Author - hessamaldin



Maintaining the tyre balance on your vehicle is critical to receiving satisfactory service from your tyre investment. In addition to providing a smooth ride, balancing is a key component in tyre wear. These tips and advice will help you understand the importance of the balancing process and learn how to keep your tyres balanced throughout their tread life.

The trend towards lighter vehicles

The most compelling argument for precision balancing comes from an obvious fact … vehicles are being made lighter and lighter. The heavier cars of yesterday actually helped smooth-out the ride by damping many vibrations before they could be felt by the driver. The softer suspensions also had the same effect.

Changes in tyre technology

The second factor is tyre technology. Generally, more responsive tyres with lower profiles (which send more road feedback to the driver) are being used in today’s style and performance oriented market. By the way, lower profile tyres do provide lower rolling resistance, which helps fuel economy. As a result, the slightest imbalance (as little as half an ounce) can be felt in most modern vehicles. This is significantly less than the average of ten years ago. For those of you who have plus-sized your tyres and wheels, balancing is even more critical.

The balancing act

When a tyre is mounted onto the wheel, two slightly imperfect units are joined to form an assembly weighing forty pounds (this is the average for cars). The chances of this assembly having absolutely precise weight distribution about its radial and lateral centres are virtually impossible. Remember that all it takes is half an ounce of uneven weight distribution for a vibration to be felt. The illustration below shows how an imbalance creates vibration.

Static imbalance: Occurs when there is a heavy or light spot in the tyre so that the tyre won’t roll evenly and the tyre and wheel undergo an up-and-down motion.

Dynamic imbalance: Occurs when there is unequal weight on one or both sides of the tyre/wheel assembly’s lateral centre line, creating a side-to-side wobble or wheel shimmy.

The static imbalance creates a hop or vertical vibration. The dynamic imbalance creates a side-to-side or wobbling vibration. Most assemblies have both types of imbalance, and require dynamic balancing (commonly referred to as spin balancing) to create even weight distribution. The balancing system directs a technician to place counter weights on the rim’s outer surface to offset the imbalance. When the balancing system tests for virtually perfect weight distribution, the assembly is in balance and will not vibrate. Your tyres will ride smoothly and wear evenly (with regard to balance).

Keeping your tyres balanced

Let’s take an example: You have driven your tyres 5,000 Kilometres since their purchase and it’s time to rotate. Over the miles, turning left and right, hitting bumps and holes you could not see or avoid, and driving down uneven road surfaces have led to uneven tread wear on your tyres. Perhaps a pothole has knocked-out your vehicle’s alignment (this creates uneven tyre wear).

Well, besides rotating the tyres and getting an alignment to set things right, you should also rebalance the tyres. Even if you can’t feel vibrations, they are present. The uneven tread wear has created an imbalance that generates excessive heat and wear on your tyres! Considering the hundreds of dollars you spent on your tyres, a rebalance is a wise expenditure.

Other sources of vibration

Very often the wheel/tyre assemblies on a vehicle may be in balance but you still feel a vibration. Here are some of the other causes of vibration:

  • Bent wheel
  • Tyre out of round (radial or lateral runout)
  • Wheel to axle mounting error
  • Inconsistent tyre sidewall stiffness (force variation)
  • Brake component wear or failure
  • Drive train or engine component wear or failure
  • Suspension wear or failure
  • Wheel bearing wear of failure
  • Wheel alignment is out

Your tyre dealer can isolate many of these problems for you, and there is no question that determining whether the tyre/wheel assemblies are good and in balance is the first place to start. But ultimately this may not be the source of your vibration problem.

Balancing High Performance Tyres and Wheels

  • Match Mounting

Today’s high performance tyres and wheels are made with features that facilitate optimum mounting. Wheels are marked to identify the minimum radial run-out spot (low point) on the bead seat surface. Tyres are marked with a high point location. Mounting the assembly to match these two points is called match mounting. This method minimizes the balance weight needed to correct any remaining imbalance and the radial run-out that may occur in the wheel/tyre assembly.

  • Force Variance

On rare occasion, a tyre may be manufactured with slightly inconsistent sidewall stiffness (creating what is called force variance) which leads to a ride problem. There is a new generation of balancers that can detect this condition and guide the technician to remount the tyre in an optimum position that puts the assembly within specification and eliminates the problem.

  • Wheel Weight Placement

Many of today’s wheel designs necessitate unique wheel weight placement to achieve both precise balance and aesthetic appeal. Your tyre dealer will inform you of the best method for your wheel type.

Standard balance uses only clip-on weights as shown. This method is usually done on original equipment steel or alloy wheels (different type wheel weights are used for each type of wheel).

Mixed weights balance uses both clip-on and adhesive weights. The balance planes maintain the weights behind the face of the wheel.

Adhesive weights balance uses only adhesive weights, typically for chrome or other wheels with a delicate finish. The balance planes maintain the weights behind the face of the wheel.

importance of tyre pressure

Importance of tyre pressure

Tyres as the only part of the vehicle that is in contact with the ground perform a very important function of carrying the load. Compressed air fills the tyre and carries the overall vehicle weight. Therefore, it is very important to maintain correct tyre pressure.

