Semperit, road runners
All-season and all-round tires
All-season and all-round, the new Semperit Runner focuses on cost efficiency, thanks to low rolling resistance, strength and limited wear. The distribution will be entrusted to a specific network
From quarries to roads. The Semperit range, which includes also the on-off road Athlet (see article on Pneurama 2/2016), finally completes the Runner range, announced at the time of the revival of this historic Austrian brand now part of the Continental Group, with a different role from a traditional "second line" product which primarily focuses on a favorable quality/price ratio. The new Semperit tires are developed independently, albeit using Continental technologies; the target, though, is different, no overlapping in both their use and their distribution network; the Semperit banner will not necessarily be reserved for those who already distribute Continental tires.
The two networks will be completely independent, though not completely incompatible. There may be situations in which the characteristics of the territory as well as local transport companies will determine if one or both brands will be sold. While Continental products will continue to be specialized tires, Semperit will mainly focus on versatility and cost efficiency. "These are tires," said Daniel Gainza, Truck Tire Marketing Director EMEA at Continental, "that offer high mileage and performance in terms of consumption and, thanks to their versatility, can be used in different settings, from motorways to mountain roads. This range marks the beginning of a new chapter in Semperit’s long history". Both drive axle and steering axle tires, in fact, have both M + S and 3PMSF markings.
A complete catalogue
The Runner range has been gradually introduced on the market: the steering axle F2 was presented at the end of last year in size 315/80 R22,5, followed by the drive axle D2 in the same size, which won the Red Dot Design Award for functionality and contribution to innovation. At the end of last spring, the new T2, for trailers, was also introduced, thus expanding the company’s catalogue. Considering the latest models, the offer, all based on retreadable casings, will, from 2017, cater for 87% of the European market’s requirements, compared to the 76% of the older ranges and the 90% of other premium brands. Semperit, explains Barry Guilford, EMEA Truck Sales Director, aspires to stand out in a market segment that is becoming increasingly important in Europe. The offer starts with a 22.5" fit, which makes up about 76% of the heavy-duty segment in Europe.
Made to last
All new models have a four layers belt and an inner lining that minimizes air leakage. The bead structure passed from six medium and three small steel cables to six large ones arranged as a pentagon with a central cable, in order to reduce the amount of rubber in favour of the sturdier steel. The new base compound, used on all three models, guarantees good resistance to wear and cuts. Distribution is guaranteed by 35 regional centers spread out throughout the European Union, Russia, Norway and Turkey. The RUNNER F2 is now available as 8,5R, 245/70 and 215/75 for 17.5" wheels, 385/55, 385/65, 315/70, 295/80 and 315/80 for 22, 5" wheels. Low rolling resistance, reinforced by anti-abrasion compound in the areas most subject to deformation and optimized net-to-gross ratio for perfect handling in all conditions. By combining these features with the intelligent sipe geometry that improves water drainage, safety in wet conditions earned the F2 a B rating. The bead has been reinforced, while the higher load rating meets the new requirements for Euro 6 vehicles, whose SCR systems are always placed on the front of the vehicle. The grooves have an asymmetrical profile that improves duration and the sipe design allows optimum weight distribution. The original tread pattern is maintained throughout the life of the tire.
Trucks and trailers, here is the offer
The RUNNER D2 comes in a variety of sizes starting with 8,5R, 245/70 and 215/75 for 17.5 " wheels, to 315/70, 295/80 and 315/80 for 22.5 " wheels. The tread blocks design enhances noise reduction while maximizing traction. The sipes are dense and deep, two-thirds of the thickness of the tread. This preserves adequate traction throughout the lifespan of the tire, even when about to be retreaded. Even on this model the net-to-gross ratio has been improved thanks to computer simulations, the narrow central groove, which avoids the trapping of stones, makes the whole structure more rigid (reducing at the same time fuel consumption and tread wear) and three-dimensional grooves on the shoulders enhance cornering stability.
The compound, also designed to reduce friction and therefore fuel consumption, is reinforced with wear-resistant materials where the tire is more subject to deformation. The RUNNER T2 has further benefited from a 7% increase of the tread area compared to the previous M223: a width of 310 mm against 290. The longitudinal central grooves have been designed to facilitate the expulsion of stones, while the external grooves run straight for duration, and the outer tire ribs guarantee greater stability and noise reduction. Generally the tire proves to be at ease in the rain and more resistant to wear and cuts (classic problem of semi-trailers working in harbor areas and railway yards). The range includes the following sizes 205/65, 245/70, 215/75 and 235/75 R for 17.5" wheels; 445/45, 245/70 and 285/70 R for 19,5” wheels and finally, 385/55 and 385/65 R with 22,5” wheels.
As we have seen, even from a commercial point of view Semperit is a completely independent brand. Six European countries (Belgium, Italy, Netherlands, Portugal, Spain and the UK) will have a dedicated network with a dedicated brand; for Italy the name chosen is SemperitMasters. The networks were born from a preliminary investigation on two markets (Italy and Germany), with over a hundred interviews and questionnaires. Retailers have thus identified the characteristics of the ideal network: a strong brand image, marketing support, effective sale strategies, strong performance and immediate customer satisfaction.
MORE NEWS IN THE PIPELINE
Along with the renovation of Continental and Semperit ranges, the German group is also involved with another brand of truck tires, Barum. The 200R series is, for the moment, destined to drive axles (BD 200R, marked M + S and 3PMSF) and steering axles (BF 200R, M + S), available in both 315/80 and 315/70 sizes for 22.5" rims. The model for trailers (BT 200R) will be available in the second half of the year. As suggested by their winter markings, these are multi-purpose tires; New compounds and tread pattern, obviously retreadable, with reinforced beads. Once complete, the range sizes will be 205/65, 245/70, 215/75, 225/75 and 235/75 for 17.5" wheels, 445/45, 245/70 and 285/70 for 19.5" wheels and 385/55, 295/60, 315/60, 385/65, 315/70, 295/80 and 315/80 for 22.5" wheels.