Current Issue
Published on January 31, 2005

Mail Call, Jan. 31

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Opinion

Run-flats, TPMS coming


Please write more about servicing tire pressure monitoring systems and run-flat tires. I know we're going to be seeing some of these tires and systems soon, and I want to be prepared.


Harold Hartig


Owner


Art's Wheel Alignment


Evansville, Ind.


Tire education lacking


One problem today's tire consumers and some tire retailers face is that they view speed ratings only in terms of how long the tire can withstand a certain speed for a particular period of time.


What they overlook is that the speed rating also affects vehicle handling.


We as an industry should change the meaning of the term “speed rating” to that of “performance rating,” which would take into account both tire endurance and performance.


Before we allow the government to set standards like they did with UTQG (Uniform Tire Quality Grading), which doesn't apply from manufacturer to manufacturer in terms of treadwear ratings and misleads consumers, we as an industry should come up with proper standards for tire replacement and plus-sizing.


Another industry problem is how vehicle manufacturers select tires for use on their vehicles. Today, many vehicles come with V- and Z-rated tires, which the vehicle makers have chosen based on things such as performance, fuel savings, load-bearing ability and aesthetics.


But consumers who purchase vehicles with these types of tires on them don't realize the high cost to replace them.


That is until they need to replace that Z- or V-rated tire after 12,000 or 15,000 miles. Then they wake up. They have this car for three or four years and have to replace tires two or more times at a cost that feels like they are refinancing their house.


We as the tire experts need to educate consumers on proper tire replacement and not sell them what they want because it's the “in thing” to do or is a hot market trend. Remember, the last person to touch a vehicle involved in an accident due to an improper tire fitment will be the first one on the lawyer's list to sue.


Dealers wanting to cash in on the tuner market need to educate themselves so they understand the relationship between installing larger tires and wheels and actual vehicle performance.


When plus-sizing a vehicle with larger tires and wheels, you must consider their impact on the stopping ability of the vehicle, not only how the larger tires and wheels look.


And the load index must be the same or greater, as well.


Jack Barber


TireStarz Marketing Director


Future Tire Co.


Old Bethpage, N.Y.


OTR tire shortage serious


We are in off-the-road tire sales and servicing of tires at mining sites. I would like to see an article on the OTR tire shortage. This is going to hurt a lot of jobs in the mining area.


Goodyear, Bridgestone/Firestone, Michelin and Yokohama are all experiencing this problem. Mining coal is up and good right now, but we are losing profits each day.


If we don't start seeing supply, we'll soon see equipment parked at the mines.


Edward L. Johnson


Sales and Regional Manager


Hudson Co.


Hazard, Ky.

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