Author - hessamaldin

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.

choose new tyres

Choosing New Tyres

5 Steps to Choosing a New Set of Tyres

Buying a new set of tyres can feel a whole lot like buying a new car. There are many options, each option offers something different, and there is so much information out there that it can seem overwhelming to sort through it all.

 To help you demystify the process, here are the 5 steps to choosing a new set of tyres.

1. Decide between buying new or used

The first step in choosing a new set of tyres is deciding whether you want to buy brand new or used ones. There are pros and cons to each, and a number of factors that will be particular to your circumstances. But among these, the main consideration to keep in mind is whether you are choosing a set of tyres due to damage, or wear and tear.

If you have sustained a puncture on one tyre, but you otherwise have a perfectly good set, buying a used tyre may seem like an attractive option.  If all your tyres are worn down and showing signs of age, then a new set is best. Similarly, if you drive regularly on freeways, highways, drive a lot of kilometres or regularly drive on rough roads then new tyres are best.

2. Consider what type of driving you’ll be doing

Those sleek tyres you have your eye on might be a perfect fit on your car – but will be of little use to you if you need them for your 4×4. So, taking into account what type of driving you’ll be doing – and the conditions you’ll be driving in – is a critical factor when considering a new set of tyres.

3. Consider what type of driver you are

All of us can find something to improve in our driving habits. Certainly, if you have a dangerous driving habit, it should be corrected right away. Yet, try as we might, some of us still brake too sharply, or are a bit too quick to take off at traffic lights. This means that – even if you’re not Formula One’s Daniel Ricciardo and going through multiple sets of tyres each afternoon – thinking back on your history of tyre problems is wise.

Although you should be rotating your tyres regularly (which helps ensure that all the tyres wear evenly and last longer), you should seek out a more durable set if you find your tyres tend to wear out more quickly than average. If in doubt, check with your local tyre professionals to find out what’s normal and what set best suits your driving style.

4. Decide whether you need to purchase a spare

You may only need four new tyres to meet your immediate needs, but it’s a good idea to strongly consider purchasing a spare.

Consider the fact that if your car’s current set is already very worn, even using one as a spare may be ill-advised. Rather than getting a puncture and then facing a nervous drive on your spare tyre that’s in shoddy condition, it’s ideal to be open to buying a spare alongside the new set you are purchasing.

To the degree that your finances (and storage space in your garage) allow, buying a whole second set can be worthwhile to consider, as well. In the event that you do get a puncture, you’ll have an easy replacement on hand, and it guarantees you’ll always have a spare matching set on hand for months and years to come as the need arises.

5. Increase your knowledge of tyres

It’s always a good time to increase your driving knowledge and learn more about your car and its parts and maintenance needs. You can help yourself immensely when looking to buy a new set of tyres by learning all you can about tyres and the different types available, particularly as it relates to the sidewall. By learning and being able to decode what all those numbers and letters mean along a tyre’s rim, you’ll find it much easier to quickly search and shop for what you need.

The 5 steps listed above will help make purchasing new tyres an easy and seamless experience. In particular, focus on buying a quality set – you’ll want it to serve you well in the long term.

Then, be sure to make good use of your old tyres. While they may no longer be fit for the roads, there are plenty of creative uses for used tyres around the home. From the classic tyre swing, to garden use, to furniture construction – and even in the creation of some very cool and modern art – be sure to find a fun use for your used tyres once they are off the road.


control tyre expense

Control Tire Expenses

10 Ways to Control Tire Expenses for Your Truck Fleet

The following guidelines should serve you well until you develop a system of your own for ordering the proper tires for your operation.

1. Select the proper tire required for your vehicle, considering all of the vehicles’ unique or expected applications.

2. Ensure you are getting at least the tires that meet or exceed all OEM (manufacturers) specifications and Department of Transportation-required standards.

3. Do not shop for price alone. Purchasing a tire based upon price alone and not taking into consideration the intended lifecycle of the tire, its ultimate use during that time frame, the maintenance that will be afforded the tires during their service, and the possibility of that tire casing being recapped and returned to service, are all items that could directly affect your purchase.

