Fuel-economy concerns focus attention on tires

How would you like to save more than $2,000 a year in gas expenses simply by switching tires? This week Goodyear rolled out its Fuel Max tires for big-rig tractors and trailers. The company says a new compound and tread design can improve fuel economy by up to 8%, but Goodyear told FleetOwner.com that the real-world savings should be around 4% and the tires will have slightly less mileage in the drive position than non-Fuel Max treaded tires.

Even at 4%, a truck logging 120,000 miles a year would save an owner $2,100 a year if diesel fuel costs $2.85 a gallon.

As more attention is focused on fuel economy, you can expect automakers to spec out tires with lower rolling resistance. In an excellent tech article at TireRack.com, rolling resistance is defined and the tradeoffs explained when switching to high-performance tires.

The best advice, of course, is to maintain the proper air pressure in your tires at all times.

[Source: FleetOwner.com]

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