Kumho Tyre

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Kumho's KRT03 Longmark truck trailer tyre is proving both extremely reliable and more cost effective in trucking operations all over Australia after being developed specifically for Australian climate and road conditions.

Kumho Australia commercial field managers liaised directly with Kumho R&D in Korea to develop the KRT03 Longmark to handle the unique combination of high temperatures, high weight loading and marginal road conditions encountered by many long-haul transport operators in Australia as well as the variable condition and alignment of trailer wheels and axles.

The secret of the KRT03's success in tough Australian conditions lies in its use of a three-rib design with wider ribs that are more stable and rigid than those found on trailer tyres using four or five rib design.

The result is a tyre that resists diagonal scuffing or wear and which can handle a mix of both on and off road conditions, performing equally well on paved surfaces at constant high speed, in winding conditions or on gravel  and dirt surfaces.

Using the three-rib design along with a deep, wide tread provides excellent stability in both wet or dry conditions while Kumho designers used a new heat resistant intermediate compound to create the KRT03 Longmark for cooler running in Australia's hot climate.

According to Kumho Tyres Australia's manager of truck and commercial vehicle tyres, Harvey Hawes the KRT03 is the perfect tyre for trailer operations in Australia particularly because trailer axle alignment combined with inconsistent tyre pressure maintenance plus marginal road conditions often conspire to produce uneven tread wear and diagonal scuffing on trailer operations in this country.

"We came at this problem from a very different angle, by basing the KRT03 on the very successful Kumho 956 steer tyre and the results speak for themselves," said Harvey Hawes.

"We are delighted with the feedback it is receiving from fleet and trucking operators all over Australia with many every day transport operators praising the tyre and telling us that they are getting much longer tyre life and reduced diagonal wear or scuffing," he said.

"With the three rib design it means that the tyre tread distortion that often occurs with badly aligned trailer wheels is minimised or prevented entirely.

"With poor alignment on trailer axles and also on prime mover drive axles the driver is constantly fighting the truck and increased distortion in the trailer tyres which have traditionally had four or five rib design," he added.

"It is this constant rib distortion and the consequent slip back of the narrow ribs on most trailer tyres that causes the diagonal wear and scuffing that is endemic in many heavy transport fleets," he said.

"By reducing the number of ribs, making each one wider and more rigid Kumho has eliminated this problem without compromising grip and braking performance as well as greatly extending tyre life.

"With this design operators are getting the full tread life from tyres instead of having to throw expensive tyres away at 50 or 60 percent tread wear because of deep diagonal wear across a small portion of the tyre," he added.

Kumho has also employed a 13mm tread depth on the KRT03 instead of the usual 15mm used on most trailer tyres to further aid the stability and rigidity of the tyre ribs.

"The deeper tread depth on most tyres creates more distortion and means the tyre runs hotter, however reducing the depth by 2 mm creates better stability, cooler running and ultimately much longer tyre life, again without compromising grip," said Harvey Hawes.

"The savings due to the overall fuel efficiency plus its long-term reliability means few operators serious about their business cannot ignore the new Longmark for their trailers," he added.

Harvey Hawes also pointed to the fact that many transport operators pay greater attention to the steer and drive tyres than to trailer tyres which in fact are just as important and make up the majority of rubber on a semi-trailer or B-Double rig.

"On a conventional 22 tyre semi the trailer tyres make up 55 percent of the mix and on a B-Double they comprise 70 percent of the tyres on the vehicle, so they are not only vital to the truck's efficient operation, they are also a major cost, particularly if you are not maximising  their performance," he added.

Kumho engineers have incorporated some other vital features to ensure the KRT03 is perfect for tough Australian road conditions including stone ejectors in all grooves to maximise the clearing of stones from the tread as well as tread nib division for more even load distribution and better wear performance.

"We have some of the worst road conditions in the world with a widely variable climate and some of the largest distances to cover so it takes a special type of tyre to keep commercial vehicles on the road, on time and operating efficiently," Harvey Hawes added.

"The KRT03 Longmark has proven itself on Australian roads over the past decade and continues to be an impressive performer with a wide variety of transport fleets," he concluded.

The Kumho KRT03 has a 16-ply rating with a load index rating of 148/145L in the 11R22.5 size. The tyre has a carrying capacity of 3000kg in single and 2725kg in dual fitment.

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