Bridgestone engineers are working to develop new super-low-rolling-resistance truck tyres with the first application being a new SuperTruck project.
One area where big economy gains could be made is with the use of super-low-rolling-resistance tyres.
Steve Charles, vice president of product development for Bridgestone Americas, says the goal is a tyre with a 30% reduction rolling-resistance.
“This would equate to a 6% improvement in fuel economy, but we also need a tyre that still meets industry expectations for wear and re-treadability.
“That’s a stretch target from our perspective, but we feel we can get half to two-thirds of the way there with our current tool box,”
“At the same time we have to balance the wear and traction characteristics because the ultimate boss, the consumer, won’t tolerate just a fuel economy improvement without good wear characteristics.”
Charles says one of the big challenges in producing a low rolling-resistance tyre that can be retreated multiple times.
“In the TBR (Truck & Bus Radial) tyre world, you retread multiple times.
“In the past, when we looked at the rolling resistance of the casing, those compound characteristics typically lost overall their ability, so everyone has been hesitant to move in that direction.
“It’s been the weak link. We will be looking closely at how to manage those trade-offs on this project.”
We will keep you updated with their progress.