GREENVILLE, S.C. — Michelin has introduced its first SmartWay-verified steer tire for regional and super-regional applications.
The company defines the growing super-regional application as a sort of hybrid between traditional regional-haul and line-haul, where more time is spent on-highway, increasing the need for fuel efficiency but at the same time requiring scrub resistance.
The new Michelin X Multi Energy Z steer tire will be well suited for parcel, dry van LTL, food and beverage and pick-up and delivery applications, the company announced in a conference call. However Paul Johnston, business segment manager, Michelin Americas Truck Tires, added “It’s not limited to these segments.”
Traditionally, the priority for regional-haul carriers has been for a steer tire that can withstand the abuse of city driving and provide a long service life. Michelin has adopted a dual compound to improve fuel economy without sacrificing wear: the top layer provides wear resistance, promoting mileage; and the bottom layer reduces rolling resistance for improved fuel-efficiency while also cooling the casing for longer life. A full-width protector ply also protects the casing to ensure long life and multiple retreads, Michelin says, and curb guards protect against sidewall impact.
“Michelin is again excited to offer a no-compromise truck tire solution – this time for regional steer tires,” said Ted Becker, vice-president of marketing for Michelin. “The new Michelin X Multi Energy Z offers the industry’s best combination of fuel savings and mileage in a regional application.”
Johnston explained that fuel mileage is becoming more important to regional-haul carriers, especially those serving customers who participate in the EPA’s SmartWay program. With the widening of the Panama Canal and the increasing use of intermodal, Johnston said a super-regional application is quickly developing. Typically, this would involve running somewhere between 75,000 and 125,000 miles a year over a combination of city streets and highways, using a mix of day cabs and sleepers in various configurations.
Pure linehaul operators will continue to be best served by the XZA3+ steer tire, Johnston noted. A fuel-conscious regional fleet can optimize their performance by running the new X Multi Energy Z at the steer position and Michelin’s X Multi Energy D on the drive axle(s), Johnston explained.
The X Multi Energy Z will be offered in the US and Canada beginning March 1 in three sizes: 11R22.5 LRG; 11R22.5 LRH; and 275/80R22.5 LRH. The tire will be listed in OEM databooks beginning in May.