Are low-rolling resistance tyres really better?

Everyone seems to talk about low-rolling resistance tyres and if you read and listen to what’s written and said, you could easily get the impression that thes new technology will be the answer to any (environmental-, pollution-, traffic-, noise-, cost-, …) problem that there is.

What is easily forgotten within all the hype is this: even a low-rolling resistance tyre is a tyre by its nature and it will behave like one.
Goodyear has published a fine and interesting information bulletin with the title: “Factors Affecting Truck Fuel Economy” – and its findings are not only relevant for truck tyres.
It shows which factors are affecting fuel consumption in trucks in which ways and it clearly demonstrates, which measures actually show effects and why.
Result: 10% lower rolling-resistance means 3% less fuel consumption.

What is clearly stated however is the fact that even low-rolling resistance tyres are subject to the laws of Physics: When driven with the wrong tyre pressure, fuel consumption increases by up to 5% and tyre life is drastically reduced.
In other words: A low-rolling resistance tyre provides its advantages only if used with the correct tyre pressure.

Says Goodyear: “… Most of the gains in fuel efficiency can be obtained from the tread of the tire, (…). Research shows that the tread contributes to over half of
the rolling resistance. It is important to keep tires properly inflated so that the strength of the tire is not compromised. Fuel economy falls off sharply when tires are underinflated.”

The subtitle of the German brochure states: “Because not all tyres are the same” …
If a tyre’s pressure is not monitored and maintained, all tyres behave in the same way: rolling resistance increases and fuel consumption (and tyre wear and environmental pollution and noise emissions and…) increases; at the same time driving safety is reduced.

So here is our conclusion: Yes! Low-rolling resistance tyres are really better… if the tyre pressure is correctly set and maintained.

And as we all know from Control Engineering: Only a parameter that is known (i.e. measured/controlled/made visible) can be influenced meaningfully; TireMoni shows all your tyre pressures with only one look.

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