Michelin North America said it plans to continue its program of donating tires to Yellowstone National Park for the park’s fleet up through 2016. According to Michelin, the company has donated more than 1,400 tires to the park’s fleet of 800 vehicles, including tires for patrol cars, refuse trucks, rotary snow plows, and tractor-trailers.
Michelin said its donations have saved the park approximately 275,000 to $300,000 annually, which is a 12 percent reduction in the park’s fleet and road maintenance budget. Part of the savings comes from longer tire life, according to Michelin. Prior to this program, Michelin said the Park would replace tires annually and that it now replaces the tires every two to three years.
In addition to donating tires, Michelin said its field engineers work with the park’s fleet managers to optimize tire use in order to improve fuel economy and performance. Michelin noted that the tire donation program has improved the fleet’s fuel economy by approximately 2 percent. The engineers also provide training on mounting specialized tires, for example those used on earthmovers.
Beyond the benefits the park’s fleet has seen, Michelin said that by working with the park, it has been able to develop a new tread design that provided year-round usage of a single tire type for snow, ice, mud, and bare pavement at the park. Michelin also said that its tires have helped reduce the need for adding chains to tires in winter weather by an estimated 60 percent.