4. Look for tire manufacturer specials. Sometimes it’s possible to purchase a group of tires at one time, for future use, and get either special pricing, additional extended warrantees, or special payment considerations. Again, be aware of what you’re buying. Ensure you’re getting “apples for apples” in all your tire dealings. Check the data on the tire sidewall to ensure you received what you paid for.

5. Make an effort to purchase your tires in a timely manner to possibly meet either summer or winter driving demands. In many instances, vehicles will require a more aggressive tread in the winter, while a standard (less expensive) tire with a highway tread pattern could suffice in summer months.

6. Mechanic, operator, and owner responsibilities where tire maintenance and condition are concerned are very important. Monitoring tire tread depth, sidewall condition, tire pressure, and using good overall tire replacement procedures can go a long way toward making or breaking any organization. One accident that could be contributed to a lack of expertise, concern, care or just plain common operating sense could be very costly. There are standards of tread depth at which tires must be removed. You should be aware of those figures for all areas in which your vehicles operate.

7. Companies and organizations with only a few vehicles and no on-staff capability of mechanics or dedicated tire personnel, should consider outsourcing their tire program. Of course, this too must be done with care, to ensure the proper organization and product are brought on board to fill the companies needs. Most tire manufacturers will gladly provide you with an overview of your fleet’s general tire condition, make recommendations, and sometimes commit to additional warranties. Manufacturers will gladly connect you with the local dealer capable of serving your organization and its requirements.

8. Probably the two most neglected areas in any tire management program are the proper matching of tires by size (in dual-wheel applications), and the maintaining of proper air pressure. Improper inflation is undoubtedly the major cost-generating factor in any tire management program. (See doorjamb sticker, owner’s manual or consult your tire supplier for the proper tire pressure and rotation schedule for your vehicles.) Whenever possible, it is a good idea to try to match tire tread patterns in dual tire and front tire applications. Mayhew stressed that many companies waste dollars worth of tire wear each year, by mismatching tires. Mayhew said, “Numerous tires would have been good candidates for longer mileage and recap, but improper tire management virtually wasted a good casing.” It’s a fact that tires that are mismatched by as little as 5/16th of an inch difference in circumferences can cause the smaller tire to be dragged up to 13 feet in a single mile, or 200-plus miles for every 100,000 miles of use.

9. Did you know that under-inflation, by as little as 10 percent, can reduce your tire’s life by as much as 9 percent to 16 percent over its lifecycle?

Believe it or not, that added operating expense is approximately doubled with each 10 percent in pressure drop. This should be all the incentive an operator of any fleet should require, to insist on the proper and consistent monitoring of tire pressures. Most manufacturers or dealers have really explanatory example photos to show what effects over- and under-inflation has on tire wear.

Here are some rules to follow on tire inflation:

  • Never check your pressure immediately after the tire has been run and is warm.
  • Try to maintain pressures for a loaded condition.
  • Establish a schedule or time frame for checking your tire pressures.

10. Last, but not least, there is a well-known publication that very few vehicle operators read and heed, (especially fleet vehicle operators); it’s call the owners manual. Check it out; you’d be surprised how much information the manufacturer has crammed into that “glove box rattle stopper.”

tyre rotation

Tyre Rotation Instructions

Tires should be serviced periodically following the rotation patterns provided in the vehicle’s owner’s manual or as established by the industry. Using tire rotation as a preventative maintenance will equalize front-to-rear and side-to-side wear rates while enhancing wear quality and pattern noise. Any minor 1/32″ to 2/32″ differences in front-to-rear tread depth between tires that might be encountered immediately after periodic tire rotations at 3,000-5,000 mile intervals won’t upset the vehicle’s hydroplaning balance and should not preclude rotating tires. For that matter, any differences in wear rates actually indicate that tire rotations should be done more frequently.

