A LONG WINTER
Turning on the lights on new truck tires
It’s late in the season, yet new truck tires, especially winter models, are being unveiled without let up. Efficiency and handling are crucial aspects
New winter tires; many manufacturers have chosen the beginning of the cold season to unveil their winter treads, aware of the fact that replacement requests will last throughout the whole of February. Driven by M + S and 3PMSF marked products the market offers also new innovative products for industrial and off-road use.
Imported by Intergomma, the Chinese tire maker recently launched two winter models for heavy-duty vehicles, the steering ASW80 and the drive axle ADW80, made with soft compounds resistant to sub-zero temperatures. The first is available in sizes 315/70, 315/80, 385/55 and 385/65 R22.5, all marked M + S and 3PMSF with a D rating on the European label for grip in wet conditions and energy efficiency. The second, coming in sizes 295/60, 315/70 and 315/80 R22.5, received an F for energy efficiency and a D for grip; and all are marked M+S; the 315/70 has also passed the 3PMSF test.
Bridgestone’s retread specialist launched a new tread for regional routes suitable even in extreme winter conditions. The BDR-WXT, marked M+S and 3PMSF, improves travelling performance, durability and safety. Tie-bars, connecting the tread blocks, increase stiffness and reduce the need to rotate the position of the tires to reduce wear, which incidentally increases rolling noise. Thanks to its angular grooves, the thin layer of water between the tread and the tarmac is easily expelled sideways, guaranteeing a superior steering response in wet conditions. The BDR-WXT is available for 22,5” wheels in the following sizes: 295/60, 305/70, 315/60, 315/70, and 315/80. The M-Drive 001, instead, is the new tread designed to retread the same Bridgestone model, suitable for extreme conditions such as quarries, with high self-cleaning capabilities and a compound that offers high resistance to cuts and accidental damages. Superior grip on uneven surfaces is guaranteed by the size of its tread blocks; marked M + S the M-Drive has a unidirectional tread with tie-bars. Alongside the two new treads, Bridgestone introduces also unprecedented sizes for those already on the market. The LGT tread, designed for retreading off-road tires, has a new expanded range with sizes ranging as follows: 11.00 R20, 12.00 R20, 11 R22,5, 12 R22,5, 13 R22,5, 12 R24, 325/95 R24. The regional BDR-HG can now also boast new sizes: 12,00 and 13,00 for 20” tires ; 12, 13, 275/80, 295/80, 315/80, 275/70, 295/70, 305/70, and 315/70 all for 22.5 inch wheels. The M279 EVO, designed for the same Bridgestone tire is suitable for all premium models and is available as 215/57 for 17.5" tires, 225/75, 245/70, 265/70 and 285/70 for 19.5" tires, 12R, 295/80, 315/80, 275/70, 305/70, 315/70, 295/60 and 315/60 for 22.5” wheels.
Continental’s Czech subsidiary completes the renewal of the B200R range with the new BT200R, for trailers and semi-trailers. Available in two standard sizes 385/55 and 385/65 R22,5” and a large 445/45 still for 22.5” wheels. B rating for grip on the European labeling system for the first two, while the extra-large size scores the same for energy efficiency. Like other B 200R models, the BT has been designed for regional or long-distance transport, where a sturdy casing is a necessary requirement (here the bead reinforcement is made with steel cables) along with high resistance to cuts. The new tire, much like the models already available for both drive and steering axles, has been completely redesigned with a new tread, compound and structure.
The FS 492 is the first Firestone tire devoted specifically to buses. Comfort, strength and durability are the qualities of this all-position tire, designed with sidewall protections against abrasion from contact with curbs and sidewalks and equipped with wear indicators. High retreadability casing and variable depth sipes are two additional features of this modern tire. The available size is 275/70 R22. On the other hand, commercial vehicles can rely on the Vanhawk 2, which retains the characteristics of strength and durability of the Vanhawk but improves its performances on wet surfaces (B rating) and rolling resistance (C rating). Already on the market since January in 20 sizes, two more are expected by the end of the year.
Fulda and Sava
Both brands, part of the Goodyear/Dunlop group, introduced as many models for large trailers with 100 m3 of usable space. Available, so far, in one size 435/50 R19,5”, the tires are named Fulda Ecotonn 2 and Sava Cargo 4. Both obtained a B rating for rolling resistance and a C for grip in wet conditions, while noise level was a great 70 dB (A). Both can be retreaded and re-grooved.
The Smart Control TW001 paves the way for a new range of winter tires: at the moment it is available in a single 385/65 R22.5” size for trailers; other sizes will soon follow in 2017 for both drive and steering axles. Designed following the Stiffness Control Contour Theory, they offer an optimized stiffness on the shoulder area, which guarantees superior driving precision and control. The solid structure improves efficiency and increases the tire’s life span thanks to a uniformed tread wear. The five ribs, interspersed by three main zig-zag grooves, and sipeless shoulder blocks enhance ground contact, reducing the risk of aquaplaning. The new rubber compound integrates a synthetic rubber resistant to low temperatures. The casing ensures high retreadability.
Two additional new models enrich the low environmental impact e-cube range: the steering AL20 and the DL20 for drive axles now flank the TL20 for trailers, already on the market. All e-cube tires are produced with an IMS system rubber compound, based on a longer process compared to conventional ones, which improves the structural links between rubber and carbon black molecules as well as their distribution, reducing heat build-up while driving. The company declares an 8% reduction in fuel consumption and a 17% higher mileage compared to the previous generation. The AL 20 is designed with a central ribbed block structure that enhances the stiffness of the structure with a variable depth central groove while the side grooves are closed. The DL 20 has a four-block central rib that reduces rolling resistance and improves traction. The grooves and tie bars between the tread blocks complete the tread design. For long-distance buses, a market that is experiencing a remarkable vitality, Hankook offers the new all-position Smart Touring in sizes 295/80, and 315/80 R22.5”. Riding comfort and low noise levels are its main features. The stable belt and large carbon black particles in the compound ensure a low heat build-up, reducing rolling resistance at the same time. The tread has five longitudinal ribs, while the 3D Multi Sipes guarantee superior braking performance.
The HR 4 range of the Slovakian manufacturer, also part of the Continental group, dedicated to trucks and buses engaged on regional routes, is enriched by the new size 315/70 R22.5 for the steering axle F HR4. The recently introduced series, which can boast both M + S and 3PMSF markings, has a new compound and tread design that enhances grip and handling in wet conditions.
Famous for its wet and rain tires, the American manufacturer extends its offer for regional and long distance transport. The steering FH 40 and DH 40 are now available in size 315/70 R22.5, which flanks the 315/80; the trailer axle TH 40 completes the offer and comes in sizes 385/55 and 385/65 R22,5. The FH has a B rating for wet grip and are M + S approved; the DH models, instead, can boast both M + S and 3PMSF markings. All models feature a reinforced bead and high-density steel belts for greater mileage, high resistance to cuts and an inner liner against pressure losses.
A new winter drive axle tire, the 902W, enriches the Zenviroment range, launched back in 2008 and characterized by its low rolling resistance and the use of recyclable materials. The soft rubber used for this tire range stems from oil extracted from the rind of citrus fruits (orange oil). The low level of friction thus obtained enhances the tire’s grip. The tread of the 902W is made up of "Z" shaped blocks interspersed by zig-zag grooves, which significantly improve grip and handling on rain, snow and ice. The shape of the blocks and placement of longitudinal and transversal grooves create a very strong structure ensuring great durability and high mileage. The available sizes are 295/80, 315/70, 315/80, and 275/70 R22.5”, all marked M + S and 3PMSF.