General Tire celebrates 100 years with renewed focus

In celebration of 100 years of innovation, experience and reliability, General Tire launched three new highway truck tires at this year’s Mid-America Trucking Show in Louisville, Ky. In a press conference Wednesday before the show’s Thursday, March 26, opening, Alex Chmiel, in marketing with General’s parent company, Continental, emphasized the General brand’s re-engineered focus on fitting the needs of owner-operators and small fleets up to around 100 trucks.

“We’re putting new emphasis on General Tire for the indepndents and small fleet businesses,” he said. “We wanted to energize local fleets not large enough for national accounts to give them the best tire possible at a price that’s affordable for them.”

In research leading into development of the new General HS (steer position), HD (drive) and HT (trailer) tires, Continental found what owner-operators want is not often what tire manufacturers are giving them. “They’re not necessarily looking for the most advanced technology” in a tire, Chmiel said. Not to misunderstand, he added, “they do want the tire to meet Smartway specs, but more importantly they want it to be durable, so they put it on and forget about it.”

At MATS this year, the company is launching the regional and long-haul on-highway line, developed to optimize performance in miles to removal/durability at the lowest cost-per-mile possible. “We’ve engineered our product specific to target durability and cost-per-mile, the best mileage overall – we’re the only manufacturer doing that today,” Chmiel said.

The tires are available right in low-profile 22.5 sizes and “will continue rolling out into Q2 and Q3 of 2015,” Chmiel said. All General truck tires, he noted, are produced at the company’s Mt. Vernon, Ill., facility. ”

Steer | The General HS features an enhanced tread design, fuel-efficient compounding, and an upgraded casing platform. The five-rib tread pattern, including a straight groove bottom design, promotes even wear and high removal mileage. Additionally, the grooves feature pyramidal-shaped stone ejectors to prevent stone retention and increase retreadability. Upgraded compounding in the General HS leads to longer removal mileage while still delivering optimal fuel economy. The casing features an enhanced bead to belt package increasing overall durability for maximum retreadability. All of these components utilize proven technology and combine to deliver optimized long haulage performance. The launch of the new General HS tire will begin in May 2015 with the release of the 295/75R22.5 and will continue with 11R22.5, 11R24.5 and 285/75R24.5 sizes.

The General HD long-haul drive tire features a deep 32/32nd closed shoulder tread design that offers high mileage and optimal fuel economy while also delivering excellent traction in demanding applications. The proven tread block geometry promotes stiffness in the footprint which reduces excess block movement, leading to lower rolling resistance and improved fuel economy. The groove bottom ejection system reduces stone retention and casing penetration leading to higher retreadability. Release begins next month the 11R22.5 and will continue with 295/75R22.5, 11R24.5, and 285/75R24.5 sizes.

The General HT long-haul trailer tire delivers optimal removal mileage and flexibility through an improved tread pattern. The improved scuff rib protects the sidewalls from curbing and cutting, developed in part for better durability in spread-axle and other high-scrub applications. Additionally, this new tire has an innovative stone-repellent tread pattern with patented groove technology that leads to minimum stone retention thereby extending casing life. The tire is rolling out now with the 295/75R22.5 size and will continue in 11R22.5, 255/70R22.5, 11R24.5 and 285/75R24.5. sizes.

– by Todd Dills

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