TORONTO-Truckers in Canada operate in conditions very different from those of their U.S. counterparts, according to Michelin North America (Canada) Inc. They travel mostly east and west over an open and geographically diverse landscape under demanding conditions, mainly on unpaved, abrasive road surfaces.
Also, Canadian rigs average higher horsepower and carry heavier loads than those in the U.S.
With these facts in mind, the Canadian unit of Michelin North America has developed two medium truck drive-traction tires designed specifically for the Canadian market.
The tires-the XDE All Terrain and the XDN highway radial-``are truly Canadian products,'' Greg Sims, director of marketing for Michelin Canada, said at a press conference in Toronto, Aug. 31. The need for them, their product definitions and the driving force for their development all originated in Canada.
The XDE All Terrain is an on-highway tire with off-road capability, suitable for use on such vehicles as logging trucks, livestock delivery vehicles, oil field trucks and dairy tankers.
Michelin said it designed the tire ``to be truly off-road capable for up to 20 percent of the time.''
In Canada, where only 34 percent of roads are paved, it's rare to find a truck that travels only on paved roads, Mr. Sims said.
The tire features an ``evolving'' tread design that addresses Canadian trucking fleets' practice of mounting new tires in August, September and October, said Georges Mokbel, a Michelin Canada product engineer.
``Everybody needs new tires for traction in the winter,'' he explained.
The tire's evolving tread design begins with large dual-supported tread blocks that offer biting edges, along with open grooves, to give drivers the mud and snow traction required during winter and spring.
As the tire wears, the tread blocks' shape changes to one featuring more stable block elements with less bite.
The modified shape results in less tire wear and higher mileage-qualities desired for summer driving months.
The XDE All-Terrain features a deep undertread, cut- and chip-resistant tread compound, sidewall protector ridges and a fully rubber-impregnated protector ply, applied over an extra-thick layer of cushion gum to reduce road-hazard damage.
The tire also employs a fourth, full-width steel belt below the working plies to minimize impact damages.
Michelin Canada's other new offering, the XDN, is a highway tire with ``excellent'' winter traction, the company said.
The tire features a special tread compound and interlocking siping for a high level of traction on ice and snow, eliminating, in many cases, the need for chains, Michelin said.
The tire, which can handle some off-road service, offers a wide, stable footprint and full-depth tread design for traction and reduced squirm for high mileage.
The XDE All Terrain is available in sizes 11R22.5, 12R22.5 and 11R24.5, all in load range H (LRH).
The XDN, which is covered by a five-year casing warranty, is produced in sizes 11R22.5 LRG and LRH, 12R22.5 LRH and 11R24.5 LRG.
At present, Michelin is marketing the two new tires only in Canada, although it is testing the XDN for possible sale in the U.S.