Tire Tech: Rubber Cracking

Tires are typically exposed to a number of extreme conditions on the road, including acid rain, harsh chemicals and direct sunlight. Although the rubber compound in a tire may feature anti-aging chemicals in its composition, exposure to the elements can cause the rubber to lose some of its elasticity and create surface cracks. The anti-aging chemicals are more effective when tires are regularly used. Tires on vehicles that are driven infrequently are more likely to experience cracking, because long periods of parking or storage may interrupt the “working” of the tire rubber.

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Breaking In Your New Tires

New tires require a break-in period of 500 miles for optimum performance. Many new tires are cured with a release lubricant to prevent them from sticking to their mold. The lubricant stays on the surface of the tires, reducing traction until it is worn away. New tires may also respond slower on the road until the treads slightly wear down.

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One Easy Step to Increase Profitability and Retention

Tire troubles are a leading cause for violations issued by the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance. Improper tread depth is the most common tire-related CSA penalty. There are six major factors that cause irregular and premature tire wear on commercials trucks and busses. These factors include: selecting the wrong tire for the job; inadequate air pressure, improper mounting; tire imbalance and alignment; worn parts and the driving habits of the vehicles’ drivers.



Preventing Tire Blowouts By Monitoring Wear Patterns

Tire blowouts are typically caused by anything that allows air to escape and prevents the tire from supporting the weight of a vehicle. This can be the result of impact damage, a massive cut, or an unnoticed small puncture that allows the tire to slowly lose air over time until it fails.

While tires have become so reliable that “blowouts” are an uncommon occurrence today, their lack of frequency only makes them more surprising and potentially more dangerous when they do occur. What a driver does following a blowout can be the difference between a simple inconvenience or ending up in the ditch.

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Case Study | Maximize Your Investment with Groove Glove Fleet

Southland Truck Leasing (DBA Southland PacLease) is a full-service truck leasing and rental company operating out of seven locations that cover all of Louisiana. Southland Truck Leasing maintains 700+ full-service lease, contract maintenance, and rental units. As part of Louisiana’s largest medium- and heavy-duty truck dealership network, Kenworth of Louisiana can offer its customers and prospects a true, one-stop-shopping experience for all of their truck and transportation needs.

Before the Groove Glove, the company wasn’t capturing much data on their tires at all, and the service professionals treated all tire problems as a follow-up repair and part of the cost of doing business as a leasing company. The company’s owners encountered Tire Profiles at a trade show and were introduced to the Groove Glove at the booth. That’s when they decided to try it.

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Improving Tire Safety

So, in conclusion…. I have covered a lot of topics in my previous four articles pertaining to tire safety. For those who missed the previous articles here are the highlights:

  • Accidents and fatalities associated with tire issues is a major issue that needs more attention
  • In terms of vehicle related deaths, the government seems more interested in other causes like airbags and ignition switches which have caused far fewer fatalities
  • Only a very small percentage of recalled (defective) tires every make their way back to the tire manufacturer and off the roads
  • Being able to connect the tire identification number (TIN) to the vehicle identification number (VIN) and through to registration data (vehicle owner) is the only way we will be able to get the majority of these dangerous tires off the road
  • The TIN also represents another dangerous tire scenario and that is tires that have aged out based on when they were manufactured

Each of these things is a contributor to why so many tire-related accidents happen each year, and why there are so many unnecessary deaths. So, what needs to be done? As with any situation with an opportunity for improvement, there needs to be a greater focus on the problem. The government needs to play a larger role in this. There needs to be legislation passed that requires the TIN for each tire to be part of a vehicle’s registration. And, like state smog inspections, the responsibility needs to be on the auto repair industry to capture this information and report it to the Department of Motor Vehicles. Renewing a vehicle’s TAGs or registration needs to be linked to this information with a requirement to have the TIN and the overall health of the tire inspected annually. Service providers would be able to offer their customers a valuable service by performing this EVERY TIME a vehicle is serviced for any reason, eliminating the need for the consumer to make a special visit to have this performed.

