TAMPA, Fla. — Yokohama Rubber Co. Ltd. has introduced a truck tire line it says has an eye on environmental responsibility as well as reduced rolling resistance, longer casing life and a full 1-inch original tread depth.
Yokohama´s "Z.environment"-or Zen-line incorporates optimum tread designs, compounds and casing design to achieve its advances, according to John Cooney, director of commercial sales for Yokohama Tire Corp., the Japanese firm´s U.S. subsidiary.
"These features result in reduced material consumption, reduced pollution and contribute to the health of our environment," he said.
The Zen line-being rolled out in North America as the 703ZL-starts with advances in manufacturing at a Yokohama plant in Mie, Japan, which yield stronger, more uniform casings, Cooney said. These changes result in lower rolling resistance-and hence, increased fuel economy-without sacrifices to treadwear, traction or retreadability, Yokohama claims.
Among the improvements are a revised bead area profile for better bead seating and therefore better air retention, Cooney said, which helps reduce rolling resistance and fight irregular wear. Z-line tires also are lighter than the firm´s TY577 line because of revised under-tread materials and gage.
Yokohama claims 12- to 22-percent lower rolling resistance than leading competitors´ drive tires.
The 703ZL, based on products already available in Japan, is offered in North America initially in drive applications only, in sizes 295/75R22.5 and 11R22.5. A steer axle tire based on Zen principles should be available in 2008, Cooney said, along with more drive tire sizes.
The 703ZL is priced between the TY577 and the premium TY527.
The Zen manufacturing system is part of Yokohama´s corporate philosophy to be environmentally responsible, Cooney said. The firm has set a goal for greenhouse gas reduction of 12 percent by 2010-twice what was mandated by the Japanese government in 1997 when it signed the Kyoto Protocol.