Extra Wide Truck Tires Save Gas, Weight
Some truckers are replacing dual tires with wider single tires to benefit from fuel and weight savings, according to a Dec. 24 Associated Press report. Many 18-wheelers are now rolling with only 10 wheels.The new tires are about 17 inches wide, twice the width of traditional dual tires. Though the tires cost $1,250 mounted on an aluminum rim, twice the cost of a traditional truck tire. It's worth the expense, Luc Minguet, chief operating officer of Michelin America's truck tire unit, said in the AP story. The tires can save 4 percent to 10 percent on fuel. The new tires are also lighter than the dual tires they replace. A 10-wheeler saves 730 pounds and lets trucking companies haul more cargo, Minguet says. Still, the big tires account for less than half a percent of the 17.5 million tires in use today. Michelin has marketed the tires since 2000 in the U.S. and 2003 in Europe. Goodyear decided not to introduce its own line after the company found a variety of problems in testing its version, a spokesman said. A key issue was the reliability of retreaded tires. Michelin says its new tires can last more than 800,000 miles with its retreading process.Blowouts are an issue. A truck with a flat on a single tire with dual wheels can keep rolling. And finding a dealer in an emergency isn’t as easy, as not many dealers stock them.