Continental open shoulder drive tire
receives EPA SmartWay verification
Jan 10, 2011 7:00 AM
The Commercial Tire Division of Continental Tire the Americas LLC (CTA) has introduced one of the few open shoulder drive tires to be verified by the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for low rolling resistance: the HDR1 Eco Plus drive tire.
The HDR1 Eco Plus (Heavy Drive Regional) is designed for local pick-up and delivery fleets that require a true open shoulder design for optimal traction, yet need the on-highway fuel efficiency of a low rolling resistance truck tire.
Designed and produced at Continental’s plant and research center in Mount Vernon IL, the HDR1 Eco Plus keeps the same open shoulder design and reduced stone retention that fleets came to rely on from the original HDR1 model, introduced in 2009. Continental’s truck tire engineers also included a lug angle that resists irregular wear over the extended lifetime of the tire; a high endurance tread design with grooves that reduce stone retention; and advanced fuel-efficient tread compounding.
The compounding advancements allowed the HDR1 Eco Plus to become verified for low rolling resistance by the US EPA SmartWay Transport Partnership, joining a list of tires that can help reduce emissions and fuel consumption for line-haul, Class 8 trucks. But while many manufacturers are offering SmartWay-verified drive tires with a partially open shoulder—with tie bars between the grooves—the HDR1 Eco Plus remains a true open shoulder for the tire’s entire lifetime, said Roger Stansbie, Continental’s director of commercial vehicle tire technology for the Americas. This ensures that the truck operator has the security of traction in inclement weather that is typically not found in closed shoulder designs.
“Our engineers in Mount Vernon have balanced the major needs of the on-highway regional fleet: traction, durability, and fuel economy,” Stansbie said. “While the HDR1 Eco Plus still offers the open shoulder and superior removal miles in the drive tire position, we’ve now upped the ante with a 19% improvement in rolling resistance over our original product.”
Regulations proposed in late October aim to further regulate greenhouse gas and fuel economy standards for vehicles ranging from heavy-duty pickups to commercial trucks, starting in 2014 and 2018. Since regional fleets may be affected by these regulations, they’ve been awaiting a low rolling resistance drive tire to meet their needs, said Clif Armstrong, CTA’s director of marketing for commercial vehicle tires.
"We recently conducted a demonstration of our regional tire capabilities to fleets at the Continental Proving Grounds in Uvalde TX,” Armstrong said, “and they were thrilled to see how the combination of the HSR2 Eco Plus steer tire and this new HDR1 Eco Plus drive tire performed against the leading competitor.
The HDR1 Eco Plus is available through Continental dealers in the United States, Canada, and Mexico in load ranges G and H, size 275/80R22.5. For specifications on this product and more information, visit www.continental-truck.com.
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