Tyres are porous and naturally lose air even when they are not being used. Tyres should be neither under inflated nor over inflated but inflated to manufacturers recommended pressure.

What is exactly underinflated tyre?

If a tyre doesn’t have enough air for optimal use, we say the tyre is underinflated. Although there is no generally accepted definition of what is exactly under inflated tyre, but it is considered that the tyre is underinflated when inflated to minimum 25% below manufacturer’s recommended inflation pressure (placard recommended pressure). For example, US Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard (FMVSS) requires a warning if tires are under inflated by more than 25%.

Severely underinflated tyre is a tyre under inflated by 50 kPa (0.5 Bar or 7.25 psi ) or more below the recommended pressure.

Moderate underinflated tyre is a tyre in the range 20-49 kPa (0.2-0.49 Bar or 2.90-7.11 psi) under the recommended pressure.

These “definitions” are based on Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard 138 

Tyre manufacturer’s recommended tyre pressure

The “recommended tyre pressure” is the pressure specified by vehicle or tyre manufacturer. The recommended inflation pressure refers to the cold tyres before the car is driven and tyres warmed up (ideally overnight).

Furthermore, tyre manufacturers define the minimum cold inflation pressure for every vehicle. Minimum cold inflation pressure provides tyre main performances.

The manufacturers of Original Equipment tyres specify recommended tyre pressure that optimizes other performances (handling, comfort, fuel consumption). Recommended tyre pressure differs from the minimum cold inflation pressure but can never be lower.

The recommended tyre pressure can be found on the tyre placard which is usually located on the door edge. The placards lists, as a minimum, recommended tyre inflation pressure for normal vehicle load.

The influence of air pressure on a tyre

Substantial deviations from the recommended tyre pressure negatively affects tyre’s physical properties. These weaknesses are manifested by:

  • Excessive tyre wear
  • Tyre damages

Excessive tyre wear of the overinflated tyre

Excessive wear in the central part of a tyre tread indicates that a pressure is higher than the recommended pressure. The mileage of tyres driven over inflated is decreased.

Excessive tyre wear of the underinflated tyre

Excessive wear in shoulders area of the tread indicates that a tyre is under inflated. Under inflation can lead to tyre premature tread wear as well as tread separation in cases of severely under inflation.

A tyre under inflated by 20% gives 20% less mileage. It means loss of 8000 km (5000 mi) on possible 40000 km (25000 mi).

Tyre damages caused by under inflation

Tyre flexes and heats during wheel rotation. Flexing and heating of an under inflated tyre is greater and structural internal damages of tyre and tyre failures are possible.

Excessive load along with the under inflation can lead to increased tyre flexing and damages. Therefore, tire pressure should be adjusted in relation to the load.

When tyre rolls at high speeds, its parts can separate. This occurs especially in warmer regions. The consequences of tyre separation could be disastrous. Separation of the tread belt frequently leads to dangerous tire blowouts resulting in vehicle loss of control and rollovers.

The impact of tyre pressure on tyre and vehicle performances

Maintaining the proper tire inflation pressure is crucial because it affects numerous vehicle and tyre performances, safety and environment:

  • Handling
  • Braking
  • Tyre wear
  • Tyre durability
  • Tyre rolling resistance
  • Fuel consumption
  • Greenhouse gas emission
  • Ride comfort
  • Possible tyre blowouts
  • Potential hydroplaning

Nearly all of these manifestations of the tyre pressure impact are correlated and cannot be considered separately.

Tyre pressure effect on vehicle handling

Handling represents the ability of a vehicle to negotiate curves and respond to road conditions. Every driver knows that with underinflated tyres is more difficult to steer and respond to road is slower.

There is a long list of factors that influence vehicle handling along with tire pressure (road surface conditions, tread depth, inappropriate speed, vehicle steering characteristics, tyre cornering capabilities etc.)

Handling of a vehicle with under inflated tyres is reduced during the lane changing and cornering. Lower air pressure affects on reduced tyre stiffnes and lower cornering stiffness. Accordingly, the result of lower tyre pressure is poor handling.

The speed needed to overcome a curve decreases as the tyre inflation pressure decreases.

If the curve was overcome at 100 km/h (62 mph), at pressure of 2.0 bar (29 psi), the speed with pressure of 1.0 bar (15 psi) should drop to 87 km/h (54 mph).

With the underinflated tyres the speed should be reduced.

Loss of control when cornering

When cornering in a curve with underinflated tyres the vehicle strives to go straight and requires greater steering angle to generate the same cornering force.

Loss of control when changing the lane

When the vehicle changes the lane with the underinflated tyres a sidewall stiffness decreases and the handling is weaker. Vehicle’s response to the steering commands and directional stability are also weaker.

Underinflated tyres increase stopping distance

Many scientific and safety organizations have tested the impact of low tire pressure on vehicle stopping distance. The general conclusion is that stopping (braking) distances with underinflated tyres are increased, both on the track – straight line or when cornering.

