Birmingham, UK – Michelin launched multiple new sizes in its X Multi range of 17.5” and 19.5” tires, for 7.5 – 16 tonne trucks and midi-coaches at the UK Commercial Vehicle Show, held in Birmingham on 14-16 April.
According to the Guy Heywood, commercial director of Michelin’s truck and bus division, the tires are safer, more fuel-efficient, quieter and longer-lasting than the 10-year-old Michelin XDE2s they replace.
Heywood added that the new tires “combat” a trend amongst some products, which deliver optimum performance under the three tire labelling criteria measured when new but fail to perform as well in other areas or when partly worn.
“Labels are a good step forward, but they don’t tell the full story.
“What matters more is how a tire performs throughout its life, from the first to the last millimetre of legal tread depth,” he noted.
Michelin commissioned TÜV SÜD in Germany to certify testing of its latest X Multi fitments against four premium competitor brands rated either ‘B’ or ‘C’ for wet grip under European tire labelling legislation.
“The difference under wet braking when two-thirds worn told a different story to the rating on each tire’s label. It points to a worrying trend,” he added.
The testing revealed an average 13m difference in wet braking between a vehicle shod with Michelin X Multi Z and X Multi D tires, and the four premium competitors tested, when braking from 50 to 0km/h on a low friction surface.
Michelin says that stopping 13m shorter is the equivalent of three family hatchbacks in a queue of traffic; under emergency braking conditions that’s potentially the difference between avoiding a collision and a multi-vehicle pile-up.