Continental: Truckers' opinions result in launch of two new tires

Jan. 1, 2020
Citing an enthusiastic response from the Mid- America Trucking Show, ExpoCam and Facebook, Continental says it has listened to the comments and feedback of its customers by deciding to launch two new super single truck tires.
Citing an enthusiastic response from the Mid- America Trucking Show, ExpoCam and Facebook, Continental says it has listened to the comments and feedback of its customers by deciding to launch two new super single truck tires.

In March the company invited people to visit its trucking show booth and offer opinions about two competing designs for a wide single drive tire on its Facebook page. The company repeated the invitation at Canada’s national truck show, ExpoCam, in early April. After speaking with hundreds of show visitors and reading the comments left for the research and development team on Facebook, director of marketing Clif Armstrong reports that both designs are being brought to market.

“Originally when we invited our customers to give us feedback on the designs for the product, we were envisioning one, wide single drive tire for highway use. However, the response was enthusiastic for both designs – so much so that we knew they both had a legitimate place in our product portfolio,” Armstrong says.

Continental’s original decision, Armstrong points out, was to launch a wide single drive tire for long haul highway use that would replace dual fitments and provide superior fuel economy, exceptional traction and weight reduction. The product labeled “Design 223” on the Facebook photos will be produced as the new HDL2 Eco Plus super single drive tire. It is currently scheduled for availability in November.

The company’s director of research and development for truck tires, Roger Stansbie, says that the new HDL2 Eco Plus (Heavy Drive Long Haul) in size 445/50R22.5 will feature 27/32nds of tread depth, a closed shoulder and regenerating sipes in the middle of the tread blocks. A three-dimensional sipe in the center of each tread block couples the groove under compression for increased strength, but still allows more block flexibility as the block exits the footprint.

The groove geometry was designed to reduce the stress at the groove bottom by placing the element between the two groove bottom radii. This separates the forces at each side of the groove bottom and reduces premature wear, Stansbie says. The tire already meets the U.S. EPA SmartWay Transport Partnership limits for low rolling resistance drive tires, although it has not been submitted for approval yet, he notes.

 

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The second product produced will be an additional size for the HDL2 DL (Heavy Drive Long Haul, Deep Lug) truck tire, also in size 445/50R22.5. On the Facebook photos it was labeled as “Design 224.” At 27/32nds of tread depth, the tread design was copied from the existing sizes of the HDL2 DL and provides deep tread depth with the excellent traction of an open shoulder, Stansbie says.

The tire also features a bottom groove treatment that reduces stone retention and outside groove geometry designed to distribute stress evenly throughout the groove bottom, providing excellent durability, he continues. It too will meet the U.S. EPA SmartWay Transport Partnership limits for low rolling resistance tires in the drive position, according to Stansbie. Availability is scheduled for mid-2012.

“The HDL2 DL super single will be an ideal solution for fleets who want to take advantage of weight savings and low rolling resistance in the mixed long-distance and regional traffic application,” Stansbie says.

Armstrong notes that the company was pleased with the response from customers to its invitation to provide design feedback for the new tires, and even more happy that they could act on the requests.

“For fleets looking for weight savings, ease of maintenance, greater lateral stability and reduced fuel consumption, Continental now has a truck tire product for each wheel position in the wide single configuration. What is incredible is that not only do we now offer a complete suite of wide single truck tires (both drive and trailer positions) from Continental, but we did so by responding directly to what our customers told us,” says Armstrong.

 

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“Continental is a leader not only in engineering premium truck tires, but also in listening to our customers and providing what they really need,” he adds. “This invitation to provide feedback on our new products was a great way to reach out to our trucking fleets and drivers, and let them know that Continental always keeps their best interests in mind when it comes to tire development.”

Both the new drive tires will be initially produced and shipped from the company’s tire plant in Puchov, Slovakia, but Armstrong says that molds and presses are already being relocated to the recently expanded factory in Mt. Vernon, Ill. for American production.

For more information, visit www.continental- truck.com.

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