NASHVILLE, Tenn. —Bridgestone is showcasing its advanced air-free commercial truck tire concept for the heavy-duty trucking market at the 2020 Technology & Maintenance Council Annual Meeting and Transportation Technology Exhibition in Atlanta this week. This is the first public showcase of the concept to commercial fleet customers.
The Bridgestone air-free, commercial-truck tire concept, designed to be used in high-speed, long-haul applications, leverages a proprietary design where tire tread is placed on a unique structure of high-strength, flexible spokes. This eliminates the need for a tire to be filled and maintained with air.
“Commercial fleets are increasingly looking for ways to maximize uptime and reduce emergency roadside events,” said Jon Kimpel, executive director of new mobility solution engineering for Bridgestone Americas Inc.
“As mobility advances, we see these sophisticated fleets turning to technology solutions and innovative products as a way to improve operations and drive profitability for their fleets,” he said. “When tires don’t need to be filled with air, this essentially erases the downtime associated with a flat tire, improving safety and making mobility more efficient.”
The initial design of the Bridgestone advanced air-free commercial-truck tire concept is intended for the trailer position. Reported data from tire manufacturers shows trailer tires account for approximately 20% of truck-tire purchases. Furthermore, research indicates 40% of all tire failures occur in the trailer position.
The company’s advanced air-free commercial truck-tire concept is also engineered for enhanced sustainability. The air-free commercial-tire solution is designed to be retreadable. Retreads help reduce natural-resource consumption by replacing only the tire tread rather than the entire tread and casing combination.
“The benefits of an air free commercial-truck tire solution are many. This offering has the power to reduce downtime, maintenance and emergency roadside service calls,” said Kimpel. “Combine that with a high retread rate, and our advanced air-free tire concept has potential to substantially lower the overall total cost of tire ownership for fleets.”
The advanced air-free commercial-truck tire concept is part of a larger Bridgestone air-free portfolio, which includes solutions for personal mobility such as bicycles and small electric vehicles. While the commercial-truck tire concept is focused first on the trailer position, it is intended to be scalable to other commercial-trucking wheel positions and applications.
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