As someone who has more than 25 years of experience in this industry, I anticipate that any service provider who reads this is rolling their eyes right now. Yes, this will take time, and yes, this won’t be easy, but we must start somewhere. The key will be to provide tools for the industry to use to make this easier. In order to avoid a shameless plug for my company right now, this is where I will end this discussion. I hope everyone has enjoyed this series of articles. I hope, if nothing else, it has sparked some dialogue on this subject. I only wish that someday tire safety week becomes tire safety year. If anyone is interested in discussing this with me further, I can be reached at dboyle@tireprofiles.com. I hope everyone has a safe Memorial Day weekend, and if you are traveling by car, please be safe and check your tires before you head out.

David Boyle is a 25-year industry expert and the CEO of Tire Profiles, the leading supplier of tire and alignment measurement solutions.


Telling Your Tires’ Age with the TIN

Why is the Tire Identification Number (TIN) so important? I have addressed the issue of recalled tires, but there is another important factor in the TIN, and that is found in the last 4 digits. The last 4 numbers in a TIN represent the week and year the tire was manufactured. For example, with a TIN that is DOT XX 54 X00 2613, the last 4 numbers (2613) means this tire was manufactured in the 26th week of 2013. This date is important for recall tracking, as discussed in my previous article, but it is also important to understand the age of the tire. Most people do not realize that tires can both “wear out” and “age out.” The rubber in a tire degrades over time and can cause catastrophic failure that results in many of the fatalities associated with tire problems. The conditions the tire is used can also cause the tire to degrade over time especially when impacted by climate such as exposure to excessive heat. For example, a tire that should be replaced due to age after 10 years might need to be replaced sooner if installed on a vehicle in Arizona.

Most of the major car manufactures recommend (in the owner’s manual) that a tire be replaced every 6 years, regardless of wear. Many of the tire manufactures stipulate that a tire has gone beyond its effectiveness after 10 years, regardless of any other factor, such as wear. This often-unknown factor adds a new wrinkle to tire safety—that tires need to be check for age as well as wear. The only way to do this is through the TIN. The need for replacement based on age is something not only most consumers are unaware of, but most service providers are foggy on this subject, too. A general awareness and the ability to capture and properly read the TIN are needed, so consumers can be informed of the health of their tires and make an informed decision for their safety.

David Boyle is a 25-year industry expert and the CEO of Tire Profiles, the leading supplier of tire and alignment measurement solutions.


The Beginning of Tire Safety: Tracking Tire Registration

According to the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), 3.2 billion tires were recalled between 2009 and 2013, yet less than 24% of those tires were actually recovered! What does this mean? It means a whopping 2.5 billion possibly defective tires are still on the road! This is a scary statistic. How does this happen?

For almost 50 years, the U.S. federal government and the tire industry have been grappling with the issue of tire registration. Legislation has been passed and amended numerous times in an effort to link a tire sold to the owner of that tire and vehicle. The reason so few recalled tires are ever recovered is the industry’s inability to make this connection. At the core there are two main components to tire registration—who owns the tire, and what tire do they own? Determining what tire the consumer has is accomplished by a unique identification number stamped on each side of the tire. Starting with the letters DOT, the Tire Identification Number (TIN) allows you to determine who made the tire, the tire’s size, and, most importantly, when it was made. This identifier allows tire manufacturers to track tires to specific batches and can be used for quality control and to determine what specific tires need to be recalled, should the situation arise.

The flaw in the current system is connecting the TIN to who purchased the tire. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) requires that all tires sold have the TIN and customer information registered with the tire manufacturer. Registration is handled manually with a post card or, more recently, electronically via the web. The responsibility lies with the seller of the tire to inform the consumer of the need to register their tires and provide them the tools (postcard or website) to do so. It’s the consumer’s responsibility to actually do it, although some tire retailers will do it for their customers.

