Goodyear a Popular Choice for Safety Conscious Coach Operators
Given their already greater stopping distances and relative lack of nimbleness, there is no question that heavy vehicles need to be fitted with tyres appropriate for the season. This particularly applies to large passenger-carrying vehicles and those that are taken abroad.
Goodyear reports that it is expecting further demand for its Winter ‘UltraGrip’ tyres this year, particularly with bus and coach operators who have a desire to maximise passenger safety on continental ski trips and European tours. Last Winter the performance of the 315/80R22.5 Goodyear UltraGrip WTS (Winter Tread Steer) and WTD (Winter Tread Drive) tyres on coaches used for continental tours resulted in a significant upswing in demand for these tyres.
Among the noteworthy features the Ultra Grip WTD (Winter Traction Drive) offers is the tread pattern. According to the tyremaker this is the first tyre to incorporate a new Goodyear patented design its calls 3D-BIS Technology (Block Interlocking System), which features trapezoidal shaped blades. The 3D-BIS Technology blades are fine sipes with three-dimensional wave-like shapes – perhaps best described as looking like waffles. The unique shape of these blades causes the tread blocks to lock together when the tyre deforms, creating a more rigid and stable footprint.
Travis Brown, customer strategy manager at Goodyear Dunlop Truck Tyres added: “Not only are the Goodyear UltraGrip WTD and WTS tyres designed for winter use, but they are branded with the all-important Mud & Snow (M+S) designation on the sidewall. It is a legislative requirement in certain countries that this branding has to be visible”
Traditionally, the Nordic markets, particularly the timber industry and bus and coach operators operating in alpine regions, are the largest users of winter tyres, typically fitting new tyres before the winter weather starts and keeping them on the vehicle for the rest of the year. However, the growth of such tyre sales in the UK shows that coach operators travelling to the alpine ski resorts see the benefit of these safety tyres. The UltraGrip range is available through TruckForce and other tyre dealers.
In the car tyre market, Goodyear will offer the UltraGrip 7 family car tyre and UltraGrip Performance tyres by special order only in the UK, but these tyres will be widely available in Alpine and Scandinavian markets.