The steady rise of last-mile deliveries and the spread of hybrid and electric-powered vehicles in the transport sector are changing the business model. Vans moving along urban and suburban roads are required to cover increasingly longer distances, with stop-and-go driving in the city. The distances travelled in different weather conditions and roads that are not always in ideal condition put a strain on tyres. In order to meet these and many other demands of transport agencies and truck drivers, tyre manufacturers have developed robust and durable tyres that offer performance, safe braking and rolling resistance in order to reduce fuel consumption and harmful emissions.
The new Duravis Van is a premium summer tyre for light commercial vehicles developed by Bridgestone to respond to the growing trend of urban deliveries. Compared to its predecessor, the Duravis R660, Bridgestone Duravis Van offers 21% less rolling resistance and an EU 'B' class label for low fuel consumption or greater mileage in electric mode. The new tyre features a number of innovations, including a new tread pattern, cavity optimisation, a new sipe design and a new full/void ratio which guarantees better grip and boosts performance. The innovative compound blending affects the sub-molecular level by also improving the control of the chemical reaction, balancing the reinforcement mechanism and rolling resistance. The new Duravis Van, Bridgestone points out, is suitable for different types of vehicles, from traditional ICE to hybrid and electric vehicles, helping to optimise performance. The higher wear resistance counteracts the increased weight and torque typical of electric vehicles, while its low rolling resistance allows it to extend the battery life. Compared to its predecessor, the R660, Duravis Van also offers a noise reduction that benefits the comfort and silence we typically associate with electric vehicles, with a 2dB reduction in interior noise, earning it the EU 'A' class label, the highest in its category.
The VanContact A/S Ultra is the Continental tyre designed for light urban transport. It comes in four sizes for 15-, 16- and 17-inch wheels and can be fitted on vans that are used for delivery services and commercial activities, but also on smaller vehicles. For the VanContact A/S Ultra, Continental engineers developed a new compound, profile and sidewall. New additives were added to the compound to reduce rolling resistance, an important factor in lowering fuel consumption and CO2 emissions. At the same time, the compound's functional polymers guarantee higher mileage, both in summer and winter. Designed for the winter season, 'snow catching” elements (small bars in the tread grooves) trap snow and increase grip on snow-covered roads. They also stabilise the tread and contribute to improved handling and mileage. The 3D sipes provide grip on snow and wet roads and form an innovative design that stabilises the tread blocks, ensuring shorter braking distances. In winter, this design allows the sipes to open when they come into contact with the road and while the “biting” edges provide grip on snow. Vans operating in urban areas find it difficult to avoid hitting pavements and other obstacles. In order to make it more resistant, Continental designed a rib that extends along the entire sidewall of the VanContact A/S Ultra. Its 'bricklike structure', Contiental points out, is designed to protect the tyre from damage.
The new All Season Van Master ACT1 is the latest CST Tires offer specifically designed for light transport vehicles. This new tyre features superior wear resistance thanks to its reinforced belt and low heat generation technology. Van Master ACT1 provides optimal grip in a variety of conditions thanks to its side grooves designed to improve handling in wet conditions. In addition, the high-silica compound improves braking on wet roads by reducing distances and ensures, the company points out, safe performance at temperatures above and below 7°C. Wavy sipes on the shoulder improve grip in wet and snowy conditions.
Euroall Season Van11 is the commercial vehicle tyre designed by Falken. Using 4D-Nano technology, the tyre is built for durability. In fact, the rigidity of the tread provides grip and even wear as well as directional stability and shorter braking distances. The groove and sipe design ensure traction on snow and mud as well as wet grip with improved aquaplaning resistance. Certified as M+S and with the snowflake symbol (3PMSF), Euroall Season Van11 is on the market in 23 sizes, from 14 to 17 inches and in series from 55 to 75 and with speed ratings: R / S / T / H
The Giti GSR236 Combi Road, in size 215/75R17.5, is the brand's first steerable tyre to use Combi Road technology for small and medium-sized commercial vehicles travelling on motorways and regional roads. Compared to its predecessor, the Giti GAR820, the new model features longer mileage, wet braking, noise reduction, rolling resistance, snow performance and protection from scratches and sharp objects. These results have been achieved thanks to the latest generation of robust construction and compound technology developed on a three-groove design that determines its sturdiness. The wide shoulder ribs prevent irregular wear and improve cornering stability, while the robust sidewalls prevent scratches and damage from impacts. The tyre has been awarded the EU Class B label and is 3PMSF approved. The Giti GSR236 Combi Road was developed at Giti Tire's European R&D Centre in Hanover, Germany.
For light transport vehicles, Goodyear has three different products in its catalogue: EfficientGrip Cargo 2, Vector 4Seasons Cargo and Ultragrip Cargo. EfficientGrip Cargo 2 capitalizes on ExtraMile Technology for improved mileage, while Durability Plus Technology has improved rolling resistance. Thanks to this technology, Goodyear points out, the tyre resists to high temperatures and the tread performs even on rough roads. Moreover, thanks to a new high grip resin, the compound adapts when braking on wet roads which results in shorter braking distances.
The Vector4Seasons Cargo is designed to cope with different weather conditions. The tread sipes produce an interlocking effect for increased grip and stability, wet traction, reduced braking distance and improved mileage. Ultragrip Cargo features interlocking sipes for better traction in snow. In addition, the density of sipes and grooves optimises traction and braking. UltraGrip Cargo, the company points out, guarantees mileage even under full load, thanks to an extra-strong compound and a tread construction that stabilises the footprint.
