Super Single Truck Tires
One of the most interesting new trends in the commercial trucking industry may change the way we not only look at large rigs, but what we call them as well. The famed “18 wheeler” may become a “10 wheeler” thanks to super single truck tires.
For many years, large trucks have used dual tires on each axle and four tires each on the trailer for a total of eight with the remaining ten tires on the truck itself. This was done to provide stability and security in case one of the tires blew out. However, the downside was the loss in fuel mileage because of the extra weight of the tires.
Thanks to the new super singles, the trucking industry may reap new benefits because of the advantages that these tires bring.
What are Super Singles?
Super single truck tires are essentially better constructed tires than the standard tires we see on rigs today. They offer aluminum wheels and are larger than their standard counterparts as well. These super singles are tougher, stronger and lighter in weight overall.
The Advantages of the New Tires
Essentially, instead of having eighteen tires to support the trailer and truck, only ten will be needed because of the improved design of the tire itself. The super single truck tires can withstand the weight of the trailer and vehicle over the same time period as their dual counterparts. A study performed by the Oak Ridge National Laboratory showed that trucks could save an average of almost 3% on gas or diesel fuel. While 3% may not sound like much, over 125,000 miles and averaging five miles per gallon that results in a savings of 728 gallons per year.
In addition, the new tires actually offer more stability with a wider truck frame. However, the most interesting advantages are that these tires can hold up for about 200,000 miles as opposed to the standard 160,000 miles for the conventional tires. This means that money is saved on replacement as well since the fewer number of super singles which actually last 40,000 miles longer.
However, the main advantage that super singles offer is that they are stronger, yet lighter in weight than their standard counterparts by roughly 1,000 pounds in total. While this weight savings may translate to better fuel mileage, trucking companies see this as being able to add 1,000 more pounds to the cargo. This means that more can be hauled on a single trip which can earn the company even more money than before.
With more payloads being placed on fewer tires, truck drivers will probably not notice much of a difference in terms of driving their rigs. However, there is one significant drawback to these tires that trucking companies will have to face. With eighteen wheels, if a truck blows out a tire in one of the dual mounted sections, it can limp into a service or repair station and get the tire changed. But, when one of the super single truck tires fails, the truck itself cannot be driven very far with the cargo in tow.
Changing a flat tire on the road with a heavy load without assistance is a tall order to say the least, so there may be higher repair costs in sending out a service truck to do the job. However, super singles are apparently here to stay.