"Truckers can drive more than 100,000 miles a year transporting goods," says Phillips about eco truck tires. "By using the right tires, they can improve fuel economy from 3 to 5 percent in over-the-road applications, and every gallon of gas saved means 20 fewer pounds of carbon dioxide released into the atmosphere. So being green can pay off and help the planet."
Phillips says Yokohama is no stranger to manufacturing eco-friendly tires. "We also make passenger car and race car tires that use sustainable materials like orange oil to replace much of the petroleum in the tire. You don't normally put racing and environment in the same sentence, but we do at Yokohama."
So what makes a truck tire green? The way it's designed is a big factor, plus low rolling resistance - features that result in reduced material consumption and pollution, and contribute to a healthy environment.
Low rolling resistance tires improve fuel efficiency because they provide less friction as the tire rolls down the road. Less energy is wasted, and for eco-conscious and budget-conscious truck drivers who want to maximize their mileage, the shift to low rolling resistance tires is a popular upgrade.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is on board with eco-friendly truck tires by way of its SmartWay program, which verifies low rolling resistance tires based on a tough criteria. Seven Yokohama truck tires are on the SmartWay list, including its new 101ZL, which offers truckers even more fuel savings.
"We want truckers to save fuel as well as help the planet," says Phillips. "It's that simple. We recently launched an interactive, online-based Fuel Savings Calculator that enables commercial fleet owners to learn how they can improve their bottom line in terms of fuel savings. It's all about using ultra-high technology to make truck tires that last longer and are more fuel efficient."
While truckers are making their big rigs lean, green driving machines, Phillips says consumers in passenger cars can join the eco revolution by simply checking and maintaining their tires. Here are some of his "green" tips:
* Keep your tires properly inflated. Once a month, when the tires are cold (at least three to four hours after the vehicle has been driven), check tire pressure with a reliable tire gauge. Be sure that the valve stems have a plastic or metal cap to keep dirt out and seal against leakage.
* Tires must be replaced when the tread is worn down to 1/16th of an inch to prevent skidding and hydroplaning. An easy test: place a penny into a tread groove. If part of Lincoln's head is covered by the tread, you're driving with the proper amount of tread. If you can see all of his head, you should buy a new tire.
* Built-in treadwear indicators, or "wear bars," which look like narrow strips of smooth rubber across the tread, will appear on the tire when the tread is worn to 1/16th of an inch. When you see these wear bars, the tire should be replaced.
* Visually check your tires for signs of uneven wear. You may have irregular tread wear if there are high and low areas or unusually smooth areas. Consult your tire dealer as soon as possible.
* Tires should be rotated at least every 6,000 to 8,000 miles and the alignment should be checked once a year. Misaligned tires can cause the car to scrub, which lowers mileage and causes unnecessary tire wear.
* Slow down. For every five miles per hour you go above 60 mph, you're lowering your gas mileage and, ultimately, paying even more for each gallon of gas.
For additional tire care and safety tips, visit www.yokohamatire.com or www.rma.org. Learn more about becoming the King of the 'Green' road and find eco-friendly tires for your car.