In coming up with two new super-single tires, Continental sought opinions from visitors at both the Mid-America Trucking Show and our own ExpoCam show earlier this year, then turned to Facebook as well. They displayed two new designs, intending to choose only one. But after the Continental folks took in all the comments and feedback, they decided to launch both of them.
One is the HDL2 Eco Plus (Heavy Drive Long Haul) super-single drive tire, scheduled for November availability. It will come in size 445/50R22.5 with 27/32nds of tread depth, a closed shoulder, and regenerating sipes in the middle of the tread blocks. A three-dimensional sipe in the center of each tread block couples the groove under compression for increased strength, Continental explains, but still allows more block flexibility as the block exits the footprint. It already meets EPA SmartWay standards for low-rolling-resistance drive tires, although it has not been submitted for approval yet.
The second product will be an additional size for the HDL2 DL (Heavy Drive Long Haul, Deep Lug) truck tire, also in 445/50R22.5 size. Also at 27/32nds of tread depth, this super-single tire’s tread design was copied from the existing sizes of the HDL2 DL and provides deep tread depth with the "excellent" traction of an open shoulder. It too will meet SmartWay limits and is scheduled for mid-2012.
Both new tires will initially be produced at Continental’s plant in Slovakia, but production will ultimately move its factory in Mt. Vernon, Ill.
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