Responding to market trends that have seen regional haul and urban delivery tire demand outpace longhaul, BFGoodrich has introduced two new regional tires.
The Route Control S steer tire, and Route Control D for drive positions are available now, with the promise of improved traction and longer tread life.
On a conference call with trade press to introduce the new tires, Adam Murphy, vice-president of B2B marketing for parent company Michelin North America, said the regional haul tire market has surpassed that of longhaul. He attributed this to an increase in e-commerce and consumer buying habits. Over the past 15 years, he pointed out, the average length of haul has been halved from 800 miles to around 400. Meanwhile, deliveries of less than 50 miles are increasing at a compound annual growth rate of nearly 25%.
Michelin has been enhancing the BFGoodrich line of commercial truck tires, and this year marks the brand’s 150th year in business.
Features of the Route Control line include: advanced compounding for greater performance in high-scrub environments; a stronger sidewall that better resists curb impact and withstands shocks; and excellent retreadability.
The Route Control S steer tire is SmartWay-verified, and replaces the BFGoodrich ST 230. It offers optimized microsiping to combat irregular wear, and flow-through grooves for better water evacuation and grip.
The Route Control D drive tire features an open shoulder, directional tread pattern for better all-weather traction. Murphy said the Route Control D offers 10% better wet stopping traction than the leading competitor, and a 10% improvement in starting grip. It also boasts 13% better snow traction than the leading competitor, the company claims, and is backing those promises with a Work Hard Six-Month Road Test Guarantee. Customers that aren’t pleased with the tire’s performance will be reimbursed 50% of the tire’s acquisition cost.
The company is also guaranteeing the tire for five years and two retreads.
The Route Control steer tire is available now in sizes: 11R22.5, 11R24.5, 275/80R22.5 and 285/75R24.5, with the 255/70R22.5 (Load Range H) arriving in the third quarter. The 245/70R19.5 urban size was previously released with the 225/70R19.5 size arriving in the third quarter, the company announced.
The Route Control D is available now in sizes: 11R22.5 and11R24.5 (Load Range H) and 275/80R22.5 (Load Range G). It is also available in urban size 245/70R19.5, with the 225/70R19.5 size arriving in the third quarter (Load Range H).
The tires are available now in Canada as well, and in fact, Murphy said feedback from fleets operating in Canada was instrumental in designing the tire.
“Some of our largest BFGoodrich brand customers operate heavily in Canada,” he said. “Fleets experience particularly harsh conditions operating in Canada, so we have really gotten a lot of excellent input from our customers who operate in Canada.”
There are currently no plans to roll out a trailer tire in the Route Control line, though the steer tire can serve well in that capacity, the company said.