In these times of crisis, where the truck sector is particularly hard hit in Western Europe, Michelin has understood the importance of the economic issues facing road hauliers. However, safety issues also take centre stage in current debates and the new European tyre labelling highlights the need to combine these two factors. For passenger car and truck tyres, the label rates rolling resistance, wet grip and external rolling noise. So, now it’s time for rationalisation, whether when designing or purchasing tyres.
Designed to deliver a higher mileage potential
This is not Michelin’s first attempt since the Michelin X Energy Saver Green was already the fourth generation of low rolling resistance tyres. As of this year, the X Line Energy range replaces it to equip trucks travelling long distances on motorways and major national roads. The range features three models, where each model is designed for one position on the tractor or trailer.
The Michelin X Line Energy D is designed for drive axles whereas the X Line Energy T will fit trailer axles, with a model specially designed for low platform trailers, in 17.5” and 19.5’’ sizes. The X Line Energy Zcan be fitted to the drive axle and other axles. Based on European Tyre labelling criteria, Michelin’s X Line Energy tyres all achieve a B rating for rolling resistance, except the X Line Energy T in size 385/55 R 22.5 which manages to obtain the best possible A rating. These results have been achieved by using several of Michelin’s own technologies, in particular, the Energy Flex casing that limits heat build-up and by adopting a new, robust five rib tread pattern. The casing of the X Line Energy T has also been reinforced with 84 more casing cables than the X Energy Saver Green XT. Michelin announces that the X Line Energy range has a 12 to 20% longer service life.
Tested and approved
To quantify the efficiency of this combination of tyres, Michelin has conducted a full scale test and equipped a forty tonne, five-axle truck: the X Line Energy Z at the front of the tractor, the D on the rear axle and the T on the three trailer axles. Compared with the Michelin X Energy Saver Green, these tyres offer a saving of 515 litres of fuel over a distance of 130 000 km, i.e. a potential savings of644 € per year and per tractor-trailer rig. Safety has not been forgotten and the X Line Energy tyres have also obtained a B rating for wet grip, except the X Line Energy D (315/70 R 22.5) that only achieves a C rating. However, the X Line Energy D gets the M+S (Mud & Snow) and 3PMSF (3 Peaks Mountain Snow Flake) markings. The tyre features TowerPump and Delta sipes that improve handling when cornering, wet grip and also help reduce braking distances.
The Michelin X Line Energy has already been chosen and recommended by Renault Trucks and Kenworth.
By Renaud Lacroix