Bridgestone has unveiled an advanced new truck and bus tyre which eliminates a major fleet tyre management headache , rotating tyres among drive wheel positions on a vehicle.
“Tyre rotation is a common fleet management practice to increase average tyre lifespan but it comes with drawbacks,’ explains Shaun Wustmann, managing director of Bridgestone tyre distributors, Max-T Solutions.
“One of those drawbacks is the amount of monitoring needed to manage rotation. With up to eight drive axle tyres on a single heavy vehicle, a big fleet can generate a lot of tyre rotation administration and this is where the new R-Drive 001 comes to the rescue.’
As the name suggests, the new R-Drive 001 tyre has been optimised for drive axle positions and is available as a 315/80R22.5. The newcomer is a ‘fit-and-forget’ directional tyre which can spend its entire lifetime in the wheel position it was fitted to when new.
Apart from reducing tyre admin, this also eliminates rotation-related downtime. The only time an R-Drive 001 need be removed is for puncture repairs or at the end of its tread life when it is sent for re-treading.
Wustmann explains that the tyre’s directional tread pattern includes special tie bars between the tread blocks which increase tread stiffness to optimise traction and reduce tyre noise. “Better control of the tread pattern stability also gives a longer service life,’ he says.
Other benefits of the more stable tread pattern are lower rolling resistance which translates to increased fuel economy and lower heat buildup, whether the tyre is used in regional haulage or a highway-type role.
“The key attribute of this tyre is its ability to deliver all these benefits without needing to be rotated from one wheel position to another. Consistent wear and resistance to irregular wear in particular were also important design targets,’ he adds.
Bridgestone says these benefits have been proved by comparative tests in which the R-Drive 001 was pitted against a major competitor. The Bridgestone tyre matched its competitor in dry traction, wet-weather performance and casing durability, while offering significant reductions in tread-wear, rolling resistance and irregular wear.
The new tyre is available from selected Max-T Solutions outlets across the country and is backed by Max-T’s Total Tyre Management service which assists hauliers in achieving the lowest-possible cost per kilometre for their tyres.
“We predict that the cost benefits of single-position directional drive tyres are going to become a major factor in tyre management in the next few years,’ Wustmann reckons.