Re-inventing the wheel

Goodyear launches self-sealing tires

A new line of puncture-resistant truck tires could save companies time and money by keeping heavy-use vehicles on the road longer.

It’s the latest technology from Goodyear and it will soon be coming to Cayman.

The self-sealing tires help fleets used in landfill, construction, road building and other severe service industries to keep on trucking.

Craig Arch of Arch Automotive says the new commercial tires would be a big plus in Cayman given post-Ivan conditions where tread punctures are a daily hazard. The technology repairs tire punctures when they occur, reducing vehicle downtime and service calls for trucking companies.

‘By the time it takes to dismount a big truck tire, repair and put it back on, it could be one or two hours here, depending how busy we are. You’re still paying the driver and the truck’s not taking a load,’ he said.

‘Even though the tire is higher in cost, it’s still going to reduce the overall cost of doing business for fleets and trucking companies.’

The tire features a built-in gel-like compound that instantly seals punctures up to one-quarter inch in the tread area. When a truck rolls over a nail, the yellow gel, called DuraSeal, surrounds the nail and seals the tread puncture. The gel can seal punctures over and over again without the tire needing to be repaired or the sealant needing to be reapplied.

Goodyear says the DuraSeal tires last up to six times longer than conventional tires. The tires, developed in Akron, Ohio, were launched earlier this year at various trade shows.

The most popular method used by trucking fleets to make tires puncture-resistant is applying an aftermarket sealant. But the sealants tend to dry out, become less effective and are messy and inconvenient to reapply, according to Goodyear.

Arch expects the DuraSeal tires to arrive on island within two to three months, depending on the backlog.

Goodyear is looking at extending the gel technology to other types of commercial vehicles such as campers but has no plans to use it in passenger tires.