DALLAS, Texas – It’s a good time to be a commercial tire dealer.
“Things are looking very promising,” Steve McClellan, president of Americas for Goodyear, told about 2,000 tire dealers at the company’s No Limits customer conference here this morning. He noted commercial vehicle ton miles are at an all-time high and growing, and that there are now more Class 8 trucks on the road than ever before, “which means more demand for truck tires and retreads.”
Dave Beasley, vice-president, commercial tires with Goodyear, highlighted some of the company’s achievements in 2018. It saw its Fleet HQ call volume increase 20%, and has now completed more than two million service calls. But he also highlighted how the trucking industry is evolving.
“We’re seeing it in electric and autonomous vehicles, digital freight brokerages, platooning, the list goes on and on,” he said. “We are seeing big changes in how freight is hauled.”
Beasley said while longhaul remains the largest segment in North America, regional haul is gaining ground thanks to an increase in e-commerce and distribution hubs. “No doubt the trucking industry is evolving and with these changes come new opportunities,” he said.
Cary Budzinski, senior director, commercial sales for Goodyear, noted the company’s new Endurance LHS steer tire has been a huge success. The company put millions of research dollars, more than 10,000 hours of research and development, and more than 2,000 hours of internal testing into development of the tire.
The new Ultra Grip RTD is designed for improved traction in cold weather.
It was evaluated by 13 truck fleets, logging more than 13 million miles. It’s now been adopted by more than 200 fleets, Budzinski said, and is delivering strong results.
“This tire is delivering extraordinary mileage, in some cases 175,000 miles, 186,000 miles, one fleet tested more than 210,000 miles,” he said. “We know you need a premium steer tire that delivers great performance and the Goodyear Endurance LHS is that tire.”
In a video testimonial, flower hauler Armellini said it has extended steer tire life from 125,000 miles to 150,000 using the Endurance LHS.
Budzinski said the regional segment’s growth has prompted Goodyear to bring to market a new regional tire to its Fuel Max family, and for cold climates such as Canada, the Ultra Grip RTD for improved traction. It also has a full line of Marathon and Workhorse tires, and Budzinski said the company has overcome supply challenges it faced last year.
The company is also adding new options to its Tire Optix tire management tool. And it’s launching a new e-commerce program to allow small fleets to make tire purchases online, and have them installed at a local dealer.
James Menzies is editor of Truck News magazine. He has been covering the Canadian trucking industry for more than 15 years and holds a CDL. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow him on Twitter at @JamesMenzies. All posts by James Menzies