Friday, March 27, 2015

Because wily truckers know their tires

It’s a lot more than walking around to the kick the product. All major tire manufacturers are at MATS, and the aisles are full of tire users (in the truck world, isn’t that everybody?). Of course, we know you are on a crusade for high mileage and optimum fuel economy, but there’s more to knowing your tires. Especially in Louisville.

If you’re a tire connoisseur, you have to have a picture taken with the world’s oldest trademark, “spot the retread,” and maybe even participate in a buffalo wing-eating contest. First of all, you must scout out the new stuff from the vendors. Here's just a few examples of what serious tire users are paying attention to.
LL's Senior Editor Dave Tanner with you-know-who ...

At Peterbilt’s booth, there were the two Pete Model 359 Epiq trucks and pssstt, they were wearing Goodyear’s new Fuel Max LHD G505D and Fuel Max LHS long-haul tires. You can bet that did not go unnoticed by truck tire aficionados. Goodyear makes no bones about saying that, together the Fuel Max LHD G505D and the Fuel Max LHS make up the most fuel-efficient long-haul tire combination in North America. Peterbilt obviously agrees.

In celebration of 100 years of” innovation, experience and reliability,” General Tire launched three new highway truck tires at MATS, which has the truck tire whizzes scribbling down details. The General HS is a new long-haul steer tire featuring an enhanced tread design, fuel-efficient compounding, and an upgraded casing platform. The General HD, long-haul drive tire, features a deep 32/32nd closed shoulder tread design. The General HT, long-haul trailer, tire delivers optimal removal mileage and flexibility through an improved tread pattern.  

Yokohama Tire Corp.’s low-rolling-resistance tires were on display at MATS. The eagle-eyed trucker tire specialists sauntering the aisle will notice that Yokohama’s line includes ultra-wide base (UWB), drive, trailer and steer/all-position tires. And yes, they are SmartWay-verified.

Bridgestone Commercial officially launched its newly refreshed Dayton commercial truck tires brand at MATS. The brand refresh coincides with a new marketing campaign entitled Tires for Truckers. A new website and the introduction of eight new Dayton patterns, which doubled the product coverage of the former lineup, launched in January. Matt Loos, Director of Truck & Bus Marketing, Bridgestone Commercial says the campaign, Tires for Truckers, “gets to the heart of what we provide to these hard-working individuals – affordable tires that keep them moving.” MATS attendees found the campaign to get some attention, a buffalo wing eating contest at the show Friday.

A set of 10 Dayton commercial truck tires were awarded to the winner, a trucker named Roger Errett of Mount Pleasant, Pa. A consolation bag of prizes valued at more than $700, including a $500 truck stop gift card and $275 Speedco gift card, were awarded to each of the runners-up.

Truckers love contests to test their professional know-how. The Tire Retread Information Bureau at booth(No. 13036) is hosting a  "Spot The Retreads" contest to try to correctly identify a range of new and retreaded tires. You have to correctly identify all the tires to be entered into daily drawings for sets of eight commercial truck tires to be retreaded on the participants own casings. With seven sets of retreaded tires to be won, that’s over $10,000. Yikes!

Tires and tire technology, tire monitoring system, retread technology – it is everywhere at this show. And heads up, manufacturers – those wily trucking tire experts are taking notes on everything.

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