For example, when braking the vehicle reduces speed from 90 km/h (56 mph) to 70 km/h (43 mph). With tyre pressure at 2.0 bar (29 psi) stopping distances is 40 m but with tyre pressure at 1.0 bar (14.5 psi) stopping distances is 45 m, which is 5 m longer.

These five meters, in some cases, can save someone’s life.

Underinflated tyres increase the potential hydroplaning

Hydroplaning occurs on water covered road surface “…when a wedge of water in front of the tyre lifts the tyre off the road in the same manner that a boat planes (hydroplanes) on water when it reaches a sufficient speed and has a flattish underwater shape” (John Bullas). When the hydroplaning happens tyres lose contact with the road and have a little or no traction at all.

Underinflated tyres on the complete water covered road, increase the potential for hydroplaning (aquaplaning) and much longer stopping distances.

The resistance to hydroplaning depends on the tread design efficiency in water evacuation, or how much water it can remove from the tread.

Severely underinflated tyre, under rainy conditions, become concave and traps the water in the tread design and cannot remove the water.

Tyre pressure effect on the tyre strength and durability

Surveys of the tyre durability have shown that there is a correlation between underinflation and tyre durability. In other words, underinflation causes durability reduction as in the following example:

  • 2 bar under inflation – 10% durability reduction
  • 4 bar under inflation – 25% durability reduction
  • 6 bar under inflation – 45% durability reduction

These figures refer to driving with continuously under inflated tyres. Even though the tyre has been driven under inflated for a short time and refilled with air again the tyre’s durability decreases.

The effect of tyre durability reduction is reduced mileage and tyre life.

Tyre pressure and rolling resistence

Tyre rolling resistance is the force resisting the motion when a tyre rolls on a surface. More precise definition is the Tire Rack definition that defines the tyre rolling resistance as “the force required to maintain the forward movement of loaded tyre in a straight line at a constant speed”.

General world trend of energy and fuel saving makes the tyre rolling resistance topic extremely important. Tyre rolling resistance is a part of total vehicle resistance of movement with a share of 15%-25% (city driving 15% and highway driving 25%). It may be a significant source of energy and fuel savings.

Tyre rolling resistance mainly depends on how the tyre’s tread touch the surface. The tread is responsible for 2/3 of total tyre rolling resistance but a sidewall for 1/3 only. The depth of tread design, for example, affects on tyre rolling resistance, as it decreases, the rolling resistance of a tyre also decreases.

Low tyre pressure increases fuel consumption

It’s known that the tyre rolling resistance affects on the fuel consumption. Tyres with insufficient tyre pressure require an additional energy for rolling which leads to increased fuel consumption.

Low tyre pressure and the resulting rolling resistance influences on increased fuel consumption in the range of 4%-7% (city driving 4% and 7% on highway). The reduction in tyre rolling resistance can cause 1%-2% decreased fuel consumption.

Tyres under inflated by 15psi (1bar) may cause 6% greater fuel consumption.

It is wrong to believe that over inflated tires influence on a fuel consumption. Increased pressure, above the recommended tyre pressure, does not lead to better fuel efficiency – the fuel consumption is nearly the same.

The right way to save fuel is regularly checking the tyre inflation pressure, at least once a month.

Under inflated tyres can cause blowouts

A tyre blowout is a sudden tyre failure caused by rapid loss of the inflation pressure leading to an explosion.

Under inflated tyres are the one of the possible causes of blowouts. The other causes include inappropriate speed and load.

Severely underinflated tyres by 50 kPa (0.5 bar or 7.25 psi) or more below the recommended pressure flex and heat more than properly inflated tyres. This results in tire damages, tire failures and blowouts. Blowouts can cause loss of vehicle control, changing the lane or leaving the road and finally possible crashes.

Driving on over inflated tyres for a long time cause uneven tread wear and can lead to tire blowouts.

The impact of under inflated tyres on the environment

Driving on underinflated tyres puts your health in danger! Although it looks as if the tire pressure has no connection with environment, surveys conducted by the major tyre manufacturers confirm that the insufficient tyre pressure causes increased fuel consumption and, accordingly, huge greenhouse emissions of gases harmful to health. In addition, the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions is important because of global warming implications.

Increased greenhouse gas emission is closely associated with rolling resistance. Greater rolling resistance leads to higher fuel consumption and higher gases emissions. Carbon dioxide (CO2) is a major greenhouse gas. Every additional liter of fuel releases 2.4 kilograms CO2. Underinflated tyres waste over 500 million liters of fuel and cause CO2 emission of additional 1.2 million tones.

Tire pressure affects on reduced tyre life, premature replacement and increased production of tyres. The tyre manufacturing process also releases an enormous amount of CO2. The quantities of scrap tyres are increased and recycling process produce additional emissions of CO2.

