In March, Continental invited truck tire customers to visit its booth at the Mid-America Trucking Show in Louisville, Ky., and leave feedback about two competing designs for a wide single drive tire product on its Facebook page.
The company repeated the offer at Canada's national truck show, ExpoCam, in early April in Montréal. After speaking with hundreds of show visitors and reading the comments left for the research and development team on Facebook, director of marketing Clif Armstrong said that Continental will bring both designs to market.
The product labeled 'Design 223' on Continental's Facebook photos will be produced as the new Continental HDL2 Eco Plus wide-based single drive tire. It is currently scheduled for availability in November.
The new HDL2 Eco Plus (Heavy Drive Long Haul) in size 445/50R22.5 will feature 27/32nds of tread depth, a closed shoulder and regenerating sipes in the middle of the tread blocks. A three-dimensional sipe in the center of each tread block couples the groove under compression for increased strength, but still allows more block flexibility as the block exits the footprint.
The tire already meets the U.S. EPA SmartWay Transport Partnership limits for low rolling resistance drive tires, although it has not been submitted for approval yet.
The second tire will be an additional size for the successful HDL2 DL (Heavy Drive Long Haul, Deep Lug) truck tire, also in 445/50R22.5 size. On the Continental Facebook photos it was labeled as 'Design 224.' At 27/32nds of tread depth, the HDL2 DL super single tire's tread design was copied from the existing sizes of the HDL2 DL and provides deep tread depth with the excellent traction of an open shoulder.
This tire also features a bottom groove treatment that reduces stone retention and outside groove geometry designed to distribute stress evenly throughout the groove bottom, providing excellent durability. The HDL2 DL wide base also will meet the U.S. EPA SmartWay Transport Partnership limits for low rolling resistance tires in the drive position. Availability is scheduled for mid-2012.