Goodyear unveils first AA grade steer concept tyre 10 October 2012
Goodyear, which unveiled its first concept AA labelled truck tyre (in 385/55R22.5 size), at the Hannover IAA Commercial Vehicle Show in September, says it will be "available soon".
The tyre, developed to meet the highest possible fuel efficiency and wet grip standards, is being launched just as the new EU tyre labelling scheme comes into force (1 November 2012).
"The new tyre is a technological breakthrough that will deliver seriously improved levels of wet grip performance and fuel efficiency to Europe's fleets," states Adam Stanton, product marketing manager for commercial tyres at Goodyear Dunlop.
A set of new A-grade tyres could reduce a truck's fuel consumption by up to 15%, compared to F-grade tyres, representing around £5,500 per year," he explains.
"In terms of wet grip, in the case of full braking, the difference between A and F tyres could be up to 30% shorter braking distances. This means up to 25m shorter for a typical truck driving at 80 km/h," he adds.
The concept tyre uses proprietary technology, developed by Goodyear at its Innovations Centre in Luxembourg. Although the firm is coy about the details, it does include a new compound, an improved tread structure and an adapted manufacturing technique.
A-grade tyres are not new to Goodyear: its LHT II trailer tyre has an EU A label for fuel efficiency in two sizes, and has been on the market since 2010. Currently, around 50% of Goodyear and Dunlop truck tyres score a C/C or better.
However, Stanton warns fleet engineers that while the new EU tyre labelling is a good thing – helping buyers to make more informed purchase decisions, "it is important that the industry recognises its limitations."
Says Stanton: "Fleet managers make tyre choices based on a myriad of factors, and, while wet grip and fuel efficiency are among these, the challenges fleet managers deal with are inevitably more complex.
"For example, a fleet manager for a mixed service fleet operation would be primarily concerned with factors such as mileage, re-treadability and puncture resistance, which do not feature on the label."
Goodyear Dunlop Tyres UK Ltd
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