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Thread: Super Singles?

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    Default Super Singles?

    So what's the measurable benefit of changing to super singles? How much fuel savings?

    I've got a chance to buy four used aluminum super single wheels (and tires but they're more bald than me) for $500. Seems like a good deal.

    How much do super single tires cost? Where is the best place to get them?

    How are they in winter weather and off road situations (I pull a flat)?

    I'm trying to find out all the pros and cons before investing.

    Thanks ahead of time for your input.

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    I never owned any. though I dont think they would be a good idea for a o/o. just my opinion. I haul flat too & I have at times with one tire down slow way down & limp to the nearest truck stop, rest area e.t.c. but with a full load & a super single going out.. your stuck where your at. I talked to a driver a year or so ago & he had one go out he said no one had one in the immed area & had a service truck bring one from approx 100 miles. it was a maverick driver.so no cost to him. I think they are stocked in more places now, but not near enough for me. I would not think of going without a spare. but then where would you put the spare? may have to make a special holder under the trailer to hold the bigger size. none of the local small truck shops in my town carry them. they can get them, you can get the standard sizes everywhere.

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    Quote Originally Posted by deep dixie blue View Post
    So what's the measurable benefit of changing to super singles? How much fuel savings?

    I've got a chance to buy four used aluminum super single wheels (and tires but they're more bald than me) for $500. Seems like a good deal.

    How much do super single tires cost? Where is the best place to get them?

    How are they in winter weather and off road situations (I pull a flat)?

    I'm trying to find out all the pros and cons before investing.

    Thanks ahead of time for your input.

    I spoke to a guy the other day and he said that he gets about 1 mpg more with the super singles than the duals. He had the super singles on his drives as well as his trailer. I remember speaking to another owner operator about a year ago who planned on taking the super singles off and putting his duals back on. I like the idea of getting better fuel economy, but I have had a number of blowouts over the years. As Heavyhaulerss said, you will be stuck if you have a blow out until a service truck can come out.

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    Quote Originally Posted by GMAN View Post
    I spoke to a guy the other day and he said that he gets about 1 mpg more with the super singles than the duals. He had the super singles on his drives as well as his trailer. I remember speaking to another owner operator about a year ago who planned on taking the super singles off and putting his duals back on. I like the idea of getting better fuel economy, but I have had a number of blowouts over the years. As Heavyhaulerss said, you will be stuck if you have a blow out until a service truck can come out.
    I spent quite a bit of time and energy looking into super singles when I bought my truck last year. On tractor only, the companies that make them claim up to a 4% increase in fuel economy. On both tractor and trailer, they claim up to 6% benefit. My biggest concerns as already voiced above by Heavyhaulerss and GMAN were lack of wide spread availability and being stuck on the side of the road with a blowout. I ended up not outfitting my truck with the super singles. Maybe someday if they start using Kevlar belts in them to make the tires puncture proof I would consider it, but it just seems like too big a risk with too little gain to me.

    I will mention this: Last year, I was talking to some wrench turners at a Petro and mentioned that my biggest fear with super singles was having a flat and being stuck out on the road, and he told me that the side walls are thick enough to actually run on a flat for a long way, albeit very slowly. He said that the week before we were talking he convinced a driver of a fully loaded tanker (non HAZMAT, thank God) to drive 60 miles down I-40 with a flat trailer super single and the driver made it to the Petro in Oklahoma City with no problems (although he did have to drive 45 mph the whole way).

    Even if you can run on them flat, you get a hole in a sidewall or a large rip in the tread that canít be patched and you are out nearly twice the money as if it had happened to a standard bias tire. I kinda figure that any money saved on fuel with the things will be eaten by the extra added cost of replacing the occasional unfixable flat.
    "The Breakfast of Champions isn't cereal, it's the competition!" - "Success is how high you bounce when you hit bottom." - "An appeaser is one who feeds a crocodile, hoping it will eat him last."

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    When I was in the trainer truck for CFI, we had a driver tell us on the CB that one of our super singles was flat. We were going 70mph and never even noticed it... you still have the other axle to keep you rolling till you can get to a place to stop (of course we were empty at the time... loaded might be different). The cost for the tire (for an X-One) was around $900 if I remember right. This was 3 years ago so I have no idea what they run today.
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    What about ride quality?

    How many miles can you get out of them?

    Thanks again for the input.

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    Approx 60% of my equipment has super singles. I do better on mpg and mileage from them. I would not use them without a constant air system on the trailer and a tire monitor system on the tractor. The trailer will keep as much air going into the tire as the compressor can put out. The monitor system will alert if the pressure starts to drop.
    They make a tire carrier for them or extend the one you have 4 inches.

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    after all has been posted here about these singles, I don't think the industry is ready for them yet.

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    I run michelin super singles on my truck (07 Volvo 780) and wouldn't consider running with duals.

    To me, the benefits of super singles are increased fuel economy (4-10 percent, depending on just the tractor or both tractor and trailer), durability and ride quality.

