Tyre manufacturer Goodyear South Africa reports that about 70% of goods in South Africa is transported by freight transport companies and carried on rolling tyres, causing the current road networks to deteriorate.
Goodyear marketing director Dustine Gascoyne explains that, as the trucking industry plays such a key role in the economy, Goodyear sought a way to make a significant contribution with its tyres, by reducing fuel consump- tion, reducing emissions and increasing safety.
Goodyear’s aim to provide leading innovation in the tyre industry has produced technologies that are delivering cost savings and better fleet efficiency to truck owners, increased safety, performance and comfort to truck operators and a substantial reduction in fuel consumption, emission pollution and landfill waste.
The company recently introduced truck tyre technologies, generically known as the Max technology, for improved fuel and operational efficiencies, improved safety and enhanced ecological impact.
The Max technology, applied in the new range of long haul and regional haul steer and drive truck tyre products, comprises Fuel Max, KMax and Duraseal technologies. Each provides Goodyear’s latest generation of commercial vehicle tyres with enhanced performance, resulting in significant customer and environmental benefits.
Fuelmax is used in Goodyear’s long haul range of Marathon long haul steer and long haul drive truck tyres. Its application- specific design results in low rolling resistance, as well as good wet traction and braking characteristics.
The tyres help long haul fleets to reduce the cost for each kilometre and provide increased economic and ecological effi ciency. This range was created specifically for heavy trucks, from 17 t upwards, which travel on long-distance highway operations either solo, as drawbar combinations or with semitrailers.
The Kmax technology is applied in Goodyear’s regional haul steer and regional haul drive tyre range. The range recog nises that vehicles working on regional operations, where more urban stop-start driving and lower speeds are incurred, require tyres with different characteristics. The company reports that this sector is the largest in the truck tyre market and conditions are particularly tough on tyres. This technology offers good durability and performance, reduced impact and can be used in a wide application range, which results in reduced cost for every kilometre.
The Duraseal technology enables punctured Goodyear truck tyres to repair themselves with a built-in sealant. The sealant stops air from escaping if an object of up to 6 mm in diameter penetrates the tread. Duraseal tyres are built with an extra layer in the tread package, which is made of a special yellow gel-like rubber compound.
When an object, such as a nail, penetrates the tread, the gel flows into the puncture and creates an airtight seal. Driving can continue after the tread is punctured and the tyre can remain in service until it is retreaded. This means less down time, reduced accidents and goods that reach their destination on time.
The Max technology concept combines technologically advanced tread designs, the latest in materials technology and the best features of modern tyre construction. Max technology offers improved fuel consumption, shorter wet stopping, good load capacity and longer tyre life.
Goodyear product and sales manager truck Vernon Slack explains that the engineering fea-
tures combined in Max technology give Goodyear truck tyres a lower rolling resistance. Tyres with lower rolling resistance require less energy to propel them and result in less fuel use, which means lower overall operating costs and a reduced impact on the environment.
Goodyear’s Max technology was rewarded the first prize for innovation at South Africa’s first Automechanika automotive trade fair, last year. The German Rubber Asso-ciation awarded Goodyear’s Duraseal the Product Award 2009 in the elastomer products category .