It is also known that lower tyre pressure causes higher tyre wear. Tyre wear, on the other side, causes emission of tyre particles. Tyre wear particles are produced from the interaction of tires with the road surface. They are very small and when are breathed, may cause health problems, and even cancer. Tyre particles can also pollute the water and soil.

tyre replace

How often should tyres be replaced

As we all know, your tyres will need to be replaced at some point, but when? How do you know if your tyres are worn out? Should you opt for different tyres or stick with the brand that came with your car? What can you do to make your tyres last longer? We will try to answer these questions in this post.

As you drive, the tire tread material wears down. Worn out tyres have less grip on the road, increasing the risk of an accident. An all-wheel drive system, antilock brakes and vehicle stability control system are less effective if the tyres don’t have enough grip.

How do you know when your tyres are worn out? Most auto repair shops check your tyres during your regular oil changes. Mechanics use a tire tread depth gauge to measure tire tread depth and inspect your tyres for damage.

The tire tread is measured in 32nds of an inch. New tyres have 9/32” to 11/32” of the tread material. A tire is considered unsafe when the tread is worn down to 2/32” (1.5 mm). However, at 2/32” tyres are practically bald. In our experience, you will start noticing slipping on wet or slick roads when your tyres are worn down to about 4/32” or less than half of the tread material. At this point, you should start looking for new tyres. See how the tread depth is measured:

A tire gauge can be purchased in Walmart or other stores. With a quarter placed upside down, if George Washington’s head is covered by the tread, you have more than 4/32 of tread material left.

The worn-out tread material is not the only reason for tire replacement. A tire will need to be replaced if it has cracks, cuts, bulges, punctures in the sidewall or any other damage or defect that makes it unsafe. If the tire becomes damaged after driven flat, it will also need to be replaced. See a few examples:
1. Cut in the sidewall
2. Sidewall bulge
3. Puncture in the sidewall (sidewall puncture cannot be repaired)
4. Tire that has sidewall damage after driven flat
5. This tire also was driven flat – it has rubber shavings inside.
6. Cracks in the tire material
7. “Cupped” tire
8. Tire worn on one side
9. This tire is worn to the cord

Do you have to replace tyres with the same brand that was originally installed on your vehicle? The answer is no, you can opt for any tyres that fall within car manufacturer recommendations (size, speed rating, etc.). In fact, by switching to different tyres you can adjust your car’s handling to your preferences. If you like a quieter ride, you can select tyres that provide better ride comfort.

If you are looking for better fuel economy, look for low rolling resistance tyres. If you need more grip on wet roads, look for wet traction or wet braking scores. Sites like and offer comparisons of different tyres on tread life, fuel economy, ride comfort, noise level, handling in snow and other ratings. Replacing all four tyres is not cheap, but it’s an investment in your safety and better driving experience.

What can you do to make your tyres last longer? It’s actually easy: opt for tyres with longer tread life ratings. Check tire pressure regularly and keep it up to the car manufacturer specifications. Have the tire rotation done as often as recommended in the maintenance schedule; in some cars, if not rotated, tyres may need replacement in as early as 15,000 miles. Have the wheel alignment done whenever tyres are replaced and then at least once in two-three years or after hitting curbs, large bumps or potholes.

tyre tips

Keeping Tires In Shape

Tips For Keeping Tires In Top Shape

What better way to start off a new year than making a resolution to better maintain the tires in your fleet?

Tire prices continue to rise, making replacement, with either new ones or retreads, more costly. Better-maintained tires also mean better fuel mileage, not to mention reducing the chances of roadside emergencies and expensive downtime.

There are many things that can contribute to a tire’s well being – or to its demise. This may seem like a daunting task, but the following 10 tips for keeping tires in top shape will pay off in the future.


1. Inflate & Inspect

“Proper tire inflation is the most important factor in prolonging tire life and getting the best performance from tires,” says Doug Jones, customer engineering support manager for North America at Michelin. “Tires are optimized to have a certain amount of air in them to carry the load.” There is a small window of variance – plus or minus 10 percent – that can affect the performance of a tire as far as ride quality, fuel economy and tread life. A tire that is underinflated for the load it is carrying will develop irregular wear, will run hotter and will fail prematurely. An overinflated tire will produce a harsher ride, experience reduced traction and become more susceptible to damage from road hazards and curbing.

At Harris Trucking, a fleet with about 175 tractors and 475 trailers based in Madison Heights, Va., every time a truck leaves a company terminal it passes through “safety lanes.” There, a technician checks inflation pressure, tread depth and wear and tear.

“Monitoring air pressure is vital,” says Jim Harris, CEO. “It’s like monitoring blood flow from your heart. A flat tire on the road costs you $500. You have to maintain your tires to keep those problems from happening.”

To help alleviate some of the drudgery of checking tire pressure, more fleets are purchasing tire inflation and monitoring systems. Inflation monitoring systems can keep a check on tire pressure and alert the driver (some systems can also alert the fleet via telematics – see No. 10). In addition, automatic inflation systems can automatically inflate tires to the proper pressure if they drop below a certain level.

But proper inflation is only part of tire preventive maintenance.

