BF Goodrich goes the distance with new light truck tire
January 1, 2000
The newest addition to BF Goodrich's light-truck tire lineup is the Commercial T/A, an all-season traction tire aimed at the Class 1-5 market.The new truck tire comes with a 50,000-mile limited treadl...
The newest addition to BF Goodrich’s light-truck tire lineup is the Commercial T/A, an all-season traction tire aimed at the Class 1-5 market.
The new truck tire comes with a 50,000-mile limited treadlife warranty, which is a first for the company’s light-truck tires. The T/A’s CoolWedge shoulder insert uses a special compound in the tire shoulder area, allowing hard-working tires to run cooler and last longer, the company claims. Steel belts strengthen the tread for better steering response, cornering and grip as well as providing better road hazard, curb and puncture resistance.
Freightliner’s Hebe bullish on future of truck market
Canada’s Class 8 truck market is strong, despite a Class 6-7 business that lags behind growth in the U.S., Freightliner president Jim Hebe reports.
In 1999, an estimated 30,973 trucks were sold. (Final figures are still being crunched.)
Canada’s Class 8 truck business has grown steadily from 21,394 in 1996 to 27,205 in 1997 and 29,152 in 1998. But the Canadian market remains unique in comparison to its U.S. counterpart. Carriers who buy 50 to 100 trucks a year represent about 40 per cent of the trucks sold in Canada, and one-truck buyers are a significantly larger segment of the market. In the U.S., more than 40 per cent of the trucks that are sold go to buyers of more than 501 trucks. South of the border, the 50-100 market is a virtual “no man’s land”, Hebe said.
Regardless, Class 8 truck sales are now slowing on both sides of the border because carriers simply can’t find drivers to handle the growth they projected would rise more than 15 per cent — and drive the need for new trucks, Hebe added. In some cases, fleets are operating six to 10 per cent under capacity because of a lack of drivers. Three-year-old trucks are being traded in with less than 200,000 miles on them, according to Hebe.
As for the long term, Freightliner is projecting 28,500 Canadian Class 8 truck sales this year, 27,000 in 2001 and 28,000 in 2002. In the U.S., markets are expected to account for 216,000, 208,000 and 225,000 trucks, respectively.
Despite forecasting drops in sales for the next two years, Freightliner remains bullish about the truck market over the next decade. If the national economies continue to grow at their current rate (Canada’s growth is leading that of the U.S.), the market will continue to exceed their growth and swell by an average 3.5 to 4.0 per cent per year. That means a Canada/U.S. truck market of 320,000 to 370,000 vehicles by 2009.
And there’s little question about the types of trucks that are leading the demand that exists.
“Long conventionals are absolutely dominating the market. Even the medium conventional is dropping,” Hebe said, looking at the type of configurations that make up the truck population.
Like other manufacturers, Freightliner is looking at medium-duty trucks, those weighing in at Class 6 and 7, as being the most stable truck market in the coming year. While 179,098 were sold last year in the U.S., only 7,909 were built for Canada. Here, levels hit 6,600 in 1995, 6,664 in 1996, 6,884 in 1997 and 8,018 in 1998. Canada’s weaker showing may be in part due to the fact Canadian carriers make better use of so-called Baby 8s.
Freightliner will use a fleet of Argosy Class 8 trucks to demonstrate a diesel emissions reduction system it claims has shown potential for reducing oxides of nitrogen (Nox) emissions by as much as 75 per cent, without decreasing fuel economy.
The system, called SCR, works by injecting aqueous urea — a reducing agent — into the tractor’s exhaust flow. Inside the catalyst, a significant portion of the NOx is reduced to nitrogen and water vapor. Injection is managed by a controller connected to the diesel engine’s electronic control unit. The non-flammable, non-toxic, non-hazardous liquid is contained in a 30-gallon tank on the truck.
The demonstration is scheduled to begin in late spring 2000.
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