The registration process is where it all falls apart, unfortunately, as very few tires ever get registered. And even the ones that are registered can be lost if the chain of ownership is broken, for instance, if the vehicle is sold or the original tires are removed. Even according to a senior member of the NTSB, the process for capturing tire information is broken, despite multiple legislative efforts to create and enforce that capture. As my previous article on tire related fatalities points out, the sheer number of accidents associated with tire problems should dictate that more be done to fix this process.

Tomorrow, I will look deeper into capturing the TIN.

David Boyle is a 25-year industry expert and the CEO of Tire Profiles the leading supplier of tire and alignment measurement solutions.


Addressing the Situation: Tire Safety

In honor of National Tire Safety Week, I will be writing a short article each day to spark some dialogue around the topic of tires and tire safety.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), approximately 700 people die every year in tire-related crashes. When compared to the statistic for drunk driving (approx. 10,000/year), this may seem small. However, when you compare it to other vehicle-related deaths, this number is huge!

In the past several years, there have been three major vehicle-related issues that have tragically taken lives, prompting recalls and public outcry that something be done. The most recent one involved defective Takata airbags that not only ended in a massive recall but also forced action by the U.S. government, NHTSA, and other governments around the world. This was a very serious situation that has resulted in more than 20 deaths worldwide.

In addition, two other vehicle-related safety issues have made headlines in recent years. General Motors has recalled more than 29 million vehicles for ignition switch problems that resulted in 124 deaths, and Toyota recalled more than 3.5 million vehicles for a sudden acceleration situation that resulted in 89 deaths.

All three of these serious and unfortunate vehicle circumstances combined have resulted in only a small percentage of the total fatalities attributed to tire issues each year. All three of the previous examples were addressed through U.S. federal government regulations, but tire regulations are still lacking. The United States takes tires and tire safety lightly versus other highly populated nations. Most countries in Europe, for example, mandate some sort of annual tire inspection to ensure vehicles are operating safely in regard to tires. Why do we not have stronger regulations like this is in the U.S.?

Check out article #2 tomorrow, when I will address more tire safety statistics.

David Boyle is a 25-year automotive industry expert and the CEO of Tire Profiles, the leading supplier of tire and alignment measurement solutions.



Tire Profiles LLC on the Move

New Division and New Expert Join the Team

Irving, TX, November 15, 2016 –(PR.com)– Tire Profiles announced today the creation of a new division as well as the news of a key tire industry veteran joining their team. “Today I am pleased to announce that Mr. John Rastetter formally of Tire Rack has joined TPI as an industry consultant. John brings over 35 years of tire industry experience to our team,” said David Boyle the President and Chief Operating Officer of Tire Profiles. “It’s safe to say that John has forgotten more about selling tires than most of us will ever know,” Boyle went on to say.

At Tire Rack John was responsible for most of the content that is on their industry leading website, as well as the training of Tire Racks’ tire experts. “John’s role at Tire Profiles will be to help build the training content for our newly formed Customer Care Division that will provide remote and on-site coaching to our customers who use our TreadSpec and Groove Glove products,” Boyle said.

“With the formation of this new division we are launching a new marketing campaign with the slogan, ‘we don’t just measure tires, we help you sell tires,’” he went on to say. Tire Profiles is the industry leader in laser based tire and alignment diagnostic technology that is sold to new car dealers and aftermarket repair and tire shops. “We provide some of the best technology and software tools for this industry but the key to any great tool is proper utilization,” Boyle noted. “We are a full service provider, he added, and it’s not enough for our products to work but the must be properly used and deliver the desired results.” By adding the process coaching element Tire Profiles will further enhance its leadership position in tire and alignment measurement solutions. “Our customers need to see us as someone who will not only sell them a great product but as a partner who will help them use it and drive the additional sales and revenue they bought it for,” Boyle added.

Tire Profiles is the industry leading software and laser technology company building solutions that dramatically improve retention through tires and gross profit through alignment sales. Big Data is also becoming an integral part of the solution, enhancing the program to make it, simple to implement, simple to execute and simple to manage.