Michelin introduces new X One, trailer aero kit

ATLANTA, Ga. – Michelin has introduced a new X One Grip D wide-base single tire, for improved traction, and an aerodynamic kit for trailers.

The products were announced at the Technology & Maintenance Council’s (TMC) Spring meetings. The X One Grip D tire is aimed at dry van truckload, tanker, and refrigerated longhaul fleets. It replaces the X One XDA2 and provides 25% better traction in snow than leading competitive tires, according to Adam Murphy, vice-president of marketing.

It has received Three Peak Snowflake certification for performance in snow, and is Smartway-verified.  The tire also features an open shoulder for improved grip, as well as matrix siping to form biting edges.

“It’s an incredibly difficult technology to master in molds,” Murphy said of the matrix siping. “It’s a very unique and key technology that enables us to achieve that 25% better snow traction than leading competitors.”

The newest X One wide-base single also features a dual compound; the top layer contributes to a longer tread life while the one underneath keeps the casing cool for maximum retreadability, Murphy explained. Wide-base singles are also lighter weight than duals, and can save a fleet more than 700 lbs if the tractor and trailer are so equipped. Michelin is backing the new tire with a driver and operator satisfaction guarantee. If drivers are unhappy with the performance of the tire, Michelin will refund the tire and wheel purchase price, in addition to $30 for labor, up to 150 days after purchase.

If owners aren’t satisfied with the performance after run-out, Michelin is offering to buy back the casing for $150 and will pay 75% of the original value of the wheel. The new tire will be available May 1.

The second product introduced by Michelin at TMC was less traditional from a tire company. It has developed an Energy Guard aerodynamic system for trailers.

“If we are truly about contributing to the progress of sustainable mobility of people and goods, we need to be thinking of fleets’ challenges and thinking of potential solutions that are beyond tires,” said Murphy.

Michelin heard from its customers that some of the aerodynamic devices for trailers out there today resulted in higher maintenance costs.

“It became clear there was massive pain fleets were experiencing with some of the aerodynamic solutions (on the market),” said Murphy.

The system includes a trailer side skirt that is fully flexible, and can bend over objects and snap back in place, aerodynamic flow-through mudflaps, a wake reducer to increase pressure on the back of the trailer and reduce drag, and drag-reducing trailer end fairings. All the components were designed for durability and to limit driver involvement, Murphy noted.

Michelin says the kit provides a 7.4% improvement in fuel efficiency, which has been validated through fleet testing. It will be available June 1 as a complete kit – individual components won’t be offered.

Michelin’s Energy Guard trailer kit is said to improve fuel economy by 7.4%.
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James Menzies is editor of Today's Trucking. He has been covering the Canadian trucking industry for more than 20 years and holds a CDL. Reach him at james@newcom.ca or follow him on Twitter at @JamesMenzies.

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