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Efficiency for heavy transport vehicles

Economy and safety for long distance haulage

Nicola Giardino

The Michelin X Line Energy tire series, intended for heavy-duty vehicles used in long distance transport, is now also available in size 315/80R22.5 for multi-position axle and drive axle. The French manufacturer has also announced the extension of the range to size 385/65R22.5 for trailers, in the month of September. A line of tires with low fuel consumption meant for the whole convoy. The new tires also complete the offer of the French manufacturer  already on the market since early 2013 with sizes 315/70R22.5 and 385/55R22.5. Sensitive to the problem of transport costs, Michelin certifies  not only that the selling price of the new tires is unchanged from the previous range, but also that they are able to provide a fuel saving of 0.99 L/100 km (internal Michelin test) given the same size. The economic benefits are not limited to fuel economy though, because, in terms of Total Cost of Ownership (TCO), Michelin designers have created a compound able to ensure a constant level of service over a longer period of time. The new tires provide, compared to the previous Michelin X Energy Savergreen series, a longer lifespan by 5% on the drive axle and 10% on the trailer. In a context where the cost of fuel has now surpassed that of staff in the budgets of transport companies, any savings in terms of TCO is of particular interest. The sector’s inadequate profitability will threaten the survival of at least a quarter of transport companies by 2015. According to experts, considering the present crisis, an efficient transport system is able to increase the competitiveness of the national productive system and consequently its internal wealth. In our country, this is far from being understood. Transport inefficiency, in the period between 2000 and 2012, has caused a total GDP loss of € 24 billion. Registrations of heavy goods vehicles in our country between 2000 and 2012 fell by 63%, demonstrating the size of current difficulties. As if that were not enough, the slow renewal of the national fleet has a negative impact on the efficiency of services. Confcommercio has calculated that in 2015 the entire transport sector will lose an additional 20% and road transport alone a staggering 27%. We must promote, as soon as possible, higher competitiveness for trucking companies, a better level of road safety and an increased logistics efficiency.

In such a context Michelin’s choice to produce a new generation of tires for heavy duty  vehicles able to withstand an annual mileage higher than 110,000km at an average speed of 70 km / h at full loading was well-timed indeed. The secret to fuel saving are its innovative compound and an original tread design. In practical terms, considering a five-axle vehicle, a complete set of Michelin X Line Energy 315/80 R 22.5 and 385/65 R 22.5 tires on an annual mileage of 110,000 kilometers, would produce, according to official Michelin data, fuel savings of € 1,480 and a 2,640 ton reduction of CO2 emissions. Bearing in mind that the profit  margin of each vehicle varies from 1 to 3% (i.e. € 3850 per year), the margin increase is 38% (i.e. 1480:3850 x100 = 38.44%). The tread pattern is certified 3PMSK (Three Peak Mountain Snow Flake) testifying to the efficient traction in snowy conditions. The new Michelin X Energy Line Series 80 and 65 adopts the technical innovations of the  Durable Technologies program also used on other tires: Energy Flex 2 casing, 5 ribs tread pattern wider in the shoulder area (where grooves have been created to offer a better grip ), Tower-Pump sipes and Delta sipes. The new range of Michelin tires stems from the company’s know-how and a very careful study of the conditions of tire wear over long distances. The best guarantee of the quality of Michelin X Line Energy is evidenced by its being the first choice for many truck manufacturers.

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