NEW ORLEANS (May 10, 2002)—Bridgestone/Firestone said it has documented proof that its Bridgestone M726 drive radial truck tire has broken the million-mile mark.
David Laubie, BFS executive director of engineering, said the company, along with Ryder System Inc., began following a truck shod with 16 Bridgestone M726 tires—two sets of drive tires—from August 1996 to December 2001 on a route that ran from Tennessee to Ohio.
Of those 16, five reached 1 million or more miles. One logged 1,002,041 miles before Ryder retired it, Mr. Laubie said. BFS displayed and touted that particular casing to its commercial tire dealers during its Bizcon 6 meeting in New Orleans as it emphasized that the Bridgestone brand dominates the drive and trailer positions on many fleets.
“Everyone had the opinion that the million-mile tire was there but had no documentation,” Mr. Laubie said. In the early 1990s he thought that some Bridgestone casings had the capability to run 1 million miles, and he made it his goal to prove it. With Ryder's cooperation, BFS was able to track the longevity of the M726.
The tire showcased at Bizcon had received a nail-hole repair and was retreaded at 136,799 miles and at 365,469 miles. Although BFS only displayed the M726 from the Ryder experiment, Mr. Laubie noted that another fleet, Memphis, Tenn.-based Barclay Inc., reported that some of its Bridgestone tires also drove more than 1 million miles.
“It's already here,” Mr. Laubie said of the findings. “It's been here for at least five years, but it happens in fleets with good maintenance practices.”
Barclay submitted to BFS 10 Bridgestone M726 tires with records of mileage, he said. The maximum tire had logged 1,001,600 miles while a few others had logged 1,000,006 and 1,000,008 miles.
Though the fleet only presented 10 tires to BFS, it told the firm it possessed 23 Bridgestone tires with more than 1 million miles.
Mr. Laubie said he doesn't have an answer for how much farther a truck tire can go beyond 1 million miles since most fleets don't want to retread a tire that's 5 years old. “I think that's yet to be determined,” he said.