Breaking Down Resistance

Tire manufacturers have been studying the relationship between tires and fuel efficiency for years. Although tires are one of many components affecting fuel economy, they are one of the easiest to change and test.

About a third of heavy-duty truck fuel consumption is used to overcome rolling resistance, which directly relates to the energy a tire consumes or dissipates while rolling under load.

Low rolling resistance (LRR) tires are designed to minimize energy loss as a tire rolls, decreasing required rolling effort and resulting in improved fuel efficiency. LRR tires are constructed using technologically advanced compounds with special tire construction techniques to help minimize rolling resistance while maintaining other necessary tire design and performance characteristics.

Low rolling resistance tires in either dual or wide-base configurations save significant amounts of fuel when compared to tires that are not designed for low rolling resistance. While some of the costs to use LRR tires may be higher, these costs are typically recovered over the tire’s operational lifetime.

Fortunately, tire manufacturers continue to advance the design of these tires to deliver even higher fuel savings with less trade-offs in traction and tread life.

Experts help you make choices

Most major tire manufacturers offer a number of trailer tires with low rolling resistance. The difference between the tires really comes down to the materials, performances, technology, manufacturing controls and the consistency of production.

Consideration of the fleet’s operating environment is important, and tire performance must sync with the nature of fleet operations, drivers and their habits, driving locations, maintenance schedules, budgets and other priorities, such as fuel costs. When considering which tires you need, work with tire experts who will help you select the best tires for each operation.

Benefits at a glance:

  • Reduced Fuel Consumption: LRR tires offer a presumed fuel saving advantage over a similar non-LRR tire.
  • Regulatory Compliance: Today California is the only state requiring the use of LRR tires on many vehicle configurations, but with the next phase of GHG reduction mandates, which will likely include trailers, regulatory changes are expected.
  • Weight Reduction: Wide-base single tires (WBS) and wheels help reduce vehicle tare weight, increasing fuel efficiency and payload capacity. WBS tires reduce rolling resistance, can carry high loads and can be substituted for a dual tire set in many trailer applications.