The ABC’s of Low Rolling Resistance Commercial Truck Tires

How does a truck tire providing low rolling resistance (LRR) actually work? Here are the basics:

First, a simple definition – A LRR tire rolls with less energy loss/friction, which means the vehicle requires less fuel.

How does an LRR tire actually work?
The key to reducing the rolling resistance of a tire is actually accomplished with three variables:

The combination of these three variables are manipulated and continuously tested and evaluated to achieve ever increasing fuel efficiency through the reduction of rolling resistance. This is a constant balancing act to achieve ever increasing fuel economy without sacrificing mileage and vice-versa.

What is the average fuel economy benefit of a LRR tire versus a standard tire?
It is very difficult to put even an average percentage of fuel savings on LRR tires vs. standard tires as the savings vary dramatically from one fleet to another based on type of haul, air pressure maintenance, and overall fleet equipment maintenance; however, there is an overall accepted average of 5% to 7% savings in fuel by converting an entire fleet to LRR tires.

Keep in mind, however, that this is based on diligent strict air pressure and vehicle mechanical maintenance. For a fleet to determine their actual fuel savings by running LRR tires they must be diligent in monitoring and recording results in a controlled environment.

Some drivers say that to realize the fuel economy benefit of a LRR tire, you have to give up some tread life expectancy from a standard tire; basically, a LRR tire needs replacement sooner than a standard tire. Is that accurate?
More often than not, if there is reduced tread life in a LRR tire it is due to the reduced tread depth of the LRR tire. Historically, the easiest way to reduce rolling resistance was to reduce the tread depth of the LRR Tire; therefore, fewer miles. As LRR tires have gained in popularity, tire manufacturers like Triangle have been able to increase the tread depths of LRR steer and drive tires and still maintain, or even increase, fuel savings with newer tread compounds and enhanced casing designs. In most cases in today’s world, LRR tires are capable of achieving comparable or better overall mileage than conventional non-LRR tires.

Can you retread a LRR tire casing?
Absolutely, LRR tires can be retreaded. Triangle Tire, USA carries its most extensive retread warranty on our five Smartway-approved tires – 7 years, 3 retreads.
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