Michelin North America, Inc., which has donated more than 1,400 tires to Yellowstone National Park over the past five years, has agreed to continue the practice through an arrangement with the Yellowstone Park Foundation.
The tires donated since 2008 have been used for the park's fleet of 800 vehicles, which includes everything from patrol cars and garbage trucks to giant earthmoving vehicles, rotary snow plows and large load-hauling tractor trailers, according to a Michelin release.
On average, Yellowstone vehicles collectively travel 3.75 million miles per year on the park’s more than 420 miles of roadways, the company said.
Beyond the basic donation of tires, the gift helps the park's fleet reduce its fuel consumption via "the use of Michelin’s industry leading green tire technology that it has been developing and refining since 1992," the company said. "This focus on efficient tire performance, as it relates to improving the park’s sustainability, is significant..."
“We began this partnership with the Yellowstone Park Foundation with the shared hope of boosting fuel economy to help the park reach its goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by up to 30 percent by 2016,” said Pete Selleck, chairman and president of Michelin North America. “So far the results have been encouraging, and we are proud to renew our commitment to supply tires and expertise to the country’s most revered historical national park.”
Through its donations and work, Michelin North America has helped Yellowstone National Park save approximately $275,000 to $300,000 annually, which this year represents about a 12 percent reduction in the park’s fleet and road maintenance budget.
In addition to tire donations, Michelin regularly deploys its field engineers to consult with the park's fleet managers on optimizing tire use for better fuel economy and performance. Additionally, they provide training on the mounting of very specialized tires, including oversized earthmovers and MICHELIN® XOne® wide base tires. This training has led to improved product performance, efficiency and safety, and a considerable reduction in maintenance costs.
“National park budgets have been cut dramatically due to sequestration,” said Karen Bates Kress, Yellowstone Park Foundation president. “By saving Yellowstone over a quarter million dollars each year, Michelin’s exceptional generosity allows the park to divert the funds it saves to other important projects, and maximize its resources.”
Through the partnership, "Michelin technicians and engineers were able to develop a new tread design that allowed the park year-round usage of just one tire for snow, ice, mud and bare pavements at the park while providing the extended wear of a Michelin product," the release noted.