    I operate my truck in the most efficient manner possible, with 7.73 MPG averaged over the first 104,500 miles in service. When I was going over the cost vs benefit on the super singles, I kept coming back to the fact that over time they more than pay for themselves -- and I was using 4% fuel savings as my test case. When you factor in the fuel surcharge (particularly when it was higher last year), I was effectively averaging nearly 12 MPG with my setup.

    When I drove for CFI, the tractor I had came with all four original super single tires. I had it from about 145,000 to 291,000 miles and ended with two of the tires still on the truck! Properly maintained, I expect a 250k-300k useful life for these drive tires.

    When I changed companies to one that uses duals for most of its trucks, I couldn't believe the amount of "sag" that took place during turns with a heavy load. This will likely surprise any driver used to supers, as they don't sag under any legal load that I've ever pulled.

    As far as going on with a blown dual vs a blown super single, no tire manufacturer advises this under any circumstance. And lets face it, it isn't 1960 -- we have QualComms, cell phones, PDAs and all sorts of gadgets that keep us in contact with the outside world.

    The only negative I've personally heard about super singles from some users is they don't feel they get as much traction out of them as they do with duals. I've driven three winters now with the supers and I simply disagree on this point.

    Good luck,

    Jim
    Read my OTR Lease Purchase journal at OTRjournal.com

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    Well Jim. thanks you for your knowledge on this issue. If I had a new or close, to new truck I may try the singles & anything else to maximize profits. but as I have an older truck, I would not want to spend the extra money to convert my already working tire system. having over 1.2 mil miles on my truck, the new tires may outlast the truck itself. lol. but a newer truck, I would think about it. also if I bought a truck new or used & it came with the singles.. I would keep what ever is on the truck.

    I think if they are worth it, the market will show it, & truck will come with them from the factory.. I can say though, without personal experience, that I see where the sag may be different. in favor of the singles.

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    I forgot to note that my experience has been completely in the realm of Van and Reefer operations... specialized (OD loads, split axle trailers, etc.) might not get the same benefits. I'm thinking specifically of split axle trailers turning tight corners where you tend to drag the rear set around the corner -- I'm sure the singles could take it, but they might not wear the same as something with less tread per tire.

    Jim
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    I put Michelin X-one's on my 2003 Freightliner Columbia about 30k miles ago. Fuel mileage aside, the truck rides 100% better. Less "wander", smoother...It's just amazing. I have noticed a 3- 5% increase in fuel mileage. As far as traction goes, great in the snow and rain loaded or pulling empty trailer. Bobtail in the rain, it makes you pucker up. Tires lock up easy. This week I converted my trailer (48 ft flat) as well. I did put the retreads on the trailer. Under $400/each. I'm anxious to see the improvement. We picked up a load from GA to OR yesterday, but it's only 3k pounds....Will have to wait till we get a heavier load to tell.

    As far as flats and blowouts, from everyone that I have talked to (drivers, truckstops and Michelin reps) they are very uncommon. If you register with Michelin's On call service they guarantee they will have roadside assistance to you in less than 2 hours or they pay the service call!

    Check out the video on Michelin's web-site. Very impressive.
    Michelin Americas Truck Tires Videos and Demos Page

    If you are not interested in buying the wheels, let me know as I would be.

    Thanks and good luck!

    -scott


    Quote Originally Posted by deep dixie blue View Post
    So what's the measurable benefit of changing to super singles? How much fuel savings?

    I've got a chance to buy four used aluminum super single wheels (and tires but they're more bald than me) for $500. Seems like a good deal.

    How much do super single tires cost? Where is the best place to get them?

    How are they in winter weather and off road situations (I pull a flat)?

    I'm trying to find out all the pros and cons before investing.

    Thanks ahead of time for your input.

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    I think I'm going to give them a try. Now just have to find some tires.

    I talked to my tire guy in Chattanooga, Diprima Tire, and they sell some Chinese singles from Sumitomo; $390 each that he says they have had very good results with. I went to the Michelin site to see how they compare, rolling resistance-wise, with Michelin but of course they are not listed.

    What's the best price anyone has seen on a Michelin single? Without rolling resistance data its hard to compare two different makers side by side. And for that matter, I'm leary of accepting data that all comes from just one manufacturer.

    One of my drive axles is ready for new tires now but the other one has tires that I gave $250 apiece for last August (Double Coin). They've got about 70,000 miles on them and still have well over half the tread left. I can sell them to a friend and get enough to pay for one super single. So that will leave me out of pocket for the other three ($1200) plus the wheels ($500). If keep my old wheels and just buy four new standard tires I'm looking at $1000. So the initial outlay is really only going to be $700 when you look at this way (plus mounting and balancing, etc, for whichever way I go) that I need to recoup.

    Since I slowed down I'm averaging right at 7.0 mpg, which puts my fuel price per mile right around $0.31. If I cut my fuel costs by 4%, which is what I'm told I can expect, that's a savings of $0.0124 per mile. So then it will take me approximately 40,322 miles to recover my initial investment and after that point I will be making money with them.

    Plus have a 400 pound weight savings and a better ride.