“When done at the recommended times, [tire rotation] can preserve balanced handling and traction and even out tire wear. Tire rotation can even provide performance advantages.”

Tire rotation can be beneficial in several ways. When done at the recommended times, it can preserve balanced handling and traction and even out tire wear. Tire rotation can even provide performance advantages.

Many tire mileage warranties require tire rotation to keep the warranty valid. When should tires be rotated? We recommend that tires be rotated every 3,000 to 5,000 miles even if they don’t show signs of wear. Tire rotation can often be done with oil change intervals while the vehicle is off the ground. This can also be a good time to have your tires rebalanced if the vehicle has developed a vibration. It’s also a good time to inspect the tires for any damage, remove stones or debris from the tire treads, check for uneven wear by checking the tire tread depth and of course, checking your tire pressure.

Tire rotation helps even out tire wear by allowing each tire to serve in as many of the vehicle’s wheel positions as possible. Remember, tire rotation can’t correct wear problems due to worn mechanical parts or incorrect inflation pressures.

While vehicles are typically equipped with four tires, usually the tires on the front axle need to accomplish very different tasks than the tires on the rear axle. The tasks encountered on a front-wheel drive vehicle are considerably different than those of a rear-wheel drive vehicle. Tire wear experienced on a performance vehicle will usually be more severe than that of a family sedan. Each wheel position can cause different wear rates and different types of tire wear.

It is an advantage when all four tires wear together because as wear reduces a tire’s tread depth, it allows all four tires to respond to the driver’s input more quickly, maintains the handling and helps increase the tire’s cornering traction.

When your tires wear out together, you can get a new set of tires without being forced to buy pairs. If you replace tires in sets of four, you will maintain the original handling balance. In addition, our suppliers constantly introduce new tires, each of which improves upon their past product’s performance. If you replace your tires in sets of four, it allows you to experience today’s technology, instead of being forced to match yesterday’s.

Seasonal Changeovers Provide Opportunities for Tire Rotation

For drivers living in America’s Snowbelt that will encounter cold wintry weather conditions, seasonal changeovers to their winter tires and back will provide the opportunity for tire rotations. For drivers that run an average of 12,000-15,000 miles per year, pre- and post-winter tire changeovers represent two of their three annual rotations. All they have to do is rotate their summer tires once more in July to complete their annual preventative maintenance.

Four (4) Tire Rotation

What tire rotation pattern should be followed? The Tire & Rim Association has identified three traditional rotation patterns covering most vehicles (equipped with non-directional tires and wheels which are the same size and offset). The first being the “Rearward Cross” (Figure A); the second being the “Forward Cross” (Figure C); and the third is the “X-Pattern” (Figure B). The X-Pattern can be used as an alternative to A or C.

Today’s performance tire and wheel trends have provided the need for two additional tire rotation patterns.

  • The “Front-to-Rear” (Figure D) pattern may be used for vehicles equipped with the same size directional wheels and/or directional tires.
  • A “Side-to-Side” (Figure E) pattern may be used for vehicles equipped with different sized non-directional tires and wheels on the front axle compared to the rear axle.

If the last two rotation patterns do not provide even wear, dismounting, mounting and re-balancing will be necessary to rotate the tires.

Vehicles that use different sized directional wheels and tires, and/or wheels with different front and rear offsets with directional tires will require dismounting, mounting and re-balancing to rotate tires.

Five (5) Tire Rotation

While many vehicles are equipped with temporary spares that cannot be included in a tire rotation program, if the vehicle’s four wheels and tires on the ground match the spare wheel and tire (if non-directional and not branded “for temporary use”), they should be included in the tire rotation pattern. Follow the vehicle manufacturer’s recommended tire rotation procedures, or if not available, insert the spare in the right rear position at every rotation. Place the tire that would have gone to the right rear in the trunk as the spare until the next tire rotation.

