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Conti fuel-efficient trailer tire debuts

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EcoPlus HT3 Continental Tires the Americas L.L.C.

FORT MILL, S.C. (Feb. 11, 2014) — Continental Tires the Americas L.L.C. has added the Conti EcoPlus HT3 for long-haul trailer axles to its portfolio of truck tires, touting its cost effectiveness, fuel efficiency, long service life and retreadability.

The Conti EcoPlus HT3 is the latest edition to Continental’s Generation 3 tire range for goods transport that has been developed with a focus on maximum efficiency on the trailer axle in order to help fleets optimize their driving costs, according to the Ford Mill-based tire maker.

“With trailer tires contributing more than 40 percent of the overall rolling resistance for a North American tractor and trailer combination, having the optimal tire on the trailer plays a crucial role in the efficiency of the whole vehicle. Conti EcoPlus HT3 will be our most fuel saving trailer tire yet,” said Alex Chmiel, Continental’s director of marketing for commercial vehicle tires, the Americas.

The tire features:

c Four longitudinal grooves and a reduced void area;

c Pyramid-shaped triangular bars in the base of the tread grooves to stabilize against flexing in the tread; and

c Closed ribs and continuous shoulder for optimal straight line tracking.

These design features add stability and prevent distortion which, the tire maker said,  is especially demanding for maneuvering tasks typical for trailers, while giving a wider contact surface area for better rolling resistance.

 The tire’s tread compound features a two-layer construction with the cap compound providing improved contact with the road surface for long service life, while the special compound of the tread base on the four-layer triangular belt casing reduces heat generation in the crown for lower rolling resistance.

The tire is designed with Conti’s Fuel Saving Edge which relocates the rubber away from belt edges, where it’s most susceptible to hysteresis and heat buildup, and moves it to the center ribs where it’s needed for longer mileage, the company said.

The result is a specially shaped contour that provides less rolling resistance, greater fuel efficiency and longer life, Conti said. However, the tread cap is still as wide as Continental’s previous long haul trailer tire, the HTL Eco Plus, for improved handling.

“Between the tread design, compounding and reduced heat buildup, the rolling resistance of the Conti EcoPlus HT3 was reduced by up to 13 percent compared to its predecessor, which makes the tire our most fuel efficient trailer tire offering to date,” Mr. Chmiel said.

“This tire is performing at well below the proposed 2015 SmartWay program rolling resistance limits and will be a market champion at this axle position. In addition, these Continental advances mean a mileage increase of up to 15 percent—making a major improvement in efficiency without sacrificing wear.”

The tire also features a premium casing with steel cord chafer-enhanced beads, greater air volume and improved pressure distribution to prevent heat buildup in the tread area, Conti said. The casing has a standard width that can be retreaded across all axles—the casing is 15 mm wider than Conti’s HTL Eco Plus trailer tire and accepts caps up to 245 mm.

 The Conti EcoPlus HT3 is available in the North American markets in sizes 11R22.5, 11R24.5, 285/75R24.5 and 295/75R22.5, load range G and in 255/75R22.5 load range H. Additional sizes and a matching ContiTread retread product are set to be introduced in the coming months, the company said.

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