It's a new dawn for the tyre industry, claims Goodyear

Goodyear has described the the impact of EC regulation 1222/2009, better known as the European tyre labelling legislation, as"a new dawn for the tyre industry: a tyre is no longer just black and round with a hole in it".

So said Goodyear Dunlop’s UK truck tyre marketing manager Adam Stanton, describing the legislative change that takes effect today (1 November).

Stanton was speaking last week at the Mira proving ground near Nuneaton, where Goodyear Dunlop demonstrated the difference in the rolling resistance and wet grip of tyres as indicated by the ratings they now carry under the new labelling rules.

Although underlining the fuel efficiency and safety benefits of tyres with ratings of C or better, Goodyear Dunlop stressed that label ratings do not tell the whole story. Stanton pointed out that the label excludes important criteria such as tread life, retreadability, damage resistance and off-road traction. "The label has its limitations," declared Stanton, adding, "It’s a starting point for comparison – but I do emphasise starting point."

Future challenge

A far bigger challenge awaits tyre manufactures, however. Today also sees the implementation of another new EC regulation, 661/2009. Newly-type approved truck tyres must now have a rolling resistance of no more than 8N/kN.

Truck tyres with an E rating for fuel efficiency have a rolling resistance of between 7.1N/KN and 8N/kN but EC 661/2009 cuts the maximum value to just 6.5N/k, which equivalent to a good D rating (6.1N/kN to 7N/kN) for fuel efficiency on the new labelling scale.

This will take effect for new type-approved truck tyres on 1 November 2016.

Even among premium brands, a significant proportion of drive axle tyres – especially in 17.5in- and 19.5-in- diameter sizes - are E-rated for fuel efficiency and so would not make the grade for new type approvals in 2016.

Some D-rated tyres would also miss the 2016 limit, so tyre-makers have to up their game in the next few years.

You can learn more about the subject in our tyre labelling white paper produced by CM in conjunction with Goodyear.