  • On front-wheel drive cars with full-size matching spare, rotate the tires in a forward cross pattern (Figure F)
  • On rear-wheel or four-wheel drive cars with full-size matching spare, rotate the tires in a rearward cross pattern (Figure G)

Five tire rotation results in equally distributed use that will help maintain equivalent tread depths on all five tires throughout their life. When applied to many four-wheel drive and all-wheel drive vehicles, this is required to prevent drive line damage if a flat tire forces a new spare to be put into service with partially worn tires on the other three wheel positions.

Studded Winter / Snow Tire Rotation

In order to achieve the best possible wintertime performance and longest lifetime from a set of studded tires, they should be rotated periodically to equally share the vehicle’s workload. Tire rotation will help all four tires maintain equivalent tire wear throughout their life in spite of the different driving demands experienced on a vehicle’s steering and non-steering positions, as well as its driven vs. non-driven axles. The resulting equivalent tread depths will help balance traction levels and handling characteristics, as well as help drivers get more life out of their set of four tires.

It is recommended rotating studded tires at the beginning of every winter season or every 4,000 miles, whichever comes first.

The rolling direction of studded tires should never be changed.

This can be achieved by rotating tires from front to rear on the same side of the vehicle.

It is also permitted to remount the tires inside-out on the wheels to allow them to be used on other side of the vehicle if uneven wear due to camber is detected.

trad pattern



When you’re on the hunt for new tires, you might notice the manufacturer highlighting that the tire features one of three tread patterns: directional, asymmetrical or symmetrical. These tire tread designs incorporate specific features for optimum performance in different conditions.

All tire tread patterns use these parts of a tire:

  • Continuous ribs
  • Independent tread blocks
  • Circumferential and lateral grooves
  • Sipes

It’s how tread designs use each of these features to deliver certain functions—hydroplaning resistance, for example, or long wear and a smooth, quiet ride.

So, what’s the difference between directional and asymmetrical tread patterns? How does an asymmetrical tread pattern use these features to give all-weather tires year-round grip? Here’s a breakdown of the four types of tire tread designs.


A directional tread pattern is designed to roll only in one direction. That’s why you’ll see arrows on the sidewalls pointing in the direction that tire needs to be mounted. They can only be rotated front to back.

Lateral grooves on both sides of the tire point toward the centre, creating a ‘v’ shape. These grooves pump water through the tread so the tire can maintain contact with the road to help resist hydroplaning.


The benefits

  • Excellent wet traction and hydroplaning resistance at high speeds
  • Superior dry performance because tread dissipates heat while a solid centre rib keeps the tire rigid for high-speed stability.

Symmetric tread patterns

A symmetric tread pattern is the most common. It uses continuous ribs or independent tread blocks across the entire tread face, that often create a wavy design. The pattern on each side of the centre is the same.


The benefits

  • Even wear and long tread life
  • Smooth, quiet driving
  • Spring to summer performance
  • Multiple front to back, side to side or diagonal rotation positions are possible

Asymmetric tread patterns

Asymmetric tread patterns combine the features of other tread designs for equally strong dry and wet performance.

On an asymmetric tread pattern, you’ll usually find larger tread blocks on the outside to create a bigger contact patch for cornering grip. This also helps reduce tread squirm for better stability, and breaks up heat build up.

The outside also features large lateral grooves designed to pump water out the side of the tire.

The inside features smaller, independent tread blocks and smaller grooves to increase contact area and improve grip. On an asymmetric tread pattern, the sidewall will have ‘inside’ and ‘outside’ markings so you know which way they need to be mounted.



  • Year-round grip
  • Hydroplaning and slushplaning resistance
  • High speed stability
  • Multiple tire rotation patterns
EU label



Tyre labels are being introduced to give you, the buyer, comparable information so you can make a decision about what type of tyre you buy. The labels will be presented in a standard format for all makes of tyre, so no matter whether you’re looking at a Pirelli, Avon or a Tigar tyre – you will be able to compare their vital statistics to see what you’re getting.

EU tyre labelling stickers

Essential Information

The tyre label will have information on three key areas: fuel efficiency, wet grip and external noise.


