SAN ANGELO, Texas (Aug. 22, 2006) — Goodyear is launching three fuel-efficient line-haul tires based on new technology that it said can deliver up to 4-percent better truck fuel economy.
The Akron tire maker debuted Fuel Max Technology and a line of steer, drive and trailer tires and retreads to the trade press today at its proving grounds in San Angelo.
“With fuel prices hovering around $3 a gallon, conserving fuel is on everyone's mind,” said Steve McClellan, vice president, commercial tire systems. “We enhanced fuel economy in our industry-leading platform of line-haul tires. With Fuel Max Technology, we have blended fuel efficiency with long tread life and excellent performance.”
Goodyear claimed that although its officials are citing a 4-percent improvement in fuel economy, tests results by the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) showed an 8-percent improvement in fuel economy compared with standard Goodyear over-the-road tires.
“The test showed what our tires are capable of achieving in a controlled test environment,” said Jon Bellissimo, Goodyear's director of technology for commercial tires.
Following SAE test procedures, Goodyear said the new tires were driven at highway speeds at its San Angelo proving grounds to benchmark the performance of the Fuel Max Technology line compared to conventional Goodyear commercial tires.
Since no one drives at constant speed on flat terrain for a 10-hour shift, Goodyear engineers adjusted the SAE results to 4 percent to estimate real-world conditions, such as varying driver inputs, road conditions and terrain and truck aerodynamics.
Mr. Bellissimo said a 4-percent boost in fuel economy could mean significant savings for operators switching to Fuel Max Technology. Improving a truck's average to 6.24 miles per gallon from 6 mpg with Fuel Max Technology represents savings of up to $2,100 in fuel per year (assuming the truck is driven 120,000 miles per year and fuel costs $2.85 a gallon).
Goodyear tires featuring Fuel Max Technology are the Unisteel G395 LHS steer tire, Unisteel G305 LHD drive tire and Unisteel G316 LHT trail tire in standard (11R22.5) and low-profile (295/75R22.5 and 285/75R24.5) sizes. Goodyear also is offering UniCircle and precure retreading with Fuel Max Technology.
In analyzing rolling resistance factors, Goodyear scientists and engineers found that the tread (design, nonskid depth and tread compound) accounted for more than half of a truck tire's rolling resistance, Mr. McClellan said.
“This analysis focused our work on increasing resiliency and reducing heat buildup in our tread,” Mr. Bellissimo said. “Casing construction and tire manufacturing were also optimized to reduce fuel consumption. The net result was an 8-percent improvement in SAE fuel economy.”
The three tires will be built at Goodyear's Topeka, Kan., and Danville, Va., plants.