    Sounds like the way to go.

    P.S. The reason this guy is selling them is because he was bobtailing too fast in the rain on bald singles and nearly hydroplaned off the road. It scared him so bad he took them off as soon as he got home.

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    I honestly think that you are making the right decision. You will really enjoy them. Is that $390 for a Virgin tire? If so, that's a great deal. The Michelins will be more than 2X that. I do feel its a better product, but twice at good is not likely.

    I just noticed you are in georgia. Where are you located? I'm in Snellville. If you want to call me to chat, my cell is seven-seven-zero-294-5149

    good luck
    -scott


    Quote Originally Posted by deep dixie blue View Post
    I think I'm going to give them a try. Now just have to find some tires.

    I talked to my tire guy in Chattanooga, Diprima Tire, and they sell some Chinese singles from Sumitomo; $390 each that he says they have had very good results with. I went to the Michelin site to see how they compare, rolling resistance-wise, with Michelin but of course they are not listed.

    What's the best price anyone has seen on a Michelin single? Without rolling resistance data its hard to compare two different makers side by side. And for that matter, I'm leary of accepting data that all comes from just one manufacturer.

    One of my drive axles is ready for new tires now but the other one has tires that I gave $250 apiece for last August (Double Coin). They've got about 70,000 miles on them and still have well over half the tread left. I can sell them to a friend and get enough to pay for one super single. So that will leave me out of pocket for the other three ($1200) plus the wheels ($500). If keep my old wheels and just buy four new standard tires I'm looking at $1000. So the initial outlay is really only going to be $700 when you look at this way (plus mounting and balancing, etc, for whichever way I go) that I need to recoup.

    Since I slowed down I'm averaging right at 7.0 mpg, which puts my fuel price per mile right around $0.31. If I cut my fuel costs by 4%, which is what I'm told I can expect, that's a savings of $0.0124 per mile. So then it will take me approximately 40,322 miles to recover my initial investment and after that point I will be making money with them.

    Plus have a 400 pound weight savings and a better ride.

    Sounds like the way to go.

    P.S. The reason this guy is selling them is because he was bobtailing too fast in the rain on bald singles and nearly hydroplaned off the road. It scared him so bad he took them off as soon as he got home.

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    Quote Originally Posted by deep dixie blue View Post
    What's the best price anyone has seen on a Michelin single? Without rolling resistance data its hard to compare two different makers side by side. And for that matter, I'm leary of accepting data that all comes from just one manufacturer.
    I got my truck new and the dealer traded the two steers and eight duals, plus rims, for two Michelin XNA 3 (or whatever their best steer tire is -- too lazy to get out and look) steers, four super single tires plus four super single aluminum rims for $1,500 total (I was told it was $4k for the tires and rims as a package, minus $2.5k for the trade-ins).

    In the first three quarters that I've run my truck I've purchased $48,184 in fuel (pump price minus company discount, not including FSC) and 5% of that is about $2,400. Extrapolate that forward for a total of 24 months shows about $128,000 in fuel purchased, save about $6,000 and change, new set something like $3,000 so they could pay for themselves twice over.

    Quote Originally Posted by deep dixie blue View Post
    P.S. The reason this guy is selling them is because he was bobtailing too fast in the rain on bald singles and nearly hydroplaned off the road. It scared him so bad he took them off as soon as he got home.
    Sounds like the problem with traction was the person behind the wheel... did he think he would get better traction with eight bald duals? Sheesh.

    Jim
    Read my OTR Lease Purchase journal at OTRjournal.com

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    I had Super Singles on my company Volvo and on some of our trailers. Have to admit the ride was better with them and much better when the trailer had them too. Pulled straight as an arrow.

    Only thing I didnt really care for was when I had to chain them up....Im old and they are heavy...LOL

    Good luck with them.
    Tom

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    My 05 volvo came with brand spanking new super singles.

    One quick question tough:

    What's the optimum tire pressure you need to keep them at? 100 or 110 psi?

    TY

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    There should be a sticker on the inside portion of your door or the door seal with inflation information for all your tires. I run mine at 100 normally or 105 in the winter time and haven't had any issues.

    Jim
    Read my OTR Lease Purchase journal at OTRjournal.com

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    Quote Originally Posted by b00m View Post
    My 05 volvo came with brand spanking new super singles.

    One quick question tough:

    What's the optimum tire pressure you need to keep them at? 100 or 110 psi?

    TY

    Michelin's website shows a max of 120 psi.

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    I passed by a truck the other day who had lost a tire on his drives. He was on the rim as he pulled off the freeway. Traffic was heavy so I didn't get a good look at his tires other than the remnants of what was left peeled off as I passed. I would like to get better fuel mileage but I think that I will wait until these tires prove themselves more before I would buy them. Besides, it would take time to recoup the cost of changing wheels and tires. Since I usually keep spare tires with my trucks it would also require me to purchase another tire at considerable cost to use as a spare. For those of you who are using the super singles or converting to them I hope you will check in from time to time to let us know how things are going with them and how you like them as you gain more experience.

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