Tyres are responsible for approximately 20% of a vehicle’s fuel consumption, mainly due to their rolling resistance. Rolling resistance, also known as ‘rolling friction’ and ‘rolling drag’, is the resistance between the tyre and the road surface, and can be affected by the material the tyre is made from. Tyre manufacturers carry out vast amounts of research into their production materials, with one of their aims being to reduce rolling resistance.

Reducing rolling resistance can help improve fuel efficiency. So if you opt for tyres classed as A’ instead of ‘F’ – this could help save you 80 litres of fuel per year which could add up to more than £100 of savings.

This also benefits the environment, as CO2 emissions are reduced considerably. 


Tyres play a crucial role in a vehicle’s stopping distance – i.e. the distance from when you hit the brakes until your car comes to a halt. It takes longer to stop in wet conditions compared to dry due to the amount of water held on the tyres and lying on the road surface. The patterns cut into a tyre’s surface (tread) are designed to aid water dispersal, and this is another key research area for tyre manufacturers. So now you will be able to compare how efficiently a tyre will perform in wet braking.

For example, the difference in the wet braking distance between a car fitted with tyres classed as ‘A’ compared to ‘F’ is over 10 metres i.e. the equivalent to 2 car lengths! When braking at speed, clearly this make a big difference to your road safety.


The noise your tyre makes might not seem a crucial factor when buying a tyre – but if you spend a lot of your day driving on motorways, then you may prefer to invest in something that contributes to your driving comfort. Until now, it’s not been possible to know the noise level of a tyre until you actually fit it and drive, but noise level will now be measured on tyre labels so you can make an informed choice about your purchase.

Noise is measured in decibels (dB), and the human ear can register the difference between 3 decibel ratings.

Tyre labels will have three different noise bands – the more waves shown on the symbol, the noisier the tyre is. One wave indicates the best performance, which means that the noise level of the tyre is at least 3 dB below the future legal limit. Three black waves is the weakest performance and represents a noise level in between the current maximum limit and the new, lower limit that will be introduced in Regulation 661, coming into force between 2012 and 2016.


See below for an example of the tyre label and a short explanation on what each of the three categories on the label actually mean.

Tyre Labels Explained


Fuel efficiency is important to reduce both CO2 emissions and the cost of driving. Each tyre can be categorised for its fuel efficiency.

Tyres are rated between A – G; A being the most fuel efficient, G bring the least fuel efficient.

The difference between each category means a reduction or increase in fuel consumption of 3-4%.

Please note: category D is not used.

Fuel label

Wet grip is a critical safety feature, relating to how quickly a tyre can stop on wet roads.

Tyres are rated A – G; A being the shortest braking distances in the wet, G being the longest braking distance in the wet.

The difference in each category can mean an extra one to two car lengths (3-6 metres) on the stopping distance.

Please note: categories D and G are not used.

Grip label

This relates to the external noise made by the tyre and is measured in dB (decibels). There are three ratings for noise as indicated by sound waves on the diagram. The more black waves, the louder the tyre.

Noise label

Tyre labelling



Traffic noise is considered a nuisance and a major cause of ‘noise pollution’. New EU tyre regulations which are being introduced will see a stricter policy on external tyre noise. This is not necessarily the noise you hear as the driver inside the car, but external noise caused by your tyres.

The new EU tyre labels will include a rating for external tyre noise. The aim is to promote quiet tyres (as well as fuel efficiency and safety, the other categories which are rated on the new labels).

External noise is measured in decibels (dB) and it is illustrated on the labels with a 3-wave pictogram which tells you how a tyre rates in relation to future European mandatory limits; with one bar indicating the most quiet tyres to three bars indicating the loudest rating. So the more black bars you see, the louder the tyre.

1 bar – This is the best you can get; the tyre not only complies with current legislation but it is at least 3dB less than the new limit on noise. Tyres with this rating are the quietest tyres and can be considered low noise tyres.
2 bars – Tyres with 2 bars comply with both current legislation and the new, tighter rules.
3 bars – 3 bars indicate that the tyre meets with current legislation only.

