Bridgestone launches new regional steer, drive tyres
Within Europe, Bridgestone is progressively replacing its R297 steer and M729 drive tyres with the newly-developed R-STEER 001 and R-DRIVE 001 regional application truck tyres. Commenting on the pair’s launch, which coincides with the IAA Commercial Vehicles show in Germany, Bridgestone says the new tyres are “designed for robustness in versatile usage, providing high-level performance and a long lifecycle in a wide range of operating conditions.”
The R-STEER 001 and R-DRIVE 001 tyres are said to have been developed in response to the trend towards changing fleet operating conditions from one day to another and a broader mix of usage conditions in regional applications, ranging from highway driving to light on- and off-road usage. This ‘regional’ segment, which represents around 42 per cent of the total European truck tyre market, covers various types of vehicles – general cargo trucks, tankers, refrigerated trucks, coaches, and specialised areas such as timber and waste transport – adding further weight to the need for versatility.
Specifically, the R-STEER 001 and R-DRIVE 001 truck tyres are designed for trips of between 50 and 1,000 km, with up to five per cent on/off usage. To meet the demands that will be placed upon the tyres, Bridgestone says it has designed both with increased robustness without compromising on performance of safety. They are also engineered to better cope with under-inflation and overloading – two factors identified in a Bridgestone survey as common occurrences in today’s mixed operating conditions.
Longer service life and improved retreadability
Bridgestone reports that the performance features of the R-STEER 001 and R-DRIVE 001 include a long life with balanced rolling resistance coefficient, excellent traction for the R-DRIVE 001, highly durable casings for maximum retreading potential and improved re-grooving potential versus the previous generation R297 and M729.
Exclusive compound technology
To achieve these performance levels, Bridgestone says its engineers employed the company’s proprietary NanoPro-Tech compound, which reduces energy loss in the top compound as the tyre rotates. Reduced energy loss leads to reduced rolling resistance, which in turn guarantees durability and abrasion resistance, without compromising tyre performance.
The tread patterns used are designed with Bridgestone’s top tread technologies: Tie-bar between the tread blocks on the unidirectional R-DRIVE 001 for increased stiffness and service life; square shoulder design on R-STEER 001 for stable cornering and increased tyre life, together with stone ejectors for improved retreading potential and dual sipe technology for improved wet and winter handling.
“These new R-STEER 001 and R-DRIVE 001 truck tyres retain the performance strengths of their Bridgestone predecessors but give fleets more durability and wear life in versatile conditions, for a lower cost per kilometre than their predecessors” said Harald Van Ooteghem, senior manager, Marketing Planning, Commercial Business Unit, Bridgestone Europe.
The tyre maker reports that field tests in 18 European Union countries, ranging from severe on- and off-road usage to 100 per cent highway, have demonstrated the “excellent durability and improved retreading and regrooving potential” of the R-STEER 001 and R-DRIVE 001, while pair are said to maintain the performance level expected of premium Bridgestone truck tyres. Both products will be introduced progressively across Europe from October 2012, initially in the major size for regional applications: 315/80R22.5. Other sizes will be added in the future.