On the subject of light transport, Hankook offers the Vantra ST AS2 (RA30) 4-season tyre for multi-performance vans, which was launched at the Commercial Vehicle Show 2020 in Birmingham, UK, and the Vantra LT. Both tyres represent Hankook’s attempt to tap into the growing demand for light transport and passenger vehicles. In both cases, the South Korean multinational's engineers sought to create durable and fuel-efficient tyres able to guarantee adequate performance in both dry and wet conditions. The larger footprint and stiff central rib blocks guarantee greater grip and braking performance while the additional rubber on the sidewalls protects the tyre from accidentally hitting pavements and other obstacles. These are the main features of the Vantra ST AS2 RA30. The tyre has an asymmetrical tread pattern with long sipes and tread blocks arranged to facilitate driving in snow. When driving in the rain, Hankook designers have provided three outer grooves and an open groove that runs on tyre's shoulder. This allows water to be dispersed more effectively. In addition, the designers decided to optimise the footprint so as to improve the tyres behaviour in all conditions. In addition, the sidewall has been reinforced in order to protect it from damage. The Vantra LT features a square-shaped contact patch technology, which increases stability in the outer area of the footprint and thus tyre durability. Furthermore, the tyre's innovative reinforced belt structure allows for better distribution of ground pressure and wear performance. The innovative system not only ensures adequate performance in wet conditions but goes a long way in preventing aquaplaning, improving fuel efficiency by minimising energy loss during driving.
Agilis 3 and Agilis CrossClimate are the two tyres Michelin has designed specifically for commercial vehicles. Agilis 3 is a summer tyre with a tread pattern that features flexible blocks able to adapt on wet roads and U-shaped grooves that increase the solid-to-void ratio to a tread depth of 2mm to help disperse water. Michelin Agilis 3 also offers durability and robustness thanks to two new technologies developed by Michelin for truck tyres: an innovative compound with a higher density of silica, which improves braking and enhances abrasion resistance, and a patented technology that helps to get rid of those annoying stones from getting stuck in the tread. Inspired by the CrossClimate+ car tyre, the Agilis CrossClimate features a V-shaped tread pattern formed by an innovative combination of hi-tech tread blocks. These contain bi-directional self-locking sipes that create sharp edges capable of 'clinging' to icy and snow-covered surfaces for grip in severe winter conditions. This combination of the new tread compound and the V-shaped tread pattern provides grip in a variety of conditions, while increasing the tyre’s mileage. Considerable resistance to damage is achieved by adding rubber blocks around the shoulders and on the upper sidewall. This solution provides protection without compromising the flexibility of the casing and stems from heavy transport tyres designed for military use.
Developed for demanding yet versatile use, the Nokian Seasonproof C is designed to suit light transport vehicles making deliveries on narrow urban roads. The multifunctional, directional V-shaped tread with a stiff central area is tailored to allow movement in different weather conditions. The grooves fan out from the centre and spread towards the shoulders. The middle section of the tread has been designed to maximise resistance to slushplaning and aquaplaning. The grooves trap water and slush between the tyre and the road and push the flow away from the tyre. Grip Claws between the tread blocks on the tyre surface improve grip. These special “claws” are designed to aid movement on snow-covered roads and other soft surfaces. The new tread compound offers excellent grip onwet roads, great mileage and higher fuel efficiency. The robust structure with patented Aramid Sidewall technology from Nokian Tyres offers unique durability and increased wear resistance. Nokian cLine Van is the summer tyre designed for light transport. The Nokian cLine Van has a wavelike support in the central groove that reinforces the lateral stiffness of the tyre to make it strong and wear-resistant, reducing the risk of aquaplaning. The way the blocks are distributed, and the tailor-made structure reduce internal and external noise. The special Clinch rubber compound maximises the safety of the Nokian cLine. In the bead area, the advanced rubber compound presses against the rim edge and prevents the tyre from wearing down with heavy use.
For light commercial vehicles, Pirelli offers the Carrier line, made to withstand the loads and speeds typical of modern vehicles in this segment. Tyres in the Carrier line are available for both the summer and winter seasons. Pirelli’s Carrier, in fact, has been designed following the most modern design criteria adopted on other Pirelli products, with a particular focus on safety. Among the features of this tyre are its ability to guarantee mileage, lower fuel consumption thanks to its low rolling resistance, and great performance in the wet. In fact, Carrier has earned A/B classes in wet grip. The tyre was designed in Pirelli’s R&D centre in Milan, where motorsport tyres are also designed. In its winter version, this tyre was designed using a special 'full silica' tread compound. The optimised profile design offers 30 per cent more mileage than previous models. This has also resulted in improved even wear and a 10% reduction in rolling resistance. The tread pattern, characterised by three wide longitudinal grooves and wider shoulder grooves, contributes to increased driving safety in wet conditions.
Triangle Tyre's flagship product for the light haulage sector is the ConneX Van TV701, a tyre designed to fit modern vehicles in this category and to meet the needs of fleets and owner-operators. The ConneX Van has a high block density tread pattern and offers a large stiff footprint that translate into high mileage and low rolling resistance. The design of the grooves makes them more resistant to stress, allowing the tyre to work at its best even when overloaded. The new digital noise reduction technology, based on side grooves with noise-reducing function, ensures acoustic comfort. The ConneX Van TV701 range is currently available in 31 sizes from 14 to 17 inches, series 60-80.