What's correct LT pressure? We are selling a lot of LT235/75R15 tires for sport utility vehicles that come with P-metrics as original equipment, and I have the following question: How should tire pressure be adjusted when going from a P-metric to an LT tire?
It seems load index is an issue of concern. To meet the load index on an LT235/75R15, it would appear to be necessary to increase pressure by 15 psi (above the vehicle manufacturer's recommended inflation). Any help would be appreciated.
Direct Tire & Auto Service
Editor's note: We put the question to Ed Shaffer, Dunlop Tire Corp.'s product manager for light truck tires. He pointed out that the Tire & Rim Association has established separate load and inflation standards and tables for all sizes of both P-metric and LT-type tires.
That industry standards-setting body has built a safety factor into its load charts for LT tires due to the greater potential for overloading and more severe service in such applications. LT-type tires also are designed with heavier, more robust constructions for this same reason, Mr. Shaffer said.
Therefore, when replacing P-metric tires with LT-type tires, inflation pressure should be increased in order to provide comparable load-carrying capacity and thereby maintain the LT-type tire's greater measure of safety, he explained.
The amount the inflation pressure must be increased will vary depending upon the size of the OE and the replacement tires involved. However, ``applied load and inflation pressures must never exceed rim capacities,'' he cautioned.
Mr. Shaffer suggests dealers consult the LT-tire load and inflation charts published in Tire Guide in order to determine the correct amount of pressure to be added when switching from P-metric to LT-sized tires.
Phone does generate sales
I disagree with the opinion expressed in Dan Marinucci's March 17 column, headlined ``Phone inquiries usually don't produce sales'' and suggest the automotive service shops he describes secure training in telephone techniques that will generate sales.
I recently completed surveys for several large, multiple shop chains and found the telephone does create sales—and usually at a higher ticket average than that of the typical drive-in type customer.
People come to the shop where they have been given friendly and informative direction over the telephone—and that doesn't take 15 minutes, usually only three.
Knowledge and interest will overcome price (considerations) in most cases. (But) you must have the right person answering the calls.
I've been doing this for 23 years and find the telephone to be the second-best tool you can have in marketing.
Robert F. Teed
Business Improvement Consultants
Decries 'Sears propaganda'
Since you call yourselves, ``The Tire Dealer's Newspaper,'' I find it amazing you chose to splash Sears, Roebuck and Co. propaganda across your front page. (See ``Category Killer: Sears' new NTB format plans to take no prisoners,'' March 31.) Then you had the audacity to lecture independent tire dealers in your editorial section.
Well, after 75 years as independent tire dealers, I think we need your advice about as much as the advice of the National Tire Dealers & Retreaders Association.
Save the postage you spend sending your publication to our locations—you'll probably need the money to supply all the copies Sears obviously will want.
Wells Stores Inc.
Editor's note: TIRE BUSINESS reports all news of interest to our independent tire dealer and retreader readers—including news of their competitors—so that they can make informed business decisions. Our editorials express our opinion about subjects reported in the newspaper.