Inner tubes a solution
Regarding Harold Fouty's July 7 letter about corrosion on aluminum wheels, this problem has been around since the advent of the alloy wheel and even our own company president had this problem on his Cadillac Sedan DeVille (1989).
Continuous slow leakage of the tires started after about two winters, and in Toronto we do use salt on our roads in the winter. That car is still running on the original wheels. The solution: inner tubes.
There are a great many tire dealers who do not believe you can put inner tubes into a tubeless tire. They are wrong.
Inner tubes are made for both bias and radial tire applications. They are installed in heavy truck applications and are required in retreads. They are made in sizes from antique tires through lawn and garden to heavy off-road mining and logging. Agricultural applications that load the wheels with water/calcium use them to minimize wheel corrosion and tire damage.
Inner tubes provide inexpensive back-up insurance for dragsters, racers and airplanes. They are useful in off-road climbing where reducing tire pressures to increase traction sometimes leads to the tire coming off the rim. The U.S. Military also is a long-time user and advocate of inner tubes.
The solutions recommended are all valid but substantially more expensive than the installation of inner tubes on the original wheels.
Vice president, sales and marketing
Trent Rubber Corp.
Collective effort needed
Recent letters to the editor concerning New York scrap tire legislation have raised questions about the activities by the Rubber Manufacturers Association (RMA) during the long process by which the bill was enacted.
Since 1998, as a co-founder of the Consensus Roundtable on Scrap Tires, RMA provided substantial experience and information to New York policymakers on constructing successful scrap tire programs. However, other factors played a substantial role in shaping the final product.
Regrettably, New York's large budget deficit this year put enormous pressure on state officials to find revenue sources or cut spending to close the gap. Since the scrap tire bill was a potential revenue raiser, passage of some measure became a foregone conclusion with or without tire industry support.
But RMA did not simply surrender its longstanding view that scrap tire fees should be used for scrap tire programs. RMA called the initial scrap tire legislation advanced by the governor unacceptable because it would have directed $2 of a proposed $2.50 tire fee to the state's general fund and only a pittance to scrap tire initiatives.
All told, RMA spent more than $100,000 and countless staff hours on the New York scrap tire effort. It fought hard to boost the amount of money spent on scrap tire programs and to convince state lawmakers to eliminate the restriction on additional dealer fees to recover tire disposal costs. While we achieved an increase in the program funding, legislators did not budge on the retailers' fee issue.
RMA agrees that tire retailers should be allowed to recoup disposal costs and has already contacted state legislators in an effort toward correcting the law next year.
However, changing the new law will take a strong commitment by all segments of the tire industry to educate legislators and garner support to push any legislation introduced to fix the law.
We look forward to again working with New York state leaders and welcome the direct involvement of New York tire dealers in this effort. Clearly, our collective energies are better utilized when we work together to find an acceptable solution.
Senior technical director
Rubber Manufacturers Association