ATLANTA—Cooper Tire & Rubber Co. is adding a steer-axle tire to the Cooper Pro Series long-haul truck/bus tire line it launched in April 2018.
The LHS-designated steer tire complements the LHD long-haul drive in the Pro Series. Initially, the tire will be available in size 295/75R22.5 with other sizes becoming available in June, Cooper said during the Technology & Maintenance Council's annual meeting and trade show in Atlanta.
"This steer tire is the new flagship product for Cooper commercial tires," said Gary Schroeder, executive director of Cooper's global truck and bus tire business.
"We know the importance of this tire position, and it's why we designed the tire to perform at a very high level—meeting the demanding needs of long-haul fleets. We purposefully created this tire to give fleets what they are asking for—a low cost of ownership solution to reduce tire program costs and improve a fleet's bottom line."
Schroeder said Cooper will offer the tire at a "best buy" price point, but he did not disclose actual pricing information. Cooper is backing the LHS with a seven-year, two-retread warranty that also includes full replacement value for the first 50 percent of treadwear.
Cooper said it designed the LHS to offer low cost of ownership through long original tread life, fuel efficiency and design elements to help ensure uniform wear and retreadability.
The new tire features Cooper's ECO (Energy Conservation Optimization) technology that combines tire design, compounding and construction for a tire that exceeds SmartWay rolling-resistance standard requirements by 15 percent and meets the Environmental Protection Agency's greenhouse gas emissions requirements set for 2021.
The LHS provides 18/32nds-inch of tread depth and features a wider footprint than most steer tires on the market, up to a full inch in many cases, Cooper said. The wider footprint provides better traction while promoting longer, more even wear, Schroeder said, without impacting rolling resistance.
To enhance even wear, the tire has a decoupling groove to minimize shoulder wear and features a patent-pending stone-ejector design with a stepped groove wall in the tread pattern.
Cooper also has built in its Wear Square visual tread-depth indicator on the tire's shoulder ribs. The indicator shows the tread depth through five different evolving image icons, with the last one showing when the tire should be pulled for retreading. The indicators can also show a tire technician when there's an alignment problem or uneven tire issue.
Cooper is producing the tire at its Cooper Qingdao Tire Co. venture in Qingdao, China, according to the tire's DOT code.
On its coopertrucktires.com site, Cooper indicated that it plans to add an LHT trailer-axle version later this year as well.
The PRO Series debuted at the 2018 TMC convention/trade show, along with the Work Series for regional-haul, pick-up and delivery, and Severe Series for mixed service.