Yokohama has forayed into uncharted waters with its RS02 radial snow tire that has been designed with the goal of providing G2 graders with optimal performance in winter. The RSO2 tire was in development for two tires and is meant to provide its users with outstanding grip on both snow and ice as well as durability in extreme conditions.
Harsh winter conditions can pose a tough challenge to civil and utility services according to Tom Clauer, Yokohama Tire’s senior manager of commercial and OTR product planning. Clauer explained that road-service agencies like the municipalities in the upper states and Canada are required to maintain and clear non-interstate roads and city streets in winter months. This service that they provide is of immense importance to the residences and businesses in these areas where snow/ice accumulation can be a tough problem. The RS02 caters to the needs of such organizations so that they can perform their duties efficiently and effectively.
The most notable features of the RS02 tire are its new compound and tread design, with biting edges for improved traction and grip in snow and ice, alongside a large bead bundle in a hexagonal design created for additional strength and reduced slippage.
Reliability has also played a significant part in the development of the tire, with a high turn-up construction for maximum lateral stability and additional sidewall protection. The Yokohama-specific OTR belt wire is designed for improved puncture resistance, while an omnidirectional tread pattern saves time and effort during fitment.
The most notable feature of the new RS02 tire that plays a key role in its performance is a compound that is designed specifically for the unique challenges posed by extremes of weather. This was a major challenge during the tire development process. Clauer explained that in cold temperatures, the product can become harder and less flexible. Hence, the team worked on the development of a compound that reduced this effect. The RS02 was designed to remain supple so that it does not need to rely on warming up to achieve optimal performance.
Another major challenge for Yokohama during the RS02’s tire development process was creating an effective tread pattern. An OTR tire needs outsized tread blocks for traction, and this can lead to compromise in terms of the tire’s durability and strength. It is also difficult to come up with pattern that can shift large quantities of soft snow and bite into solid ice simultaneously. The combination of the specially formulated winter compound and hundreds of biting edges provide the tire with much higher levels of traction on ice and snow.
Clauer said that the tire’s tread design is unique because it allows the tire to resist damage while getting a strong grip on ice and evacuating snow and slush. He added that the compounding as well as the tread design had to be very specific. The conditions in which such snow tires are used are unique and while in the past, operators had to make do with products that were somewhat satisfactory but were meant for other targeted performance goals. The RS02 is specially designed to address these performance gaps, and will provide companies with better efficiency in terms of man-hours as well as equipment usage.
While the RS02 is a viable option for individuals that want the security of harsh weather performance, the need to provide a tire for essential services that have to operate whatever the conditions brings its own pressure – lives could depend on a particular vehicle making it through.
The RS02 has been developed specifically for this purpose and this is one area in which Yokohama has a lot of expertise.
“Yokohama products have a reputation for durability: this is paramount in any and all products we develop. The compounds and tread designs are unique and come from years of experience in severe-weather condition operations across the globe. They also provide a certain level of safety and security for the users while operating in harsh conditions,” Clauer concluded.
Manju Mathew, an MBA in marketing, completed publisher training courses from the Oxford Brookes University and New York University. She started with marketing and PR roles before moving on to her current position as a full time writer. Currently living in Dubai, her life as an expat has sharpened her observation skills and flair for writing. She enjoys writing about luxury cars like Ferrari, Lamborghini, etc even if she can only dream of owning them.
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