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March 01, 2005  |   Comments (0)   |   Post a comment

Detroit tries out single rear tire


DETROIT — Detroit Public Schools has begun a pilot program to test Michelin’s X One¨ wide tire, which replaces a pair of conventional dual tires on the rear axle.

The Michelin extra-wide tires have been installed on two conventional school buses manufactured by Thomas Built Buses and will be evaluated for a year.

Jim Wilkins, a technical consultant to Detroit Public Schools’ transportation department, said the performance of the tires will be monitored by maintenance staff as well as a Michelin engineer.

Wilkins said the X One performed very well in a rigorous test drive by one of the district’s safety trainers. But the real test, he added, will be over the next year as the two school buses ply the rough roads in the Detroit area.

In addition to cost savings, there are other benefits of a single tire over dual tires, Wilkins said, pointing to the problems associated with monitoring the air pressure on the inside dual tire. “With a single rear tire, you don’t have to worry about whether the inside dual tire is damaged or underinflated,” he said.

Michelin officials said the X One reduces the overall weight of the vehicle, improving handling and fuel economy. They also said that all X One tires use Michelin’s patented InfiniCoil technology, which is a belt construction that runs perpendicular to the radial ply to optimize wear and handling.

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