BFGoodrich and Cooper Tires introduce new regional tires
June 10, 2020
Both BFGoodrich and Cooper Tires announced new tires for regional and city-haul applications, reflecting the shifting environment from long haul.
BFGoodrich Route Control S/D
On Tuesday, June 9, BFGoodrich announced two new regional tires: the Route Control S and Route Control D. Route Control tires were designed to address trucking in the urban jungle and in wet-weather conditions. The announcement comes as BFGoodrich celebrates its 150th anniversary.
The new tires are optimal for less-than-truckload and last-mile delivery applications in the package and delivery, food and beverage and other same-day and next-day delivery segments.
Route Control S is the steer/all-position tire that is SmartWay verified. Designed to take on curbs and potholes, Route Control S tires’ 18/32nds of scrub-resistant compounding and increased tread width compared to its predecessor ST230 tire provides long tread life and even-wear performance. Microsiping technology reduces irregular wear. Available sizes include 11R22.5, 11R24.5, 275/80R22.5 and 285/75R24.5, with the 255/70R22.5 (load range H) arriving in July. The 245/70R19.5 urban size was previously released, with the 225/70R19.5 size arriving in the third quarter. Route Control S will replace the ST230.
Route Control D drive tires drive tire has an open-shoulder, directional tread pattern to deliver maximum all-weather traction. The open-shoulder design allows the tire to grip onto any surface while maximizing self-cleaning. Directional tread patterns helps ensure optimal cleaning, water evacuation and better able to dig for improved traction. BFGoodrich claims Route Control D tires have more than 10% better wet-stopping traction than a leading competitor, more than 10% better starting grip and deliver 13% better snow traction. Available sizes include 11R22.5 and11R24.5 (load range H) and 275/80R22.5 (load range G). Route Control D is also available in urban size 245/70R19.5, with the 225/70R19.5 size arriving in July.
Both Route Control tires come with BFGoodrich’s six-month road test guarantee. Customers that are not completely satisfied with tires in the first six months of use or before 50% of their usable tread life will be reimbursed 50% of the acquisition price per tire. BFGoodrich also offers a five-year/two-retread manufacturer’s limited casing guarantee.
Cooper Roadmaster RM257/RM170+
Also on Tuesday, Cooper Tires announced new additions to its Roadmaster series. Much like BFGoodrich’s Route Control tires, the RM257 and RM170+ tires address the needs for the final mile, pick-up and delivery, and emergency vehicle tire segment.
The Roadmaster RM257 drive tire is very similar to the Route Control Series:
- 18/32nds of tread depth (225 size), 19/32nds tread depth (245 size).
- Three-Peak Mountain Snowflake certification (also on Route Control tires).
- Open-shoulder with three tread blocks in the center.
- 3D siping allows for better grip in wet weather conditions.
Regarding Three-Peak Mountain Snowflake certification, the tire must have 25% better acceleration over the reference tire in winter conditions. The Roadmaster RM257 doubled that, according to Cooper Tires.
Staggered shoulder pockets and chevron grooves provide improved performance in snow and mud conditions. Lateral tie bars help stabilize the tread blocks to enhance even wear and promote better handling. A new compound formula helps the tire resist cutting and chipping.
Available sizes for RM257 include 225/70R with load range F and G, and 245/70R with load range G and H.
The Roadmaster RM170+ steer/all-position tire is an improvement on the RM170. It is more durable and offers improved handling and wear through enhanced compounding. According to Cooper Tires, RM170+ gives those operating smaller trucks, vans and emergency vehicles more miles to removal while providing a softer ride. With 15/32nds of tread depth on the 225 size, and 16/32nds on the 245 size, the tire allows for a longer, more even tread wear. Its V-shaped tread groove helps with traction and stone rejection, while sipes on the outer tread help with wet weather grip.
Available sizes for RM170+ include 225/70R with load range F and G, and 245/70R with load range G and H. The tire will also be available to fit 265/70R, 285/70R and 10R22.5 sizes.
Shift from long-haul to regional/city
Announcements of new regional tires from BFGoodrich and Cooper Tires reflect the changing landscape of the trucking industry. According to BFGoodrich, the regional/city haul U.S. market is close to surpassing the size of the long-haul segment.
E-commerce is a major factor in this shift. As consumers demand two-day and next-day deliveries, more distribution centers are being built across the nation to meet that demand. The COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated that demand in recent months.
Prior to the e-commerce boom, there were fewer distribution centers. Consequently, shipments were longer, both in distance and in time.
Adapting to the new environment, trucking companies are shifting some focus to more regional and local routes. Accordingly, a shift from long-haul to regional/city requires different needs for equipment, including tires. Both BFGoodrich and Cooper Tires have responded to those needs.
Despite the shift, BFGoodrich said that long haul trucking is still important. Therefore, the company does not plan to shift some focus from that segment to the regional segment. Rather, it sees the situation more as a shift from a dominant long-haul market to an equal market share between long-haul and regional/city. BFGoodrich will have a more comprehensive focus across all fleets.