Bridgestone Firestone North American Tire announced March 19 that its Greatec wide base drive and Greatec wide base trailer radials have been added to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s SmartWay-certified list of commercial tires. Besides meeting SmartWay’s fuel efficiency specifications, Greatec radials are designed to offer the additional advantage of allowing fleets to increase payloads.
Last summer, four other Bridgestone-brand commercial truck tires were approved for EPA-certified SmartWay tractors and trailers: The R287 steer, R280 steer, M720 drive and R195F trailer radials. Tires that earn EPA SmartWay certification must achieve at least three percent better fuel economy than the average new tire.
In 2004, SmartWay created a long-term initiative for shippers and carriers of all sizes to improve fuel economy and reduce tailpipe emissions. The program helps fleets make the right choices when spec’ing for optimum fuel efficiency – including recommendations for both new and replacement tires. Fleets participating in the SmartWay program are urged to use SmartWay-certified tires for the life of their equipment.
Greatec wide-base radials also are suited for weight-conscious fleets such as bulk haulers, flatbed haulers and fleets who tend to “gross out” before they “cube out,” meaning the vehicle’s gross weight limit is reached while there is still cargo room left over. Because Greatec wide base tires weigh less than the dual assemblies they replace, these fleets may be able to convert weight saved into extra revenue-producing payload.
Greatec drive radials have a 26/321/2 tread depth and a pattern that resembles the popular Bridgestone brand M726 EL drive radials. The tread incorporates solid shoulder ribs to combat side forces that can lead to irregular wear; and a stiff, staggered tread block design to resist “heel-and-toe” wear.
Greatec trailer radials have a 14/321/2 tread depth and a pattern similar to the ultra-economical R195F trailer radial. They also feature Bridgestone’s patented Equalizer Rib and Defense Groove features designed for even wear and longer mileage. Tough sidewall ribs fight curbing damage to protect the casing.
Both Greatec radials are built using Bridgestone’s patented Waved Belt design, which is designed to balance stiffness and resiliency to provide a strong, stable casing that, in turn, produces a stable footprint shape throughout the life of the tire.
Greatec’s newest technology is designed to increase bead durability. Its T.I.P.TM (Turn-In Ply) design removes the ply end from harm’s way, wrapping it around the bead bundle – an innovation intended to promote a stronger, more resilient bead.
In 2005, Bridgestone Firestone’s own fleet volunteered as an EPA SmartWay shipper-carrier, committing to improve fuel economy and reduce tailpipe emissions. For information on the SmartWay program, go to www.epa.gov/smartway.