Uvalde, Texas — Deep in the heart of Texas sits an impressive, 5,000-acre proving ground where Continental Tires tests new designs and emerging technologies in a series of world-class facilities and hard paved and off-road courses.
It was there in the late summer Texas heat, scrub, and dust that Continental pulled the wraps off its new Generation 3 Construction Tire series — a wholly new trio of vocational tires specifically designed for the roughest and toughest applications, including construction, cement mixer, utility, forestry, logging, and emergency response applications.
According to Carolina Wagner, director of marketing, Continental Commercial Vehicle Tires, The Americas, the new Generation 3 construction truck tires were designed specifically for on/off-road or mixed-use on a variety of jobsites.
The Conti HSC 3 is a heavy truck, steer/all-position, construction tire, designed to deliver an array of benefits over its predecessor tire, Continental’s HSC1. These enhancements include an estimated 11% mileage improvement.
Built on Continental’s 3G casing for reduced heat build-up and improved retreadability, the tire also features a wider tread platform to increase mileage. Other improvements include an off-road belt package for improved penetration resistance. Continental said the tire’s new cap and base tread compounds deliver a 100% improvement in cuts to the belt during cut-and-chip testing, as well as reducing heat build-up.
The Conti HSC 3 has a 24/32-inch tread depth and is currently available in the following sizes: 11R22.5 LRH, 11R24.5 LRH, and 315/80R22.5 LRL. It is also available in a matching retread, ContiTread HSC 3, available in 210 millimeters, 220 millimeters, 230 millimeters, and 240-millimeter width.
The second tire in the new series is the Conti HDC 3, which is a heavy truck drive tire that Continental says provides an estimated 15% improvement in life expectancy over its HDC1 predecessor.
The HDC 3 features a new tread pattern designed to deliver excellent lateral traction throughout tire life and features self-cleaning design to prevent stone drilling. The tire has a broad, even-pressure footprint for improved wear, traction, and cut resistance. Other new features include an aggressive open shoulder design and lug design for maximum traction, excellent retreadability, and a strong, thick, sidewall.
Wagner noted that both the Generation 3 steer and drive tire for construction deliver superior stopping power in wet braking tests. According to Continental engineers, both tires, when tested on a 2-axle heavy-duty truck, stopped 11.2-feet sooner than a truck with Continental HSC1 / HDC1.
The Conti HDC 3 has a 30/32-inch tread depth and is currently available in the following sizes: 11R22.5 LRH, 11R24.5 LRH. It is also available in a matching retread, ContiTread HDC 3, available in 210 millimeter, 220 millimeter, 230 millimeter, 240 millimeter and 250 millimeter widths.
The Conti HAC 3 is a heavy truck, all-position tire that features new cap and base tread compounds for improved mileage and traction over its HAC1 predecessor and a casing designed to resist irregular wear. A self-cleaning tread pattern, and a rugged 4-belt package to resist impacts, bruises, and penetrations are among the tire’s other new features.
The Conti HAC 3 is currently available in the following sizes: 385/65R22.5 LRL at 22/32”-inch tread depth, and 425/65R22.5 LRL at 24/32-inch tread depth.
An Intelligent Construction Tire
But Continental is more than just a tire manufacturer. The company is also positioning itself as a technology leader, with a host of new active safety and telematics vehicle systems in production or under active development. So it’s not surprising to hear Wagner stress that all-new Conti Generation 3 Construction Tires arrive from the factory pre-equipped with Continental tire sensors for digital monitoring of tire pressure and temperature, and are covered by a six-year, three-retread warranty.
Continental chose to pre-equip these tires with sensors due to the inherent benefits of tire monitoring in the on/off-road environment, Wagner said. She noted that the inherently tough nature of the work the tires are designed for makes them far more susceptible to cuts, chipping and chunking, and punctures.
Additionally, she noted, the tires tend to operate under heavier loads in a limited radius, meaning there is quite a bit of starting, stopping, braking, thus causing heat build-up – especially in warmer regions during the summer season. This is where it’s critical to ensure that tires always have properly maintained air pressure and to monitor internal casing temperature.
The top hat-shaped sensors themselves are small — about the size of a ping-pong ball, and heavily encased in a tough rubber exterior. The flattened base — which gives the sensor its hat-like appearance — is designed to adhere to the inner tire casing with glues, much the same way an old-school tire patch does. Once activated, the sensors flash critical tire data on air pressure and temperature to a host of different Continental receivers, including the ContiPressureCheck on-board tire pressure management system (TPMS), the ContiPressureCheck Solo TPMS system for trailers and the ConPressureCheck Integrated remote tire monitoring system.
The last receiver doesn't require any onboard hardware. To obtain a reading, a truck fitted with these tire sensors only has to pull up within range of a ContiConnect Yard Reader system and stay in range for a minimum of two minutes. Interestingly, the Yard Readers will take a reading from any truck equipped with Continental tire sensors and relay that information to its respective fleets — regardless of whether or not the Yard Reader is owned by that fleet or not.
By embedding sensors in each of these new construction tires, Wagner said, Continental now offers a complete solution for the extremely demanding construction application. Continental’s digital solutions help fleets reduce downtime, improve safety and fuel efficiency, and minimize labor and maintenance costs associated with tire inspections. Digital tire monitoring solutions are key in this increasingly technological environment, she noted, where fleets need to maintain premium tire casings and reduce the overall driving costs.