Tyre pattern can make a big difference to noise levels and comfort. The noise comes from the tyre block on the tread making contact and then retracting from the road, so generally the more ‘blocky’ the tread pattern, the more noise the tyre makes. Indeed, tyres with a low profile tend to be noisier, particularly as they wear down.

Low profile tyres also impact on comfort, resulting in a harsher ride – especially for vehicles where low profile tyres are retro-fitted and do not come as OE equipment. This is because the sidewall is stiffer and more shallow, so will absorb less of the surface impact when driving on imperfect road surfaces.

However technological advances in tyre tread pattern design means that you do not always have to make a trade-off between performance versus noise and comfort.


In the UK we experience varying extremes of weather, with high rainfall during previous summers and snow and slush in recent winters. For this reason, wet weather tyres, or rain tyres as they are sometimes called, are always in high demand. It’s imperative for safety when driving that you have tyres which can perform in wet weather.

The new EU tyre regulationswill mean that all tyres must show an EU tyre label which includes a rating for ‘wet grip’ and braking performance in wet weather as part of the focus on promoting safer tyres. The tyre label will show tyres rated from A to G; with A having the shortest braking distances in wet weather and G having the longest wet weather braking distances.

But what does that mean? Well each rating can mean a difference of about 3-6 metres on the stopping distance when braking from a speed of 50mph in the wet. So the difference between category A and G tyres could mean it would take an extra 18 metres to stop. That’s a lot if you need to stop in an emergency.

Also the tread pattern design itself can make a big difference. Tyres with patterned grooves help to quickly displace water from the contact patch which in turn improves aquaplaning resistance as the tyres are more able to grip the road surface. Many of the designs feature special tread blocks, sipes and grooves to improve water displacement and provide greater adhesion to the road.


The new EU tyre regulations being introduced from November 2012 will mean that all tyres will have a label which contains a rating for fuel efficiency, wet grip and braking performance and also external noise levels.

From this time, all EU tyres must include this label by law so whichever tyre retailer you visit, the new EU tyre label will be prominently displayed on the tyre tread, and its ratings and what they mean should also be explained to you as a consumer.

Fuel efficiency is a very important factor when choosing a tyre – the more fuel efficient the more money you will save on fuel. Many premium brands have spent considerable time into research and development to produce the most fuel efficient tyres or ‘energy saving tyres’ as they are sometimes called, without sacrificing performance or tyre wear. But how can a tyre actually affect fuel efficiency?

Over 20% of a car’s fuel consumption is linked to tyre rolling resistance. What is rolling resistance? Well in simple terms, rolling resistance is simply the energy lost from the friction of the tyre hitting the road. So the more rolling resistance a tyre has i.e. energy required to keep the car moving and overcoming the roll resistance, the more fuel required.

Therefore by choosing low rolling resistance tyres which require less energy and are more fuel efficient, you will use less fuel and save money.

You cannot eliminate rolling resistance altogether, but by choosing low roll resistance tyres you can improve your fuel efficiency. This is why the rating on the new EU tyre labels will help you to make the right choice for your driving requirements as the fuel efficiency and rolling resistance will be rated.

The new tyre regulations include a fuel efficiency/rolling resistance rating from A to G to help you see at a glance how economic the tyres are. A is the most fuel efficient and G is the least efficient. So if you do a lot of driving and fuel efficiency is important to you, then look for tyres rated A, B or C.



Other than making sure that their tyres pass the annual MOT Test, many of our customers have said that they don’t really know much about how to check their tyres are safe and legal or what the tyre laws actually are.

Well here are a few of the basics explaining current UK tyre law and also the importance of the new EU tyre regulations concerning tyre labelling which come into force in November 2012.


New EU tyre regulations (EU tyre regs) now mean that all tyres in the UK and Europe must have a tyre label attached with information about the tyre’s performance in three critical areas. These are: fuel efficiency and rolling resistance, braking distances and wet grip and finally, external noise levels.