“Proper maintenance must include a workable, reliable tire program that not only assures proper air pressures, but prevents vehicles from leaving the yard with tires that have the potential to result in a road call, such as having nails, cuts, snags or irregular wear conditions that will result in casing loss due to wear reaching the belt package before the tire is removed to be retreaded,” says Tim Richards, project manager for line haul commercial tires at Goodyear.

2. Use Good Valve Caps

There is a purpose to valve caps, besides having the ability to become quickly lost. Then again, if you are using the right kind, this is less likely to happen. A proper valve cap means using a metal valve cap, says Greg McDonald, engineering manager for Bridgestone Firestone North America.

“On a commercial tire, the valve cap is considered the primary seal against air loss, with the valve core being secondary,” he says. “Personally I am a big supporter of high-quality flow-through valve caps, which greatly speed up air pressure maintenance and do not provide a temptation to ignore checking pressure on inner dual tires.”

3. Keep Air Clean & Dry

The quality of the air inside your tires can have a big effect on how much life you get out of them. Tires are developed and designed to run with air – clean, dry air. Every air compressor should have filters and in-line dryers to ensure the air going into the tire is dry. When air that is contaminated with water gets inside the tire, the moisture can break down the inner liner and the steel belts.

An alternative to air is nitrogen. The benefits, according to proponents, is that it does not migrate as quickly as air through rubber, enabling the tire to maintain the desired pressure longer. The problem is, nitrogen can be hard to find and it requires special equipment to fill up tires. So far, most major tire makers say they see very little advantage of using nitrogen over traditional air.

4. Wash Tires & Wheels

Many a truck beauty show contestant has earned or lost points because of the cleanliness of their tires and wheels. But there’s a good reason for keeping them clean other than just looks. Snow, ice, slush or other debris that remain on a tire can cause the rubber to deteriorate prematurely. Salt and other chemicals used on roadways to clear them in winter weather can eat away not only at tires, but also at steel or aluminum wheels.

Tires and wheels should be washed using warm soapy water, making sure the inside duals are given as much attention as the outside tires. While it’s not a bad idea to use a high-pressure washer on the wheels, Bridgestone advises never washing tires with high pressure or steam units. Avoid using any petroleum-based chemicals or other solvents, because they can harm the rubber.

5. Buy The Right Tires

No matter how well you take care of your tires, if you’re not running the right kind for your application, the process becomes far more difficult.

“Selecting top quality tires, fortified with the latest technology, is essential to optimizing tire mileage,” says Goodyear’s Richards. The old saying, “you get what you pay for,” definitely holds true with tires. Major manufacturers, he says, produce tires with materials, reinforcements and tread designs to optimize performance. This includes tire casings that support multiple retreadings, which helps increase a tire’s cradle-to-grave value.

In addition, more and more tires are being developed for specific applications, or for specific goals such as longer tread life or better fuel mileage. Work with your tire dealer to determine which is best for your operation.

6. Watch

Driving Habits

For any fleet, one of the hardest things to control is driving habits.

“Driving style has a major impact on tread wear, just as it does on overall fuel economy, Richards says. “An experienced driver, following good driving and maintenance practices, could achieve up to twice the removal miles of an inexperienced driver.”

Michelin’s Jones adds that aggressive driving, speeding, and harsh braking, which can result in flat spotting and curbing, will adversely affect the performance and life of a tire.

While it’s difficult to know exactly how a driver handles his or her truck on the road, the key is education. Get them involved in doing a pre-trip inspection of their rig before they head anywhere. Not only is it a federal regulation, but it also allows them to take a walk around and spot a tire issue that could be addressed before it leads a serious problem.

One recent study indicated drivers have an enormous impact on maximizing tire mileage, says Al Cohn, director of new market development and engineering support for the tire inflation system maker Pressure Systems International. “Ten drivers were assigned to specific tractors married to specific trailers, and the 10 vehicles had similar payloads and similar routes,” he says. “Tires had the fastest tread wear rates on vehicles assigned to drivers who drove fast, made sharp turns and were hard on their brakes.”

An increasing number of high-tech systems are able to flag events such as hard braking, and alert fleet managers via telematics or onsite downloads. While the safety department may be most interested in identifying these drivers for additional training, doing this has benefits for tire life, as well.

7. Keep Wheels Aligned

Proper wheel alignment is as critical to keeping a tire in top shape as proper inflation. Total vehicle alignment is important to prevent handling and ride issues, as well as preventing irregular wear from developing on the tires, says Bridgestone Firestone’s McDonald.

“A good alignment requires several things: good equipment, a highly trained technician who knows how to ‘read the tires,’ and a good maintenance program that assures alignments are done in a timely manner,” he says. “A good maintenance program will make sure that all axles are checked for alignment, not just a ‘set the toe and let her go’ program, and it will include the trailers in the fleet, not just the tractors.”

A good alignment technician will want to see the tires that have been operating on the vehicle he is to align. If they have been changed, the removed tires should be made available to the technician so he can analyze them. Always get a “before” and “after” record or printout of the vehicle’s alignment settings, and keep them in the maintenance file for future reference in case the vehicle continues to have unsatisfactory tire wear.

