Repairing steer-axle tires Do state or federal regulations prohibit the use of repaired steer tires on trucks?
Fairview Tire Co. Inc.
Editor's note: Officials of both the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and the Federal Highway Administration said there are no federal regulations prohibiting use of repaired steer-axle truck tires. Nor are such repairs cause for sidelining trucks during state and other safety inspections that follow the widely accepted guidelines of the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance. Those guidelines, in fact, state that a sidewall bulge resulting from a section repair is allowable provided it does not exceed 3/8-inch in height. The guidelines also mention the Blue Triangle insignia commonly fixed to the tire's sidewall to show inspectors that the bulge is due to a section repair, not a ply separation. No mention is made of the more common practice of puncture repairs to the tread area. Nevertheless, dealers wanting to repair steer-axle tires are advised to consult the vehicle owner beforehand to determine the tires' potential use and establish limitations on the type, size and numbers of such repairs.
Latest news on zippers
Has anyone in the industry come up with the final answer to what causes zipper ruptures and why they seem to have occurred only in recent years?
Editor's Note: Marvin Bozarth, executive director of the International Tire and Rubber Association and chairman of an industry task force organized four years ago to study zipper ruptures, said evidence continues to point to tire underinflation and overloading as the principal cause. Mr. Bozarth said extreme flexing under such conditions causes the tire's steel sidewall cords to suffer fatigue and eventually break. He attributes much of the apparent increase of such failures to the growing use of all-steel radial truck tires and increased awareness of the problem.
Can MAST pricing stick?
I've been in the tire business for a long time and can remember my father bragging about his Michelin dealership agreement: ``You buy the tires for this amount, sell them for that amount and stay within your own area period—or lose the franchise.''
Now Michelin Americas Truck Tires is doing the same thing in the case of the BFGoodrich All-Terrain/TAKO. This sounds good until such time as sales are off or new management comes in. Then it'll be back to Costco, Sam's Club...etc.
Rubber Duck Auto Centers
1000 Oaks, Calif.
Overseas mail too slow
I really enjoy your publication, but my issues arrive months late.
Area sales manager
Rotorua, New Zealand
Editor's note: Delivery by surface mail to some countries is painfully slow. Consider using TB's Web site at www.tirebusiness.com. It contains most of the publication's news and feature articles and is updated daily. The site is especially helpful to news-hungry, overseas readers.