Michelin is one of the oldest legacy companies serving the global trucking industry today. But according to Adam Murphy, vice president of business to business marketing for Michelin, the company doesn’t so much view itself as a “tire” manufacturer today, as it does a supplier of integrated transportation systems.
Taken in that light, the launch today of Michelin’s new Energy Guard aerodynamic system for tractor-trailers doesn’t seem like quite the departure it would’ve just a few years ago. According to Murphy, speaking at the Technology & Maintenance Council's annual meeting in Atlanta, Michelin’s approach to tractor-trailer aerodynamics is a solution that increases fuel economy, decreases maintenance costs and requires no driver interaction.
Energy Guard consists of a trailer skirt, trailer-end fairings, aerodynamic mud flaps and a patent-pending wake reducer, which Michelin says eliminates the need for “boat tail” fairings or combining aerodynamic products from different suppliers.
Murphy said Energy One features several innovations in its patent-pending design, including a trailer skirt that fully integrates with other aerodynamic components. The skirts are made from resilient, modern composites that bend out of the way when striking a objects. The wake reducer is much smaller in size than “boat tail” fairings in use today, Murphy said, but still minimizes the effect of the air recirculation zone that creates drag behind a trailer. Even better, he said, both are systems automatically functioning once installed and always activated without any driver actions.
According to testing carried out by Michelin, Murphy said, the new Energy Guard aerodynamic system can deliver 7.4% fuel savings at 65 mph compared to tractor-trailers with no aerodynamic system. This works out to savings of $3,000 and 1,000 gallons of fuel per truck, per 100,000 miles run.
All-Weather X One Drive Tire offers 25% better traction in snow and ice
Michelin isn’t turning its back on its core business, of course, and drove that point home with the additional introduction of its new All-Weather X One Drive tire in Atlanta Sunday.
The tire features new, wide open shoulder grooves to deliver improved grip and traction in ice and snow, which was verified in the 3 Peak Mountain Snow Flake Certification testing carried out in an Arctic test facility. The 25% increase in grip is largely thanks to Michelin’s Matrix siping technology, Murphy said, which features interlocking sipes with zig-zag walls to provide thousands of biting edges for the portion of the tire in contact with the road to provide additional grip in adverse weather conditions.
The All-Weather X One tire is SmartWay certified, and features a top layer of dual compound tread to provide long tread life, while the bottom layer features dual compound treads designed to run cooler for longer casing life and retreadability.