8. Analyze Scrap Tires

Scrap tire analysis is an excellent way for fleets to understand why tires are failing or have to be removed from service prematurely.

“By evaluating each tire when it is removed from service, reoccurring problems or wear patterns that can be fixed can be detected, minimizing overall downtime,” says Michelin’s Jones.

He says this will also educate the fleet as to whether they have the right tire for the application, whether or not they are running the correct pressure, or whether drivers are destroying the tires due to lack of training.

9. Keep Good Records

Tire recordkeeping is very important to determine tire cost per mile and to make good tire purchasing decisions. The system used (paper or computer) is only going to be as good as the person or persons recording and tracking the data and information.

Goodyear’s Miller notes a good recordkeeping system will store the all the data you need to determine the actual costs associated with your tires. The big question is, how do you start one?

He recommends a Recommended Practice developed by the American Trucking Associations’ Technology and Maintenance Council, “which details all of the essential parameters to measure in order to accurately analyze tire related costs. It’s something we highly recommend fleets follow.”

One way you can make this recordkeeping easier is by using tire-tracking software. While there are several to choose from, one of the newest was introduced recently by Arsenault Associates. The Dossier Tire Management System includes a handheld tread depth and air pressure device that communicates wirelessly with a PDA. Each tire in a fleet is identified by attaching a bar-coded tag that can incorporate an RFID chip. To check tires anywhere, the technician scans the vehicle bar code to display data about the truck and its tires. Then the Dossier Tire Probe is used to electronically measure air pressure and tread depth, which is wirelessly transmitted to the PDA, worn on the technician’s belt. It transmits all the tire data wirelessly in real time to the computer housed in the shop and running the full Dossier software system. It also automatically alerts the technician of low tire pressure, tread depth or other issues.

10. Consider Tire Telematics

For years there have been tire pressure monitoring systems, but telematics takes things a step further. Instead of just sending an alert to the driver in the cab, these systems alert fleet management in real time via the truck’s mobile communication systems.

There are a wide range of capabilities in tire pressure monitoring systems that incorporate telematics. Some systems simply provide the tire pressure. Others send just alerts. Still-more-sophisticated systems analyze the data and provide a wealth of information that the fleet can use to improve its tire maintenance and manage its tire assets.

As a result, fleets can greatly reduce emergency breakdowns and improve their fuel economy, tread wear and tire life – all of which are negatively impacted by running underinflated. Not only can they improve their tire maintenance, but they can also do this with less labor since you “see” what the tire problems are on a vehicle without using a tire gauge.

“The neat thing about telematics is that it enables the fleet operator to know what a vehicle’s tires are doing at any time, no matter how far away it is,” says Peggy Fisher, president of TireStamp. “It takes the tire decision-making and maintenance responsibility away from the driver – who in most cases doesn’t want the job of maintaining tires – and puts it back in the hands of the fleet maintenance and management personnel, who do care about their tires.”






Continental Tire the Americas is to introduce new Ameristeel line by General Tire for commercial vehicles. The long haul-and-regional tyre line for commercial trucks includes drive and steer tyres that combine competitive affordability with trusted reliability of the Continental and General Tire brands.

The Ameristeel S380A long haul steer tyre features a de-coupler groove that extends tread life and offers consistent performance in over the road applications, the company said, adding that the Ameristeel D460 long haul/regional drive tyre offers flexible, long lasting performance and reliability. Regional tyres in this line include the Ameristeel S360 all-position design and Ameristeel D450 drive tyre with an open shoulder design.

“We’re very excited to offer a line of products for our customers who want a balance of both affordability and performance to suit their needs,” said Alex Chmiel, marketing director for commercial vehicles tires for Continental. “We recognize the market need for this level of product, and we’ve stepped up to make a high-quality line that will be produced locally here in the USA,” he added.


perili malasia

Pirelli announces tyre compounds for Malaysia

Pirelli has announced its tyre compound choices for the Malaysian Grand Prix, the 16th round of the 2016 season.

The Italian manufacturer will take the soft, the medium and the hard tyres to the Sepang event.

It will be the third time this year that Pirelli opts for that selection, having already chosen it for the Spanish and British Grands Prix.

The hards are the mandatory tyres that need to be used at least once during the race, while the softs are the tyre selected for Q3.

Tyres nominated so far in 2016:

 Australia   Supersoft Soft Medium  
 Bahrain   Supersoft Soft Medium  
 China   Supersoft Soft Medium  
 Russia   Supersoft Soft Medium  
 Spain     Soft Medium Hard
 Monaco Ultrasoft Supersoft Soft    
 Canada Ultrasoft Supersoft Soft    
 Azerbaijan   Supersoft Soft Medium  
 Austria Ultrasoft Supersoft Soft    
 Britain     Soft Medium Hard
 Hungary   Supersoft Soft Medium  
 Germany   Supersoft Soft Medium  
 Singapore Ultrasoft Supersoft Soft    
 Malaysia     Soft Medium Hard


Michelin Rolls Out Three New Ag Tires

Michelin North America has unveiled three new agriculture tires—the SprayBib VF 480/80R46 177D, SprayBib VF 380/90R54 176D and CereXBib IF 1000/55R32 CFO 188A8. All three tires feature Michelin Ultraflex Technology designed to promote soil protection, fuel savings and longer service life, the tiremaker said.

