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Michelin brings its educational X One tire tour to Canada

Michelin wound up its 2004 summer tour promoting its wide base X One tires, originally introduced at the Great American Truck Show in 2000, with two stops in Canada this fall. This after spending an entire summer making several stops through large...


Michelin wound up its 2004 summer tour promoting its wide base X One tires, originally introduced at the Great American Truck Show in 2000, with two stops in Canada this fall. This after spending an entire summer making several stops through large and small towns in the US.

Why? Because Canadian provinces are still leery about allowing the wide spread use of wide base tires.

This reluctance was behind Michelin’s decision to bring its tour to Ontario and Quebec.

“This part of the tour is educational,” said Michelin’s Ralph Beaveridge, to an audience, which included officials from the Ministry of Transport of Ontario as well as the Ontario Trucking Association and several journalists.

Beaveridge pointed out that while several US states have already allowed for the use of the new wide base tires, Canadian provinces have yet to be convinced of their benefits.

“Much of their reluctance is related to fears of road damage,” said Beaveridge.

Michelin is hoping to allay the fears of the provinces by providing data that will prove new wide base tire technology is no more damaging than the duals wide base tires aim to replace.

But convincing provincial transport and infrastructure officials hasn’t been easy.

“So far we’ve provided data from a study we commissioned from Virginia Tech in the US, as well as a study commissioned by the Quebec government and conducted by the civil engineering department at Laval University, but there are still problems,” said Beaveridge.

Studies have shown so far that the new singles cause less surface damage to asphalt surfaces, Beaveridge said. But claims have been made that the new single tires cause more damage to road substructures, or under certain weather conditions.

Michelin is hoping that provincial officials will eventually figure out that the benefits outweigh the damage – especially seeing as the reduction of surface damage will in the end balance out against what Michelin officials call an extremely minimal amount of damage to the substructure as compared to the damage caused by duals.

The ride and drive was conducted in two Freightliner Century Class S/Ts, one fitted with Michelin duals and the other fitted with Michelin X Ones.

Changing lanes at 35 mph, you could definitely feel the difference. Stability and traction were clearly superior with the X Ones. There was almost no wiggling with the X Ones, not to mention that you definitely felt the bump in the road less.

Many of the improvements on traditional singles can be attributed to Michelin’s Infini-Coil technology – a 1/4 mile of steel cable lining each X One tire. The coil strengthens and stiffens the tire innards, reducing penetration and crowning of the tire under load. Reduced crowning means more even wear and easier retreading. It also means a wider footprint, which equals better traction and better fuel mileage.


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