Oak Ridge National Laboratory


News Release

Media Contact: Fred Strohl (strohlhf@ornl.gov)
Communications and External Relations


Audio Spot: Wider truck tire improves fuel economy

OAK RIDGE, Tenn., June 30, 2006 — A wider tire for tractor-trailers may someday help control the rising costs of shipping goods across the country by truck, according to tests conducted by researchers at the Department of Energy's Oak Ridge National Laboratory.

Oak Ridge's Bill Knee says test results indicate the wider truck tire can provide significant energy cost savings.

"We noticed that there was about a 2.9 percent fuel saving in using the new generation single wide tires over the standard dual tires," says Knee.

He noted wider tires would benefit the consumer.

"These trucks do 125,000 miles per year on the average," Knee says. "They currently get five miles per gallon. You can see there is a considerable amount of savings dollar-wise that can be realized through tires like this."

Oak Ridge's tire testing is part of an effort to develop a safer and more fuel efficient heavy-duty truck of the future.

ORNL is managed by UT-Battelle for the Department of Energy.