SAN ANGELO, Tex. — The Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company has rolled out new commercial tire technology to provide improved fuel efficiency on three different linehaul tires.
The new Fuel Max Technology, which includes steer, drive and trailer tires, aims to provide up to 4% improved truck fuel economy when all three tire configurations are in use.
“With fuel prices hovering around $3 a gallon, conserving fuel is on everyone’s mind,” said Steve McClellan, vice-president, commercial tire systems. “We enhanced fuel economy in our industry-leading platform of linehaul tires. With Fuel Max Technology, we have blended fuel efficiency with long tread life and excellent performance.”
In analyzing rolling resistance, Goodyear found the tread design, nonskid depth and tread compound accounted for more than half of a truck tire’s rolling resistance.
In just under one year of development, Goodyear engineers developed the new fuel-efficient tires with an improved rubber compound and a tread of large stable blocks to reduce “tread squirm”. The tread design combined with a closed shoulder design help to further promote even wear.
“The use of innovative tread designs, along with advanced compound and manufacturing technologies, allowed us to drive improved fuel economy while maintaining a low cost-per-mile for our customers,” noted McClellan.
While company officials are citing up to a 4% hike in fuel economy with the new tires, actual Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) test results showed an 8% improvement in fuel economy compared to standard Goodyear tires.
“The test showed what our tires are capable of achieving in a controlled test environment,” said Jon Bellissimo, director of technology for commercial tires with Goodyear. “Since no one drives at constant speed on flat terrain for a 10-hour shift, Goodyear engineers adjusted the SAE results to 4% to estimate real-world conditions, such as varying driver inputs, road conditions and terrain and truck aerodynamics.”
Goodyear tires with Fuel Max Technology include the Unisteel G395 LHS steer tire, Unisteel G305 LHD drive tire and Unisteel G316 LHT trail tire in standard (11R22.5) and low profile (295/75R22.5 and 285/75R24.5) sizes.
The new Fuel Max tires will be priced at about a 4% to 5% more than standard Goodyear tires, but company officials say they offer comparable wear rates and no trade off in miles driven.
The company’s Web site, www.goodyear.com/truck, has been equipped with a fuel savings calculator for fleets to perform their own calculations.
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