Oak Ridge National Laboratory


News Release

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


Wider truck tires can result in carrying more cargo

OAK RIDGE, Tenn., May 13, 2009 — Tractor-trailers may be able to improve fuel efficiency and increase the amount of cargo with single wide tires instead of the more conventional and thinner dual tires.

Oak Ridge National Laboratory's Bill Knee says that fuel efficiency performance is based on analysis of a 700,000-mile tractor-trailer study conducted over 12 months.

"The single tire version weighs about 600 pounds less," Knee says. "If a carrier is actually cubed out - where they can't add any more payload - the overall rig is about 600 pounds less, which means there should be better fuel economy because you're lighter weighted. If you're not cubed out, you can add an additional payload. You can carry more."

Knee says the trucks traveled over different types of terrain across a good part of the Eastern United States.

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