Following last year's challenge to Mid-America Trucking Show attendees to provide feedback on tire designs, Continental Tire the Americas unveiled its first wide-single drive tire at the Mid-America Trucking Show.

Continental's HDL2 Eco Plus (Heavy Drive Long Haul) in size 445/50R22.5 features 27/32 of tread depth, a closed shoulder and a three-dimensional sipe in the center of each tread block that allows flexibility, but couples the groove under compression for increased strength.

"The tire's advanced groove geometry separates the forces at each side of the groove bottom and reduces premature wear, said Roger Stansbie, Continental's director of commercial vehicle tire research and development in the Americas.

Additional features for lower rolling resistance, and thus, better fuel economy, include straighter, narrow groove designs and Continental's Eco Plus advanced compounding.

"Along with Continental's HTL1 trailer tire, the HDL2 Eco Plus represents the new standards in fuel efficiency and mileage for long haul fleets who want to maximize the benefits of wide single truck tires," said Clif Armstrong, Continental's director of marketing for commercial vehicle tires in the Americas. "Not only are these tires easier to check for inflation, and easier to maintain, but their lowered weight from two less beads, sidewalls and rim assemblies and advanced compounding mean that they offer significant reductions in rolling resistance. This translates directly into both fuel and maintenance savings for cost-conscious fleets and owner-operators."

The HDL2 Eco Plus is also the first of a series of drive tires from Continental to feature evolving sipe technologies, where a void in the middle of the tread blocks creates a regenerating sipe as the tread wears, Stansbie said.

"The sipes at the top of the tread disappear through the life of the tread, the shape of the tread block evolves and the void creates a new sipe. This ensures that the tread design of the HDL2 Eco Plus maintains its traction characteristics throughout the tire's lifetime, and prevents the tread blocks from wearing prematurely into rib shapes," Stansbie explained.

The HDL2 Eco Plus wide single is available now from Continental truck tire dealers throughout NAFTA countries, in size 445/50R22.5, load range L.

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