Ideally you want a tyre which performs well in all three categories, but some factors may be more important to you than others. For example, if you do a lot of driving, fuel efficiency will be very important; if you live somewhere which gets a lot of rain then wet braking performance will be essential.


Overloading and Road Safety


Overloading has been recognized to be both a safety concern as well as a cost concern, and the National Department of Transport has incorporated a campaign against overloading in its Road to Safety strategy.

Economic growth demands an adequate transport infrastructure. Overloaded vehicles, especially freight vehicles, are destroying our roads, impacting negatively on economic growth – the damage caused grows exponentially as the load increases. Damage to roads as a result of overloading leads to higher maintenance and repair costs and shortens the life of a road which in turn places an additional burden on the state as well as law abiding road users who ultimately carry the costs of careless and inconsiderate overloading. If the problem of overloading is not controlled, this cost has to be carried by the road user, which will require significant increases in road user charges such as the fuel levy, vehicles license fees, and overloading fees to mention just a few. Overloading is a safety hazard that leads to unnecessary loss of life, and also the rapid deterioration of our roads, resulting in increased maintenance and transportation costs.

The Risks to Road Safety posed by Overloading

Overloaded vehicles threaten road safety and are contributing to many of the fatal accidents on our roads. The overloaded vehicle will not only put the driver at risk, but also passengers and other road users.

Overloading a vehicle will pose the following risks:

  • The vehicle will be less stable, difficult to steer and take longer to stop. Vehicles react differently when the maximum weights which they are designed to carry are exceeded.
  • Overloaded vehicles can cause the tyres to overheat and wear rapidly which increases the chance of premature, dangerous and expensive failure or blow-outs.
  • The driver’s control and operating space in the overloaded vehicle is diminished, escalating the chances for an accident.
  • The overloaded vehicle cannot accelerate as normal – making it difficult to overtake
  • At night, the headlights of an overloaded vehicle will tilt up, blinding oncoming drivers to possible debris or obstructions on the roadway
  • Brakes have to work harder due to ‘the riding of brakes’ and because the vehicle is heavier due to overloading. Brakes overheat and lose their effectiveness to stop the car.
  • With overloading, seat belts are often not used as the aim is to pack in as many persons as possible into the vehicle
  • The whole suspension system comes under stress and, over time, the weakest point can give way.
  • By overloading your vehicle you will incur higher maintenance costs to the vehicle – tyres, brakes, shock absorbers and higher fuel consumption
  • Insurance cover on overloaded vehicles may be void as overloading is illegal


Overloading a minibus taxi in South Africa

Combating Overloading

The Department of Transport, in conjunction with provincial traffic authorities, the South African National Roads Agency Limited (SANRAL) and the Council for Scientific and Industrial research (CSIR) has drafted the National Overload Strategy to address the problem of overloaded vehicles. The strategy covers the issues of self-regulation by the freight industry, funding, training and operational issues and a review of the 5% tolerance on the mass limit that is allowed for in the Road Traffic Act.

The strategy also contains several new and innovative aspects, such as:

  • A strategy map that will assist planners in deciding on appropriate locations for additional weighbridges.
  • A database containing information on weigh bridge operations and monitoring, as well as monthly reports that will be accessible via a website.
  • This database will also contain information of habitual offenders.
  • Practical guidelines on how to deal with these offenders are being developed. 
  • Portable scales are being evaluated, determining their accuracy and acceptability for prosecution purposes. 
  • Legislation to extend the responsibility of overloading to the consigner and the consignee is being drafted.
  • New vehicle testing stations are equipped with state-of the art testing equipment such as break rollers to test the quality of a vehicle’s breaks, a scuff gauge to measure the wheel alignment and many others.  This will ensure that when a vehicle is certified as being roadworthy it will definitely meet the prescribed standards.
  • The National Roads Agency has invested in several weighbridges located on the N3 between Johannesburg and Durban, on the N4 between Witbank and Komatipoort, and on the N1 at Mantsole, located between Pretoria and Warmbaths.
  • On the N3 and N4 the National Roads Agency has entered into performance based agreements with the private sector for the operation and administration of the weighbridges, and service agreements with the Provincial Traffic Authorities in order to ensure a dedicated attack on overloading.
  • Over a period of five years, this investment will exceed R500 million
  • This strategy includes the monitoring and weighing of vehicles attempting to bypass the weighbridges by using alternative routes.

