Tread life expectancy In 15 years of selling tires, I've yet to receive an adequate explanation of premature tire wear—why, for example, a tire carrying a 60,000-mile treadwear warranty failed to live up to that expectation.
Often, I've wondered why tire manufacturers don't do something to make this phenomenon more understandable. We sales soldiers always need help in sharing the facts of tire life with customers—especially regarding tread wear.
Most of us can explain the occurrence of premature tire wear due to factors such as inadequate air pressure, faulty wheel alignment and overloading. What hasn't been readily explained to us by the experts are the effects tire width and speed ratings have on treadlife.
I've spent considerable time compiling what I believe are the answers in regard to these tire characteristics (see table below).
I'm sure tire company engineers will have their own ideas on this. But I'm relying on real-life feedback from the buying public.
As you can see, there is a definite effect on treadlife as tire speed ratings and tread width are increased. Other factors such as rubber compounding and casing fabric selection also come into play, but the mileages I've listed in the table are about right based on the experience of tire users.
ride discomfort answers
Editor's note: Several readers responded to dealer Don Bewley's March 27 letter stating that while his company was using Hunter Engineering Co.'s new GSP9700 balancer, which has the ability to measure road force variation, some customers still complained of tire vibration at highway speeds of 65-75 mph. Space here prevents running all the letters received. However, others are found under the "opinion" heading at TB's Website (www.tirebusiness.com).
Although Hunter's GSP9700 balancer is very accurate in determining weight position, amount of weight needed and also checks for radial force variation in the tire/wheel assembly, it is imperative the wheel be as perfectly centered on the balancer shaft as possible.
I suggest investing in a flange plate adapter kit to help center the wheel assembly on the balancer shaft. It simulates the exact way the wheel is mounted and torqued on the hub through the wheel's lug holes. That ensures a more accurate balance, better repeatability and helps solve vibration problems.
An adapter such as this is available from Haweka Products in Cornelius, N.C., for four-, five-, six- and eight-lug wheels.
We've used such an adapter for some time now and it has dramatically reduced the number of vibration comebacks, resulting in more satisfied customers and greater profitability.
Michel Tire/Don Olson Tire
Champion repair patches
I'm seeking an address for Champion Tire Repair Products in order to fill an overseas customer's request for that company's patches and plug repair materials. Please help.
Big O Tires Inc.
Editor's note: Can anyone assist Mr. Faustina in his search?