EPA selects Yokohama's commercial truck casing as benchmark for SmartWay retread program

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is utilizing a Yokohama Tire Corporation commercial truck tire casing to establish a SmartWay verification program for retreaded tires used on Class 8 line-haul trucks. Once a retreaded tire receives EPA certification, fleets using those tires will be compliant with California Air Resources Board (CARB) regulations for low rolling resistance tires.

Launched in 2004, the EPA's SmartWay program identifies products and services that reduce transportation-related emissions, resulting in significant air quality and/or greenhouse gas improvements while maintaining or improving current levels of other emissions and/or pollutants.

"We are excited that the EPA has designated the RY617 steer and all-position tire for their verification program as the benchmark casing for retread technologies," said Rick Phillips, Yokohama director of commercial sales. "That means all retread solutions will be measured against a target number for rolling resistance on our casing. This is an important and necessary initiative by the EPA to incorporate retreading into the SmartWay program. It has been instrumental in helping the trucking industry become more fuel efficient and we are very glad to have our casing represent the benchmark."

The EPA sent a letter to media and other tire companies describing the newly-defined test casing as "an American-made Yokohama Super Steel RY617 in size 295/75R22.5. It will be used for all treads with conventional-width tires used in dual configuration."

Yokohama has been active with the SmartWay program for many years, said Phillips. "We have seven commercial truck tires that have been added to the SmartWay list of verified technologies, meaning they are recognized as low rolling resistance tires."

In 2009 Yokohama was named a SmartWay Partner, with status in the "shippers" category, meaning the company ships more than 50 percent of its products on SmartWay-designated transport carriers.

According to the EPA, Yokohama's freight efforts will contribute to the goal of eliminating 33 to 66 million metric tons of carbon dioxide and up to 200,000 tons of nitrogen oxide per year. Carbon dioxide is the most common greenhouse gas, and nitrogen oxide is an air pollutant that contributes to smog.

The EPA says companies that participate in SmartWay Transport programs save money, reduce fuel consumption and are recognized for their social responsibility and leadership.

For more information about the SmartWay program, visit www.epa.gov/smartway.