use and wear.  

Photo: Continental

The concept of smart homes is becoming an old hat, and smart vehicles are growing more commonplace. But have you heard of smart tires before? 

Want more? Check this out: All About Truck Tires: Load Ratings, Sizes & More

“As automobiles have become increasingly sophisticated in their onboard electronics, there is a growing need to integrate tires into these systems. The focus is to move from the passive information model of a basic radio frequency identification (RFID) system to a dynamic one, with sensors embedded in the tires offering real-time feedback on their performance and road conditions,” said Scott Pall, director of sales, U.S., at Continental Tire

Pal noted that adding value through sensors and data capture will significantly contribute to premium brand tiremakers’ future dominance and profitability. 

“Continental is launching a sensor to measure tire temperature and pressure, mileage, and tread depth. Pair it with Continental Tire’s ContiConnect web portal with predictive analytics algorithm, and we can send real-time alerts to fleets not only when there is a tire with an immediate issue but also to recommend true maintenance on the tires,” he noted.

Go AirFree with Bridgestone

Tire manufacturers are studying new ways to build tires without some of the concerns current truck tires have, including ensuring proper air pressure while still supporting the weight of the truck.   -  Photo: Bridgestone

Tire manufacturers are studying new ways to build tires without some of the concerns current truck tires have, including ensuring proper air pressure while still supporting the weight of the truck. 

Photo: Bridgestone

When reading through tips for tire maintenance and use, you can’t get away from proper inflation. But what if your drivers didn’t have to worry about tire air pressure? 

Bridgestone is currently in the testing phase for its advanced AirFree concept tire for commercial trucks. 

“Bridgestone is committed to high-quality standards, testing its tires for hundreds of thousands of miles to validate the engineering design and confirm the endurance and integrity of the concept. We expect to commercialize the advanced AirFree concept tire for commercial trucks within five years. In the near term, we expect to test the concept with specific customers to continue validating and improving the product’s design,” said Timothy Netzel, director of TBR brand marketing for Bridgestone Americas. “While AirFree tires for passenger vehicles will come to the market eventually, we see more immediate value in bringing this solution to commercial fleets seeking better uptime and driver safety.”

Yokohama Gets Connected

Work truck fleet managers feel more connected with their fleet vehicles and drivers through technology. But what about staying connected to truck tire data? 

“Connectivity and the communication between the tire, the equipment, and the driver or maintenance manager continue to advance and will become more widespread in the future,” said Tommy Bazzell, director of national account, truck stop & trailer OEM sales for Yokohama Tire.     

Reduce Rolling Resistance with Michelin

Concept tires are being designed to handle the wear-and-tear of roadways while reducing the need for tire maintenance and air pressure.  -  Photo: Michelin

Concept tires are being designed to handle the wear-and-tear of roadways while reducing the need for tire maintenance and air pressure.

Photo: Michelin

In addition to trying its hand at air-free concept tires, Michelin understands what impact a tire’s rolling resistance has on truck mileage. The U.S. Department of Energy estimates that 4-11% of fuel consumption is due to rolling resistance.  

Michelin is leveraging its Regenion sculpture technology to help push the need for lower rolling resistance tires, with compact tread design to maximize rubber contact patch and mileage performance while improving late-life traction. The lowest rolling resistance dual drive tire and X-One Drive tire are on the market now. These tires leverage Michelin’s latest fuel-efficient compounds and infinicoil technology,” said Coy Jones, III, operational marketing manager, Michelin North America, Inc. 

Do you know the answers to the top nine most frequently asked questions about retread tires? Curious about other developments in tire technology that have helped streamline safety? Read more and stay up-to-date on all of the latest truck tire news and feature articles by registering for Bobit Connect today

0 Comments