DALLAS, Texas – Two new regional haul tires, an e-commerce platform for commercial tire buyers, and updates on Tire Optix were among the announcements made by Goodyear at its No Limits customer conference.
The new tires and e-commerce platform were shown to more than 2,000 dealers for the first time.
Made for Canada
Among them was a made-for-Canada regional haul tire, the Ultra Grip RTD drive tire. Mahesh Kavaturu, commercial technology director for Goodyear, said the new offering was designed to offer maximum traction in Canada and other cold weather environments.
The Goodyear Ultra Grip RTD was designed for the Canadian market and other cold climates.
The all-season tire achieved a three-peak snowflake rating, verifying its traction capabilities. Features contributing to its grip include: a tread design and compound that offers long, even wear; a 25/32-inch deep tread for long miles to removal; complex sipe geometry with variable tread depth to maximize traction as the tire wears; and conical stone ejectors to limit stone trapping.
The tire will be rolled out in the fourth quarter in size 11R22.5. Kavaturu said the new offering will help Goodyear grow its market share. It has been tested in Canada and Kavaturu said the testing proved the traction is excellent, while tread life is not compromised.
Goodyear also introduced a new Fuel Max RTD drive tire, which focuses on improving fuel economy rather than traction. Its rolling resistance is 15-20% lower than its sister tire, the Ultra Grip RTD. Kavaturu said this tire was introduced to help OEMs meet GHG Phase 2 fuel economy requirements.
It will be available in six sizes, with the first of those hitting the market in the fourth quarter.
“Fleets in the quickly growing regional haul segment need tires that can deliver all-around performance across a wide range of driving conditions,” said Kavaturu. “We are confident that the new Goodyear Fuel Max RTD and Ultra Grip RTD will help regional fleets achieve this objective and lower their operating costs.”
Goodyear also previewed a new e-commerce platform, which will allow small fleets and owner-operators to purchase tires online, and then have them installed at a local dealer. Paul Green, who’s in charge of special projects for Goodyear, said fleets are already beginning to buy aftermarket parts online, and tires should also be offered in this manner.
The company is basing the project on its existing consumer lineup e-commerce platform. Customers will enter the store through GoodyearTruckTires.com and choose their tires. The store will then allow them to schedule an appointment at a nearby dealer for installation.
At its No Limits customer conference, Goodyear was busy signing up installers. It would like to have 2,000 or so in the database before it pilots the platform in the second quarter, with a rollout planned for the third quarter. A Canadian rollout will come later, Green noted.
“The idea is to drive new customers to our aligned dealers and help them compete online,” said Green. “No one is really selling commercial tires online today.”
Goodyear is confident the program will help it grow sales to hard-to-reach small fleets and owner-operators. This is a big market, with owner-operators in the U.S. representing more than 400,000 active vehicles and three million tire positions.
Today, 55% of fleets are buying some form of truck parts online, and Green said it makes sense to make tires available through e-commerce. Pricing will be consistent across the country.
“Positioning Goodyear’s commercial dealers to connect with customers and capture new business is one of our priorities,” said Dustin Lancy, marketing manager, commercial tires. “We are in a unique position to draw on our experience with e-commerce for consumer tires and be the first to bring a commercial program to the market.”
Tire Optix updates
Goodyear also announced nearly one million truck tires have been inspected using its Tire Optix commercial tire management program since its launch in early 2018. The program allows Goodyear service reps to quickly capture data such as inflation and tread depth levels, and automatically upload the data to a cloud-based platform.
Of the million tires inspected, 15% required corrective action related to inflation pressure or tread wear conditions, Goodyear announced.
“Tires are one of the largest expenses for trucking fleets and should be managed properly for optimal performance and to help prevent expensive vehicle downtime,” said Johnny McIntosh, general manager, services and solutions with Goodyear.
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