To combat a common nemesis of trucking fleets, Bridgestone/Firestone has introduced eight truck tires, many of which include the tire maker's latest technologies aimed at preventing irregular wear.
The tire maker unveiled the tires at its 7th annual BizCon commercial dealer meeting April 23-25 in Las Vegas.
The cream of the crop among the new products is the Bridgestone R280 steer tire, designed for long distance and long regional hauling.
A primary feature of the R280-as well as three of the other new tires-is BFS's patented Equalizer Rib technology, which consists of thin ribs within the tread that are shallower to prevent irregular wear. By absorbing the forces that create the irregular wear, the equalizer ribs wear out first and therefore sacrifice themselves for the rest of the tire.
``The larger ribs will wear more evenly because that sacrificial rib is there,'' said Greg James, BFS's engineering manager, commercial products.
Irregular wear is the prime reason trucking companies have to remove their steer tires before the tire is completely used up, he added. ``That's just the nature of the beast.''
Besides equalizer ribs, the R280 features special sipe contouring to resist block wear. The siping helps promote even pressure, which in turn prevents edge wear and gives the tire higher removal mileage and lower costs per mile, BFS said.
Daniel Allen, BFS product planning manager, said the siping is in small grooves instead of zig-zags, which can wear into sharp edges.
``Sharp edges can be seeds for irregular wear,'' he said.
The R280 will be available this month in 22.5- and 24.5-inch low profile sizes with a G load rating. Standard profile versions will be available later in the year.
Neal Cochran, operating manager of Mid-Georgia Commercial Tire in Atlanta, said he is encouraged by BFS's focus on irregular wear. He said fleet customers are sensitive to this type of wear and are quick to blame the tires when vehicle problems may be the real culprit.
BFS also introduced a trailer tire, the Bridgestone R195F, that features techology to fight irregular wear including equalizer ribs and defense grooves. The tire employs side protector ribs and serpentine rib siping to improve wet traction, BFS said. It has an 11/32-inch tread depth.
The tire replaces the Bridgestone R194F and is available in sizes 11R22.5, 11R24.5, 295/75R22.5 and 285/75R24.5 all load range G.
BFS also introduced the Bridgestone R260F all-position truck tire for local, pick up and delivery service and regional haul applications.
The tire features a high scrub compound and 22/32-inch tread depth as well as equilizer rib technology. It also employs stone rejectors in main grooves and sidewall protector ribs.
The tire is offered in sizes 285/75R24.5 and 295/75R22.5 in load range G, and 11R22.5 and 11R24.5 in load ranges G and H.
Also unveiled at the meeting was the Bridgestone R227F, designed for use on trucks hauling vehicles to car dealerships, Mr. Allen said.
Following the boom in popularity of sport-utility vehicles, these haulers needed a tire to compensate for the higher and heavier vehicles piled on their trailers, he said.
The tire features four full steel belts, cap/base compounding, uni-directional tread pattern as well as equilizer rib technology
The tire is available in sizes 285/70R19.5 load range H and 305/70R19.5 load range J.
The company also introduced two other Bridgestone and two Firestone brand tires.
The Bridgestone M729F drive tire for long and regional haul use features an aggressive tread pattern and deep tread depth for all-weather traction, the company said.
The tire has four full steel belts, cap/base compounding and sidewall protector ribs on 19.5-inch sizes. It's available in size 285/70R19.5 load range H with a 20/32-inch tread depth and 265/70R19.5 load range G with a 19/32-inch tread depth.
The Bridgestone M725 drive tire for pick up and delivery and long and regional haul use is designed for maximum traction in all weather conditions, the company said.
The tire features a long-wearing cap tread with a cool running base compound for retreadability. It is available in sizes 11R22.5, 11R24.5, 295/75R22.5 and 285/75R24.5 all in load range G, according to BFS.
The new Firestone tires include the FD690 Plus drive-axle tire, for long distance line haul use, and the FS560 Plus, all-position tire, for local and regional hauling.
The FD690 Plus carries a deep, 29/32-inch tread with a continuous shoulder design for added stability and to reduce irregular wear.
The load range G tire is suitable for use on both single and tandem drive axles and is available in standard and low-profile sizes for 22.5-inch and 24.5-inch wheels.
The second tire, the FS560 Plus, features cross-rib siping, a solid shoulder tread design, four steel belts and a 19/32-inch tread depth.
The tire is available in sizes 11R22.5 and 11R24.5 load ranges G and H, 12R22.5 load range H and 295/75R22.5 and 285/75R24.5 load range G.