TMC Report: Yokohama goes green with new drive tire

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TAMPA, Fla. — Yokohama is taking the environment to heart with the introduction of its environmentally-friendly 703ZL drive tire.

The tire, introduced at the Technology and Maintenance Council meetings in Tampa this week, is the first in a new line called Z.environment. The Z stands for Zen a Japanese term for enlightenment through meditation. After plenty of meditation, Yokohama engineers developed the new tire that promises to last longer and reduce fuel usage, thus helping the environment.

The Z.environment tire line incorporates optimum tread designs, compounds and casing design to create a tire that has longer first tread life, longer casing life and low rolling resistance, said John Cooney, Yokohamas director of commercial sales. These features result in reduced material consumption, reduced pollution and contribute to the health of our environment.

The casing of the 703ZL is more retreadable, thanks to an improved manufacturing process, Harold Brunstad, corporate national account manager of commercial sales told Truck News at TMC. They key to the tires improved fuel mileage is its lower rolling resistance about 5-7% less than its predecessor, which equates to about a 1% fuel economy improvement, the company said.

The tire also features the deepest tread in the industry (32/32), Cooney said, making it longer-lasting than other drive tires in the marketplace. The 703ZL also has more rubber on the outside rib providing additional protection. Company officials said other benefits of the new tire include: an optimum rubber compound for more miles; improved cut- and chip resistance; a funnel-shaped groove wall that is wider at the top for enhanced traction, yet narrow at the bottom to prevent stones and debris from reaching the base; and a new base compound that reduces tire heat buildup while improving tread wear.

Low rolling resistance is simply good for the environment, Cooney said. Yokohamas low rolling resistance tires improve fuel efficiency by minimizing the energy wasted as heat as the tire rolls down the road. Were building products for the future that will use less energy, cost less to operate and provide a longer lifecycle and reduce costs to the trucking company.

Cooney vowed that the new tire will provide more tread life than any product Yokohama has produced to date. Company officials told Truck News the tire will be launched in Canada this fall. At this time, the new line is focusing exclusively on long-haul applications, however the product line is expected to expand to include other applications as well.

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