RANCHO CUCAMONGA, Calif. — Dealers who have attended Sumitomo Rubber North America Inc.'s (SRNA) Falken Academy this summer — a dealer training seminar and ride-and-drive program — got a sneak peak at a soon-to-be-released Falken light truck tire product.
The Wildpeak H/T HT02, a rugged, highway all-season true light truck tire, will launch in the first quarter of 2019, according to Bakari Howard, corporate training supervisor for Falken. The product will replace the Wildpeak H/T HT01 in the Falken lineup, and the majority of the line (30 of 38 sizes) will be manufactured at Falken's North American facility in Tonawanda, N.Y., near Buffalo. The plan is to move production of the entire line to Tonawanda.
"This tire is engineered to meet the demands of powerful trucks that perform towing and hauling applications," Mr. Howard said. "This tire, like the others in our lineup, offers Tier 1 performance at Tier 2 value."
SRNA has designed two different products in one product line: the Wildpeak H/T HT02 and the Wildpeak H/T HD HT02. The heavy-duty sizes are developed specifically for three-quarter and one-ton pickup trucks, while the non-LT sizes are for mid-size and half-ton pickup truck applications.
While pricing has yet to be established, SRNA said the product will be priced similarly to the Wildpeak H/T HT01.
The tire has a load range E for three-quarter and one-ton trucks with gas and high-torque diesel engines approaching nearly 1,000-pounds of torque.
SRNA has added 10 fitments that were not available in the Wildpeak H/T01 that offer coverage for the Ford F350, Dodge Ram 3500, Chevrolet Silverado, Suburban and Tahoe, GMC Sierra and Canyon and Nissan Titan XD.
The Ford F-Series, the Silverado and the Ram were among the top three selling vehicles in 2017.
SRNA said the tire will cover 96 percent of the original equipment light-truck market in 16- to 22-inch rim sizes. The LT sizes, with an HD designation, have a 50,000-mile tread-life warranty, and the rest of the lineup has a 65,000-mile tread-life warranty.
The tire's heavy-duty construction features two full-width steel belts with a two-ply polyester carcass that strengthen the tire and provide outstanding handling, SRNA said. The upper sidewall protects the shoulder of the tire from curb damage or from debris at construction sites. In addition, the 3D canyon sipes interlocks the shoulders, resisting wear, and the four wide circumferential grooves evacuate water, providing secure contact with the road in heavy rain.
A second outer-bead apex prevents heat buildup, SRNA said, and contributes to a stronger, more durable sidewall for better towing capabilities.
Consumers may customize the look of their truck by choosing one of the tire's two sidewall designs: One features bold, thick, black outlined lettering while the other side is more refined, featuring solid lettering.
The raised bold letters are similar to the lettering used on the two other all-terrain and mud-terrain products, the Wildpeak A/T 3W and the Wildpeak M/T 01, Falken said.