WTC offers plus-sizing 'Ride Guide'
By Bruce Davis, Tire Business staff
LAS VEGAS (Nov. 20, 2014) — The Specialty Equipment Market Association's Wheel & Tire Council (WTC) has published what it's calling the industry's first “Ride Guide,” a document that provides a comprehensive collection of data on the dynamic effects of mounting plus-sized tires and wheels on a vehicle, in this case the Ford F-150 4X4.
The WTC describes the “Ride Guide” as a valuable resource to anyone who sells wheels and tires, from manufactures to distributors, to e-tailers and brick-and-mortar installation shops. The Ride Guide is designed to help installers make confident, data-driven recommendations when it comes to changing a vehicle's tire/wheel fitment from the OE specs, the WTC said.
The data presented in the four-page brochure were compiled by Clemson University's International Center for Automotive Research (CU-ICAR) in partnership with the WTC over the past year. CU-ICAR carried out its tests with a 2013 F-150, but the document indicates the findings are applicable for 2009-14 model-year F-150s.
The guide offers guidance on how plus-sizing will affect: ride comfort; road grip; steering firmness response; directional response; and steering speed response.
The guide presents a dozen scenarios, ranging from a typical OE fitment for the F-150 and ranging up to a P295/30R26 on the high side — a plus nine fitment. Two of the fitments presented are light truck sizes; the other are all P-metric sizes.
The findings are presented in bar-graph form to show the tires' performances relative to one another.
The guide does not indicate what type or types of tires were used in the testing — i.e., highway-terrain or all-terrain, etc. — nor does it state whether the same brand of tire was used throughout.
While the initial Ride Guide offers data only on the one vehicle, the WTC and CU-ICAR said research is under way to provide data on additional full-sized pickup trucks as well as compact sedans. The next up likely will the Chevrolet Silverado pickup and Mazda 3 sedan, the WTC said.
The guide carries the proviso that the publication is for “informational purposes only and should not be relied upon as your sole resource when selecting tires…. SEMA makes no representations about the quality or suitability of any particular tire and expressly disclaims liability and responsibility for any injury to a person or property that may result from the use of a particular tire.”
A copy of the guide can be found at www.sema.org/wtc-ride-guide.
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