Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Tires, Its Got Tread

Do you remember the gas stations of the past? I do, DING, DING, the customer drives up and I would run out there to see what they wanted.

One time a customer wanted to fill up (gas prices were less than a dollar a gallon then) and wanted me to check their tires. So being the jokester that I am I leaned back and said to myself, "There's two there" walked around to the other side and saw the other two. I came back to the customer and said, "Yep you have all four tires still."

What do you know about your tires on your RV. Lets see they are big, round, decent tread and there's a big hole in the middle. What else do you need to know, right? Let me try to shead some light on that tread.

First let's take a look at what makes up a typical tire.

If you take a real good look at this diagram you can see that a tire is made up of a lot of different parts. Looking at this you can see the word "plies". If you count up the different plies including the steel belts this will make up how strong a typical tire is and determine the air pressure as well. This information can be found on the sidewall of the tire.

Now lets talk about tire sizes. Here is the tire size of my truck.

Let's dissect the size here. LT = Light Truck, some trailer tires may have a ST = Special Trailer; 265 = Sectional Width, how wide the tire is at its widest point, measured in millimeters. 75 = Aspect Ratio or Percentage, 75% of 265 = Tire Height. R = Radial ply design, most tires today are radial ply. 16 = Rim diameter. If you look closely at center right you can see and count that my tire has 7 plies including the sidewall. This dictates a load range "E" tire.

For this range my maxium tire pressure is 80 pounds cold, which is important since air pressure when hot will expand. Even though that all of this is important when choosing a tire there is one factor that needs to be said.

The tire date code. What this is the date when the tire was made. Knowing how to read this will help you determine how long that tire has been on the shelf. Look on the sidewall for 4 numbers in a row. Example: "4909". The first two digits represents the week of the year and the last two digits represents the year. So my trailer tires were made in the 49th week of 2009. They are Goodyear tires and made in America.

If you do some research you may find out that the bargain brand type tires are made overseas and don't hold up as well. Take your time when choosing your tires.

How much tread really doesn't mean that much anymore, well it does, but when I purchased my fiver the tires looked great as far as tread was concerned but the date code indicated the tires were made in 1997, way to old.

Make sure when you roll you roll on good tires.

Until Next Time.......................Be Safe.

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