As the days get shorter and colder and the nights longer and darker, many managers within haulage companies will begin to think about the problems presented by winter weather.
For those who travel mostly in the relatively temperate zones of the UK and southern Europe, prone only to occasional snowfall, the decision about which tyres to choose for the winter season can be difficult. At least it was, until now.
High Winter Mobilitiy
Dunlop believes its new on-road truck tyres are the solution that haulage companies have been waiting for. Its new SP346 steer tyres and its SP446 drive tyres come with the 3-Peak-Mountain-Snowflake (3PMSF) and the M+S marking, meeting EU requirements for winter truck tyres.
This means that no haulage companies using the new Dunlop range will be forced to change their tyres just because the weather’s getting colder, so there will be no delay in deliveries and no disappointed clients due to unscheduled snow.
The reason these tyres were awarded the stringent 3PMSF classification is largely thanks to improved flexibility of the tyre treads. The tyres’ deep zigzag sipes mean that the snow can be compacted more effectively. They are also designed to target low wear, while at the same time aim high in the wet grip index.
Improved Fuel Economy
And that’s not all. The Dunlop SP446 also offers haulage companies more fuel economy than its predecessor, with an increased 10 per cent higher mileage and lower fuel consumption. In part, this is due to Dunlop’s revolutionary Dual Layer Technology which offers an outer layer that’s highly resistant to abrasion and an inner layer with low hysteresis properties which reduces rolling resistance.
Retreading and Regrooving
All Dunlop’s new tyres are regroovable and retreadable and premium Dunlop TreadMax SP446 mold cure retreads have been released to coincide with the launch of the new range – Dunlop TreadMax SPS246 are due to be released soon.
General Tyre Efficiency
With all the new developments in tyres – from fuel efficiency to weather solutions – it should not be forgotten that the tyre is a vital part of the safety structure of your fleet and as such should be constantly maintained.
Tyre failure can cause a driver to loose control of the vehicle, so regular checks need to be made for:
• Correct tyre pressure – an underinflated tyre can cause a heat build-up which could lead to sudden tyre deflation.
• Vehicle handling – a tyre should work in harmony with the brakes, suspension and steering. If it is underinflated it will affect other areas of the vehicle handling.
• Fuel economy – if a tyre is underinflated the increased rolling resistance and contact patch with the road surface can contribute to drag, thus requiring more energy and fuel to propel the vehicle.
• Premature tyre wear – keeping a tyre inflated means that the tyre pressure distribution remains even and prevents premature wearing.
• Tread depth – this is important, particularly in the wet, as the tread pattern aids in evacuating surface water from the road giving the truck a better grip. Current legislation requires a minimum 1mm tread.
• Wheel alignment – wheels that are not properly aligned will increase drag, thereby decreasing fuel efficiency and increasing wear and rolling resistance.
The general message is: be responsible with your wheels, and if your fleet’s tyres are due to be changed soon, consider investing in some of the latest options in order to reap their efficiency benefits.
Norman Dulwich is a Correspondent for Haulage Exchange, the leading online trade network for the road transport industry. Connecting professionals across the UK and Europe through their website, Haulage Exchange provides services for matching haulage companies with jobs in road transport and haulage work. Over 4,000 transport exchange businesses are networked together through their website, trading jobs and capacity in a safe 'wholesale' environment.