I was listening to the Open Road today on XM and they had a Michelin guy on there. I briefly heard them talking about the X One tires. I got home today and looked them up on the MichelinTrucks.com site. This is a newer product meant for line haul tractors.
They look pretty interesting. Weight savings, fuel mileage improvement, 4 less tires to check pressure on...
I'm curious if anyone has tried these, or know of someone who has. When I'm due I may go for it. Michelin is offering a $400 incentive to switch from duals.
Wide Base Tires (Super Singles)
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I forget where I read it, but somewhere on here someone wrote about the "Super Singles".
Apparently, most of the friction from tires comes from where the sidewall meets the tread. So, the less of this particular point you have, the less rolling resistance you have to pull against, meaning, your trailer will pull a hell of a lot better.
On drive axles, now you wouldn't be losing as much torque just to turn the wheels.
25% greater fuel mileage? Please post a before and after example! Those are truly tires that would pay for themselves! From most accounts, I have heard that mileage increased from .3 to .5 MPG.
Other benefits are weight savings, which would also help with fuel. Anywhere from 200-400 pounds per axle. I have steel duals, so switching over to the Alcoa rim with singles would probably be a nice savings.
They claim better stability and more comfortable ride due to better shock absorbtion.
Okay, Michelin X-1's, or as I prefer to refer to them, 'Highway Singles". First, I use that term because "Super Singles" actually refers to the tires commonly found on off road and dump equipment, and they are a very tall, numerically high aspect ratio tire, as opposed to the "highway singles" which tend to have the same overall height as standard single tires.
All of the things claimed for them are true. The do reduce weight, and if switching from duals on steel rims to singles on alum rims, you see the greatest gains. And that is the number that they quote, so if you already have a duals on alum combo, the weight savings are minimized.
They do have the capability to increase fuel mileage, primarily through a reduction of rolling resistance. There are less sidewalls flexing, less heat generated through that, and less overall rolling resistance, which creates better fuel mileage. Michelin's own claims are an increase in the 3-5% range, and if someone found a 25% increase, and can verify thnat, they would be replacing "Bibbi the marshmallow guy" as the new Michelin spokesman.
There are some rumors about them, such as that they aren't available if you blow out a tire on the road, and that isn't true. They are available, and any competent tire provider can get them, and certainly Michelin's own tire network can provide them. However, on the road they are pricey, so if you blow one ion the midle of the Utah desert, be prepared to pay for them. There are tire programs available that limit replacement tire costs, and I would advise anyone to be in one, regardless of what type of tires you have on the truck.
If you blow one out, there is no limp home capability, you are simply stopped where you blew the tire. As long as you can maneuver to a safe spopt, it just means that you are stranded there, but if you are in a bad location, you may find yourself forced to move and that can result in rim damage, which again is expensive.
They have a little bit shiorter lifespan, and less ability to be recapped multiple times than a standard tire as of right now. This could increase in the future, but currently a set of virgins is suitable for only one good capping, and the places doing capping are still limited, which means that you pay their price.
My biggest complaint against them, despite the fact that I look very favorably on them, is that Michelin is engaged right now in very aggressively trying to build up their market share. Thsi is the first new product to hit the tire market since the introduction of the radial tire, and that presents a few issues. Michelin is pushing their sales force so hard to put X-1's on vehicles, that you may not always get the best advice possible from the sales guy. Remember, the right tire needs to be on your truck for the work that you are doing. Tread designs, rubber compounds, load capacities, and many other things differentiate tires from one another, and you really need to make sure that the right piece of rubber is under your truck, and that it's going to give you the miles of service that you need to get back your investment. A tire designed for running on a trash truck in urban service will have different cbilities from one used on a tanker trailer pulling down the highway, and you need to be able to identify that you are getting the right tire for the job if you want to end up happy with them. I am a little bit wary of Michelin's sales force at this time, because I have heard some real horror stories about them pushing the X-1's a just a bit harder than I think they should.
Bottom line, should someone run them? It depends on your operation. If you haul heavy weights, and are on steel wheels now, then you can benefit from the weight savings. But most people that pull tankers and other full weight loads are already on aluminum, so that isn;t as big of a reason as it could be. If you are at the point fo replacing all 8 tires now, then they pencil out more than if you are just buying them for the current benefits. The average price right now of a tire and rim is right in the 1000.00 range, so look at 4 grand to swap out a tractor, 8 for a tractor and trailer. personally, I wouldn;t swap the old tires in on trade, so that I could put them back on at trade time and not lose my investment, and that is going to end up adding to the prices I pay for them.
I like them, but am aware of their pitfalls. At this moment in time, were I in the market for tires, and able to make use of their advantages, I think I would still pass on them and let the technology age a little bit longer, and allow the market for them to shake down some. But I am kind of conservative, and that would influence my decision. I have no doubt that I will end up running on a set of them in the future, but now is not the time for me. Your situation may be different, and they may be a great thing to have right now. I wouldn't want to tell anyone "no" at this point, just giving my humble opinion, and my reasons which do and probably will change as time goes by. My 02.
The only company I've noticed running them exclusively is CFI. A friend of mine told me he saw them on another rig and talked to the driver. I can't remember the name of the company, but they too have switched over.
My tires are in decent shape for the moment-so I'm in no hurry. If what Burky says is true about Michelin's reps pushing the tires, you'd think that there would be some discounts going on. Currently, the only incentive is that Michelin is offering $400 towards the cost.
I need to find a tire rep to talk to!
Even with the push by Michelin to build market share, they aren't making a lot of deals right now. The only competition they have is the Bridgestone/Firestone Greatec highway single, and they aren't being pushed hard at all. So though they are working hard to get as much market share as possible, they aren't facing a real strong competitor and that has limited their deals. About 6 months ago I did see one of the T/A's that had a deal on them, offering the tires and the rims for 700 a piece, net price of 2800 to changeover a tractor.
But again, I can't stress enough that it needs to be the right tire, with the correct compound and tread pattern for your work and the way you run or it's not a good deal. Just being big and wide on a rim isn't enough. If you buy the wrong pattern and compound of tires, and they wear out in half the time that you expect, then your cost per mile for that tire doubled. And in selecting that is the potential issue that I have with the Michelin people. Too many salesmen that really don't know tires and tire selection, but do know what the boss overstocked on in the backroom. That's always a good way to waste money, whether yopu are buying 4 tires or eight.
In the gasoline tanker business we've been running super signles for years. But only on the trailers. Some states will not allow singles on the drive axles. Nevada was one of them. One of the major reasons the oil companies run these tires are weight savings (more gallons) and the reduced roll overs. They have a wider axle due to just one tire on each side so it brings the center of gravity down. The only problem we've had is flats. But with a gasoline tanker you can't run on flats anyway. The re-cap issue is not a problem because with the heat in the desert the re-caps don't last that long anyway and we just didn't run them. I liked them because they were easier to keep check on. As far as savings all I can say is that my company did alot of studies to save money and this was the route they took.
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