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Balancing Commercial Tire Traction & Fuel Efficiency

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Tire Traction & Fuel Efficiency

Tire Traction & Fuel Efficiency: These two factors are often the top concern for fleet managers. Recent developments in tire manufacturing have led to a new generation of commercial tires capable of enhancing both traction and fuel efficiency. This helps fleet managers save money on operational costs while maintaining compliance with the guidelines set forth by the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

GHG II Regulations & Their Impact on Commercial Tires


In August 2016, the EPA developed a new set of regulations to help reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in medium- and heavy-duty vehicles through model year 2027 in order to achieve the following:


  • Decrease CO2 emissions by 1.1 billion metric tons
  • Save commercial vehicles roughly $170 billion on fuel costs
  • Reduce oil consumption by up to 2 billion barrels


Tire manufacturers are constantly trying to optimize the “performance triangle”: rolling resistance, traction, and miles to removal. Historically, while low rolling resistance tires provided enhanced fuel economy, traction performance — especially in wet conditions — would be compromised.


However, recent advancements in tire manufacturing materials have combatted this problem. Changes to the rubber compounding, tire shape, tread pattern, construction, and weight have all resulted in commercial tires that are capable of both enhancing fuel economy and traction performance. In fact, in a recent test of newly developed low rolling resistance tires, medium- and heavy-duty trucks were consistently able to stop from 60 mph in a shorter distance than reduced stopping distance (RSD) braking requirements mandate.


Application-Specific Commercial Tires for Optimal Performance


Another way tire manufacturers are working to meet RSD and GHG II mandates is through application-specific tire development. In addition to considering the performance triangle, tire manufacturers should also ask themselves what the tire is ultimately being asked to do. For example, a long-haul truck may not benefit from a mixed-service tire optimized to travel across difficult terrain. The fact is that some tires are better suited to specific jobs than others, and it’s important for fleet managers to take this into consideration during their tire selection.


By selecting tires that are better optimized for their exact application, fleet managers can effectively balance RSD and GHG II requirements to achieve improved traction and fuel economy. Tire selection can be a difficult process, but fleet managers can get the assistance they need by partnering with a commercial truck tire provider such as STTC.


STTC Commercial Tire Partners for Your Fleet


If you’re looking to optimize your fleet’s commercial tires to meet GHG II and RSD regulations, partner with the team at STTC. Our tire technicians have the skills and expertise to help outfit your fleet with the tires it needs to achieve enhanced fuel economy and traction performance. Boasting a wide range of top-rated products from the industry’s best tire manufacturers, STTC has the tire solutions you need to stay safe on the road while reducing fuel costs. Contact us today to find out more about how partnering with STTC can help your fleet!

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