In China the efforts to curb overloading has included a successful campaign giving publicity and conducing education, reinforcing execution of traffic law, standardising vehicle manufacturing and refitting, labeling vehicle tonnage, reducing toll fees paid by haulers, and so on.

Recommendations & Advice

  • Know the weight of your vehicles – both the permitted axle weight and the gross vehicle weight
  • The gross vehicle weight is the maximum permitted weight of the vehicle (plus any load it is carrying)
  • The permitted weights can be found on ‘plates’ which are fitted to all buses and coaches. These are normally fixed to the chassis, often in the engine bay. It may alternatively be fixed to the bodywork on the inside of the vehicle, usually by the entrance or emergency door. On minibuses, the weight can be found in the manufacturer’s handbook
  • The driver must take into account the weight of the passengers as well as possible packages, suitcases etc
  • Distribute your load appropriately to avoid overloading axles
  • Companies need to have a “safety culture” in place which ensures that drivers understand weight legislation and immediately report any concerns that a vehicle is illegally overloaded
  • Vehicle weights (before and after loading) should be checked using a weighbridge
  • Companies that do not have their own in-house weighbridge can use one belonging to a client or a company nearby, or a public weighbridge. Use a weighbridge as close to your depot as possible to check every load your vehicles carry.
  • It is recommended that companies with a fleet of articulated trucks or a very high volume of traffic should install a fixed axle weighbridge. These give rapid axle and total weight checks on all types of commercial vehicle.
  • Companies that run fleets of two-axle rigid chassis vehicles could consider purchasing one of the several types of portable axle weighing systems
damge to tyre

Damage and Wear


1. Shoulder wear occurs when the tyre is travelling straight ahead while the wheel is pulling to one side. It causes a feathering effect which can be felt either on the outer or the inner edges of the tyre depending on whether the wheel is pulling inwards (known as toe-in or outwards (known as toe-out). It can be made worse by the camber of the road.

2. Sloped wear is smooth to the touch and is caused when the weight distribution of the vehicle is unbalanced by excessive camber. It can also be caused by hard cornering, overloading or a bent stub axle.

3. Rounded wear is caused by under-inflation or overloading, which produces a heel and toe effect whereby the leading edge of the contact patch is compressed and the trailing edge is rasped off as the compressed patch is dragged along the road.

4. Centre wear is the result of over-inflation, as all the heat caused through friction with the road passes solely through the central third.

5. Irregular wear can be caused by a number of factors including loose wheel nuts, incorrect twinning, poor wheel balancing, faulty brakes or suspension and irregular tyre pressures.

6. Eccentric wear is the result of a tyre that has been eccentrically fitted to the rim. It can also be caused by worn stud holes or severe imbalance.

7. Localised wear occurs when only one part of the tyre has been affected. Potential causes could be testing on a rolling road, a frozen axle, locked brakes, assembly imbalance, structural damage or failed repair.




The most common types of truck tyre damage are:

  • Impact
  • Penetration of sharp object
  • J-scoring (occurs when an object that has already pierced the sidewall pierces it again from the inside of the tyre)
  • Run-flat damage
  • Bead damage (N.B. bead failure can rip away the whole tyre sidewall)
  • Extreme heat
  • Cracking (due to tyre ageing or extreme exposure to the elements)
  • Contamination due to incorrect storage (e.g. exposure to oil or diesel)
  • Freezing
  • Corrosion
  • Tiger teeth (caused by animal bites)