Bridgestone Corp. is launching its Greatec wide-base radial truck tire line in North America through authorized Bridgestone dealers, truck stops and original equipment manufacturers.
``In our view, the market niche for wide-base radials is weight-conscious fleets, like bulk haulers, flatbed haulers or fleets that tend to `gross out' before they `cube out,''' said Kurt Danielson, director of truck and bus tire marketing for Bridgestone/Firestone North American Tire L.L.C. (BFS). ``Such fleets may be able to convert weight saved into extra revenue-producing payload.''
Greatec radials, launched in Japan four years ago, are available initially in only one size, 445/50R22.5, which is equivalent in overall diameter to regular low-profile 22.5-inch radials.
Switching to Greatec radials does not change vehicle height, an important advantage over other wide-base radials, BFS said. The wide footprint of Greatec radials also meets requirements imposed by some state laws regulating footprint pressure as a function of tread width.
Depending on the types of tires and wheels converted, Greatec radials could reduce overall vehicle weight by 600 to 1,200 or more pounds, BFS said. For a gasoline hauler, this could mean 200 or more extra gallons of fuel per load.
BFS is offering Greatec radials for drive axles with a 26/32-inch tread depth and a tread pattern that resembles that of Bridgestone's M726 and M726 EL drive radials. For trailer axles, Greatec radials have 14/32-inch tread depth and a tread pattern similar to the Bridgestone R195F.
While Greatec radials are designed to directly replace tractor dual assemblies without need to modify axles, BFS cautions that vehicle modifications may be necessary in some cases.
On trailers, retrofit may be possible using 2-inch offset wheels, if axles and axle end components are of the proper type and in proper condition, the company said.