THE REA­SONS WHY

4 x 4 Australia - - Gear -

AC­CORD­ING to Cooper Tires’ Ken Reuille, these out­back test trips are highly val­ued by the US com­pany and have been so for many years. “Cooper Tire Rub­ber Com­pany has been test­ing tread de­signs, car­cass con­struc­tions and com­pounds on RLT prod­ucts in the out­back for about 15 years now,” Ken says. “Start­ing with the de­vel­op­ment of the orig­i­nal Dis­cov­erer ST, fol­lowed by the S/T Maxx, the STT Pro, and most re­cently the new AT3 avail­able this year.”

The tyres are de­vel­oped and then tested ex­ten­sively at Cooper Tires’ US HQ, both in-lab and out on test tracks, but it is the prod­uct val­i­da­tion test­ing – a fi­nal tick of ap­proval, if you will – that takes place in Aus­tralia, and on these tracks with their unique (read: rough, rugged and un­com­pro­mis­ing) sur­faces that of­fers the fi­nal shakedown of the prod­uct. “It would be ex­tremely dif­fi­cult to repli­cate in the US, the cli­mate, var­ied ter­rain, and di­verse road sur­faces present in the out­back,” Ken says. “Test­ing in the out­back has pro­vided us with mean­ing­ful in­for­ma­tion that has al­lowed us to op­ti­mise the tyre’s tread pat­tern. “For ex­am­ple, we added a raised rub­ber pad in the tread de­sign of the STT Pro to aid in dis­lodg­ing stones, and made changes to the shoul­der sip­ing of the new AT3 to min­imise chip­ping, as a di­rect re­sult of our out­back test­ing.” This val­i­da­tion of a tyre’s strength and dura­bil­ity, in re­gards to seek­ing all ad­van­tages in a com­pet­i­tive re­tail mar­ket, is some­thing that is in­valu­able. And it works both ways, in terms of the op­pos­ing mar­kets for the US tyre gi­ant. “Aus­tralian cus­tomers of our prod­ucts can have con­fi­dence that they have been tested and proven in the out­back,” Ken af­firms. “While our US cus­tomers know that if our prod­ucts have been vet­ted in the out­back, they will per­form well when ex­posed to likely much less se­vere ser­vice con­di­tions in the US.”

AUS­TRALIAN TRACKS WITH THEIR UNIQUE SUR­FACES OF­FER THE FI­NAL SHAKEDOWN

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