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11/01/2021
Made to withstand bad weather

Truck

 

Manufacturers have been hard at work on tires designed to cope with harsh winter conditions. All segments of the vehicle market have been affected, from light to heavy-duty commercial vehicles, on/off-road and buses. Innovations also in the field of vehicle maintenance and services

Massimo Condolo

As the weather turns cold, the race is on among truck tire manufacturers in boasting about the performance of their latest products in wet conditions or the collection of winter markings. Naturally, these are mainly tires intended for use on regional routes, particularly sensitive to bad weather. However, new arrivals have been recorded for building site vehicles and city buses, with casings and treads being put to the test by the weight and torque output of increasingly popular electric motors.

 

Regionals, when the weather is bad…

Bridgestone’s regional Duravis R002 features a new compound and tread design, earned a European A label for grip and the combination of all the three versions designed to equip a semi-trailer truck, steer-drive-trailer axles, is labelled B-C-B for consumption. The company also claims 45% longer life than the previous R001 and a 15% reduction in the cost per kilometre. Available in fifteen different sizes for 22.5" wheels, the R002 range replaces all previous Bridgestone regional tires. At Goodyear, following the launch of the new KMax T Gen 2, the second generation of regional and long distance truck tires is now complete. Branded 3PMSF, and intended for trailers, the K Max T is the natural follow up to the drive and steering axle tires introduced in 2019. The tread has five, six or seven ribs depending on the size; to ensure maximum grip, the sipes remain deep even with 75% of the tread worn off. The second generation KMax casings integrate an Rfid tracking chip with Goodyear's software and management systems, such as eJob, Fleet Online Solutions and other Goodyear Total Mobility packages. The new KMax tires are suitable for regrooving and retreading with compounds and tread patterns identical to the original, thanks to the TreadMax Moldcure programme. The offer includes one 19.5" and three 22.5" models.

 

Severe road surfaces and harsh climates

The historic and popular Giti Tire GDM 686 is now a totally new on/off-road radial with self-cleaning tread. According to tests carried out in the UK and Germany, the GDM 686 guarantees 20% more mileage than its predecessor. Developed by the Giti research centre in Hannover, the tire boasts 3PMSF markings and is available for 22.5" wheels in size 315/80, 12R and 13R. The structure of the belt, the tread and the compound are more resistant to cuts, abrasion and other damages while the casing proves at ease on gravel roads and construction sites. The new GDM 686 completes the Giti range for mixed services, consisting of the multi-position GAM 831 and 837 and the GAM 851 steering and trailer tires. Continental’s HT3, on the other hand, was designed for trailers operating in very severe weather conditions on regional routes, while the new HT3 Winter expands the Hybrid series with a self-healing tread. Branded 3PMSF, it comes in size 385/65 R22.5 with a load index of 160 and is designed for extreme winter conditions typically found north of the Alps or on mountain roads in Northern Italy. Furthermore, the HT3 earned a Label C for fuel consumption and B for grip on wet roads and completes a range that will soon include an SR series for severe conditions in Southern Europe and South Africa, and an ED series for super-severe conditions designed for use in Turkey and North Africa, with High Load labelling.

 

City buses and all-seasons for light trucks

Electric buses are now a reality in every major European city. Continental's researchers have adapted the characteristics of their urban bus tires to the specifications of these eco-friendly vehicles, in particular the significant weight of the charging systems and battery pack entrusted with delivering a great torque to the wheels. The new Conti Urban HA3 feature a casing reinforced with a high percentage of natural rubber to combine flexibility and durability, and a particularly robust tread, resistant to abrasion and able to ensure a wide footprint. The new HA3 is marked 3PMSF and is available in size 385/65 R22.5; with the new 156/160 J load index instead of the previous 154/148, the HA3 is capable of supporting weights in the region of 8 tons per axle. Bridgestone and Firestone, on the other hand, launched two multi-seasonal product lines dedicated to vans and light commercial vehicles. The Firestone Vanhawk Multiseason is a tire that optimises fuel consumption without sacrificing performance even in difficult conditions as evidenced by the M+S and 3MPSF markings and the European B label for grip on wet roads. It is available in 19 sizes for 15" and 16" wheels. Alternatively, the Bridgestone Duravis All Seasons offers a C label for fuel efficiency and A for wet grip, M+S and 3MPSF markings, and a tread with wide grooves and great self-cleaning properties. It comes in 23 sizes, including 17" wheel size and five models with a 10 PR load index.

 

Titolo: Hankook, a new brand and a “visionary” tire

Soon the European market will witness the arrival of several commercial vehicle tires from Laufenn, a Hankook Group brand launched in 2015 and already popular in light transport applications. Starting from the UK, the brand Laufenn intends to “attack” the commercial vehicle market with nine lines designed for short and medium haul. The range, which focuses on high quality/price ratio and reliability, includes the LF 21 and 22 (medium and short-haul tires for steering axles), LZ 22 (regional drive axle), LF 90 and 91 (regional trailer), LR 01 and 02 (on-off road multi-position), LR53 (on-off road drive axle) and LF 60 (urban multi-position also for buses). It will take a very long time, however, to see anything similar to the HPS-Cell concept circulating on our roads. A futuristic transport system that is the result of the project that every two years sees a university of excellence in industrial design collaborate with Hankook to foresee and create the tire of the future. The university chosen for 2020, the University of Cincinnati, designed a tire-centred driving platform. Since it is modularized, it provides efficiency in movement, and aims to provide services that are optimised by combining the modules for various purposes, a scenario that clearly states that the tire is at the centre of the role of the platform, assuming responsibility for movement and the new concept of mobility as living space. Another innovation of the HPS are airless wheels with treads identical to those found on traditional tires, but interchangeable, so as to adapt to different road surfaces and weather conditions.

 

Titolo: MAN, turnkey mobile workshop  

The turnkey mobile workshop offer is based on the high-roof version of the Tge, the commercial vehicle produced in synergy by Man and Volkswagen, the result of a collaboration between Man, Sipav and the Supertruck network and is equipped with an electronic wheel balancer and a Sipav electro-hydraulic tire changer. Customers can request further tailor-made solutions and apply directly for approval as a mobile workshop. Vehicles equipped for tire replacements are increasingly used not only for car breakdown services, but also for routine and extraordinary maintenance on site, for example at bus depots or truck stops which do not have a workshop.

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