Tyre manufacturer, Bridgestone, has announced it has updated its main trailer fitment and launched its R168II in the primary 11R22.5 size.

The company claims this new generation tyre offers even greater wear life and reliability than the current market benchmark, the R168, and provides even more value to operators.

Bridgestones. says in its launch statement that the R168II is engineered and developed specifically for Australian conditions, and for tackling a wide range of applications.

The  company says the  R168II builds on ‘a decade of success of the R168 and applies insights from the development of other truck and bus tyres introduced to Bridgestone’s range in recent years such as the R154 Eco steer tyre, wear life champion M866 drive tyre, and market leading low-rolling resistance Ecopia M749II drive tyre’.

Bridgestone Australia’s sales director, Claudio Sodano, said the launch of the R168II highlights how Bridgestone is continually resetting the benchmark for the industry.

“There’s no denying how popular and successful the R168 has been over the past decade, but we identified ways to build on its success and make it an even better tyre in the R168II. This demonstrates how committed we are to the Australian trucking industry and that we don’t rest on our laurels,” Sodano said.

“We take customer feedback seriously, and the R168II was developed in answer to feedback from the industry about how the already leading tyre could be even better – specifically around prolonging the removal point.”

Bridgestone claims the R168II leverages the strength and reputation of R168’s compound, construction, and pattern design and that its development focused on three key areas including, improvements to irregular wear and worn appearance, increased wear resistance, and increased removal life.

The  company added that the footprint of the R168II has been optimised through a revised mould design, leading to better irregular wear resistance, and better worn appearance, particularly shoulder edge wear, compared to the predecessor R168. The optimised footprint also led to improved wear resistance and better wear balance, resulting the in the increased removal life.

Bridgestone said that the enhancements to irregular wear resistance and wear balance have seen an improvement of up to 10 per cent in removal life compared to the first-generation tyre, and up to 15 per cent better than its nearest competitor. It also claims that the R168II’s unmatched service life is proven through an extensive evaluation program over nearly 9 million kilometres of testing conducted over five years.

Bridgestone  says it tested  the R168II using 12 fleet customers across the full array of applications, including linehaul, regional, urban, and metropolitan use, mild to medium on/off-road work to ensure its versatility and durability for all uses.

The company added that the new tyre was only approved once it exceeded the ambitious development targets set in the rigorous R&D process, adding that the R168II proved itself in the unique demands of the Australian market – with three cycles of prototype enhancements made before the final iteration was endorsed.

“Customers can take confidence in Bridgestone’s R&D process, with the R168II having proven itself as a step up across all conditions against the already market leading first generation R168,” Claudio Sodano added.

“Like all of our market leading truck and bus products, R168II was developed specifically for Australian conditions, with extensive input from Bridgestone’s local Technical Field Services team, and tested using real-world conditions through actual customers.”

“Due to its rugged construction, R168II can have multiple lives through the Bandag retreading process. The construction of the R168II case features a top body ply insert for improved casing durability, and a wider fourth belt for greater protection and more uniform contact pressure. The dual-compound tread also provides greater heat resistance for the R168II, protecting the case even further and allowing it to be retreaded multiple times.”

Bridgestone says its new R168II is the first of several new truck and bus products to be released in 2024 and is available now through the company’s national network of truck tyre providers.