“As farm equipment has grown larger and heavier in recent years, farmers now cover more acres per day, but soil compaction has become a greater challenge,” said Mike Pantaleo, customer engineering support for Michelin Agriculture tires. “Michelin Ultraflex tires address this issue by operating at lower pressures than standard radial tires, therefore producing a larger footprint. This larger footprint distributes the weight of the machine over the largest area possible to reduce compaction.”

The new VF480/80R46 177D Michelin SprayBib is designed to offer the farmer a unique sprayer tire that falls between the standard, narrow row-crop tire and a flotation tire for pre-planting applications, Michelin said. This tire provides a load capacity of up to 16,094 pounds and at speeds of up to 40 mph.

The Michelin VF380/90R54 176D is designed for high-clearance sprayers and row-crop tractors. The tire has a load capacity to carry today’s largest sprayers and planters, and does so at very low pressures compared to standard radial tires, Michelin said.

The new IF1000/55R32 CFO 188A8 CereXBib is the largest harvester tire in the Michelin portfolio and is designed for use on large harvesters and grain carts.

For more information on Michelin Ultraflex tires, visit


Countrywide Rolls Out Lawn and Garden Tire

Countrywide Tire & Rubber has released a new RubberMaster brand “S” pattern lawn and garden tire in 14 popular sizes.

“We’re excited to be launching additional sizes under the RubberMaster brand and offering our customers even more to choose from,” said Eric Johnson, vice president of operations.

In its 40th year, Countrywide plans to continue building its specialty tire categories for the RubberMaster brand.

The tiremaker said it will also launch a RubberMaster bias high-speed tire and all steel tires this season.

Omni Rolls Out New Trailer Tire

Omni United’s Radar brand has launched a new radial trailer tire – the Radar Angler RST 22.Angler RST 22

The tire is designed for high-load carrying travel trailers, boat trailers and pop-up camper applications and can carry heavy loads ranging from 1360 to 3960 pounds per tire.


The successor of the Angler RST 21, the Angler RST 22 features an open tread shoulder for increased traction, a cooler running tread compound, a robust casing with high density large diameter polyester cords for increased strength and durability, and high tensile strength steel belt cords to meet high load requirements and provide a stable footprint, Omni said. Additionally, the tire’s stiff lower sidewall helps reduce sidewall flexing and allows the trailer to track straighter to reduce risk of sway.

The Angler RST 22 is available for order in seven sizes ranging from a 13- to 16- inch rim diameter.

stopping distance

things can affect stopping distance

10 things that can affect your stopping distance

At some time or another most drivers will have to perform an emergency braking maneuver, be it due to a hazard in the road, or the car in front also stopping sharply. When it happens you’re going to want the car to stop in the shortest possible distance to avoid an accident. Here are 10 factors that can have an effect on how fast your car can stop; what measures you can take to reduce your stopping distance and what actions to avoid that could extend it. 

1. Speed

Your stopping distance is actually made up of two factors – thinking distance and braking distance. Thinking distance is the time it takes for the driver to process the information and react, from seeing an obstacle to pressing the brake pedal; whereas braking distance is the length travelled from pressing the brake pedal to the car coming to a complete stop. 

Your speed is one of the only factors that has an effect on both your thinking distance and braking distance. Put simply, the faster you are going, the greater the distance travelled before you apply the brakes (thinking distance) and the vehicle comes to a complete stop (braking distance). Between 20-40mph,  your vehicle takes an average of 12 additional metres, or three car lengths, to come to a complete stop for every 10mph you are travelling, that’s why it is so crucial to observe the local speed limit and slow down particularly in residential areas. Over 40mph, this number increases still further and a car travelling at 70mph on a motorway will take an average of 96 metres or 24 car lengths to come to a stop so be sure to keep your distance from the car in front.

2. Brakes

ABS has become commonplace in modern vehicles but does not actually help a great deal in terms of reducing your stopping distance. Rather, anti-lock brakes help the driver to maintain control of the vehicle in an emergency brake situation. However, properly maintained brakes can make a big difference.

Brake pads have a block of friction material that pushes against the brake disc when the brakes are applied. This friction material wears down over time and the brake disc can become grooved causing them to overheat and lose stopping power. Therefore, well maintained brakes will ultimately reduce your stopping distance.  Brakes can also be affected by wet roads and standing water leading to moisture between the pads & discs that can make them less effective at bringing your vehicle to a stop. If you have driven through deep water, make sure you pump the brake pedal a few times while driving slowly to dry them out and ensure they work when you need them.

