ATLANTA — Cooper Tire Co. is launching a lineup of branded truck tires designed for longhaul, vocational and severe-service applications, and which are targeted to the fleet and original-equipment sectors, the company announced.
Cooper's 295 M+S Pro series RL
The company’s Pro, Work and Severe-series tires will be launched in the United States May 1, with each targeting a different segment of the marketplace, said Gary Schroeder, global director of Cooper’s truck and bus tire business, during a March 4 press conference held at the Technology & Maintenance Council’s annual meeting here. TMC is part of American Trucking Associations.
The Pro series will be aimed at longhaul fleets that “really pile on the mileage running on our highways,” said Phillip Mosier, Cooper’s manager of commercial tire development. The first product in the lineup, the LHD, is a drive-axle tire; a steer-axle tire, the LHS, is slated to debut in 2019, Mosier said. All tires in the Pro series are SmartWay verified, he said.
The Work series, targeted to regional-haul and final-mile applications, will debut with three models: the RHA all-position tire; the RHD drive tire, which Mosier described as an “aggressive traction” tire; and the RHT trailer tire, developed for specialty trailer applications.
The first tire in the Severe lineup, the MSA, is a mixed-service all-position tire “designed to hold up to the most extreme applications out there,” Mosier said. Refuse fleets are a key focus for the tire, he noted.
All of the Cooper-brand tires have a full width, four steel-belt package to provide casing integrity for multiple retreads, the company said.
Their launch is the culmination of years’ worth of development, and allows the company to reach deeper into the truck market, Schroeder said. However, he noted that the Cooper tires will not compete with the company’s Roadmaster tire brand, which was launched in 2007 into the replacement tire market and diversified into the original equipment market on trailers in 2011. While the Cooper tires may also be an OE option for trailers and, potentially, trucks, Schroeder said the tires are aimed specifically at fleets, where Roadmaster has been targeted more toward owner-operators.
Cooper's 295 M+S Pro series SW
“This is something we’ve been working on for quite a few years,” Schroeder said, noting that experience gained through the Roadmaster brand has informed the launch of the Cooper tires.
With the new tires’ commercial launch nearing, Schroeder said the company is optimistic that the timing is right.
“We’re very bullish right now on the launch of the brand,” he said. “There is a very strong market right now. Last year both OE and replacement were up. I think everyone knows that OE is off to a very, very strong start this year. This is high demand for tires both in the fleet channel, as well as the OEM channel. So we’re excited about that — that we have some tailwinds, overall, from an industry perspective.”