3. Tyre Pressure

Tyres need to maximise their contact with the road in order to provide the best possible stopping distance. When tyres are over or under inflated though, the tread contact patch is reduced. Underinflated tyres will make more contact with the road on the outer edges of the tyre whereas overinflated tyres make more contact in the centre. Both are bad news for your tyres and stopping distance. Not only does this cause irregular wear of the tyres, but traction will also be reduced meaning your tyres are less effective at biting into the road surface and bringing the car to a halt. Checking your tyre pressure every month and using the recommended pressure in your vehicle hand book is an easy way to maintain your tyres and their ability to stop the vehicle.

4. Tyre Wear

By law, your tyres need to be changed when the tread depth reaches 1.6mm. However, the remaining tread depth on your tyres can have a massive difference on your braking distance long before you reach this absolute minimum. Most tyres begin life with around 8mm of tyre tread which gradually wears away the more you use them (other factors such as extreme braking can also accelerate the rate of wear). As the tread reduces, so too does the tyre’s ability to grip the road. At 30mph on a wet road, a car with brand new tyres with 8mm of tread will come to a stop in 25.9 metres. The same car travelling in the same conditions but fitted with tyres with just 3mm of tread remaining would come to a stop in 35 metres. That’s 35% further despite the tyres still being perfectly legal. When the tyres reach the minimum of 1.6mm of tread, the stopping distance increases to 43 metres, that’s almost double the stopping distance of the new tyres!  

5. Tyre Quality

Buying premium tyres from known manufacturers such as Michelin, Goodyear or Pirelli provides peace of mind that you are buying a quality tyre product. But countless tyre tests show that premium tyres really are worth the extra cash when it comes to control, grip and stopping distance, and consistently outperforming their budget counterparts. When travelling at 60mph a car fitted with premium tyres could stop as much as 16 metres shorter than a set of budget tyres despite both sets of tyres having a full 8mm of tread. Premium tyres have other proven benefits including increased fuel efficiency, lifespan and aquaplaning resistance.

6. Road Conditions

While there are measures you can take to shorten your braking distance like ensuring your tyres are in good shape, the weather is something that we unfortunately have no control over. Yet road conditions like standing water, ice and snow can have a huge impact on your stopping distance. Adding any slippery surface that reduces the friction between your tyres and the road is inevitably going to have an effect on your braking. In heavy rain aquaplaning can occur where the tyres cannot disperse the water between the tread and the road surface quickly enough leading to a loss of control. In wintery conditions snow can become compacted in the tyre tread which greatly reduces the effectiveness of the tyres and their grip on the road. This can lead to sliding and stopping distances 10 times greater than on a dry road.

The best defence when driving in bad weather is to keep your distance, take it slow and make sure you can maintain a good… 

7. View of the Road

Visibility is one of a number of factors that do not affect your braking distance per se but can inhibit your thinking distance. The longer it takes for you to spot hazards in the road, the more time will have passed before you hit the brake pedal. A dirty windscreen will reduce your view of the road so make sure you top up your screen wash regularly and make sure your wipers are working properly. Damaged wiper blades can actually reduce your visibility even further by smearing dirt across your field of vision so make sure you replace any damaged parts immediately. On cold, frosty mornings don’t be tempted to set off before the windscreen has completely cleared. Get out there a few minutes early to warm the car up and scrape all the ice off to make sure you get to work safely and on time.

8. Distractions

Keeping your eyes on the road at all times will help you spot hazards and reduce your thinking time, but it’s easy to become distracted, especially in this digital age of gadgets and in-car tech. Mobile phones are the biggest problem when it comes to driver concentration and you should avoid using your phone at all when driving unless you have bluetooth connectivity allowing you to make and receive calls without looking at the phone. Programming the sat nav and playing with the radio can also be big distractions but motor manufacturers are working hard to integrate these systems into their vehicles using voice commands and other inputs that keep the driver’s attention on the road.

9. Drink/Drug Driving

It should go without saying that you shouldn’t drink and drive following decades of road awareness campaigns highlighting the dangers and consequences of drink driving. But more recently there has been an increased focus on ‘drug driving’ and since March 2015 it has also been an offence to drive under the influence of certain drugs with penalties including a minimum 12-month driving ban, an unlimited fine and up to six months in prison.

Alcohol and drugs including cannabis and cocaine increases the time it takes to process information. A driver who is under the influence of drink or drugs could take a few extra vital seconds to spot a hazard such as a pedestrian crossing the road and apply the brakes. There is also evidence to suggest that a drink/drug driver would not press the brake pedal as hard in an emergency stop situation because their senses are impaired.  

10. Tiredness

As many as one fifth of accidents on monotonous roads like motorways may be caused by drivers falling asleep at the wheel. But even if you don’t drop off, driving while tired can severely slow your reaction time and impair your decision making ability. If you notice yourself getting tired or losing concentration while driving, make sure you find somewhere safe to stop and take a break. Take a 15 minute break every two hours on long journeys and share driving duties when possible. This will give you the best chance of staying alert and optimising your stopping distance.