You know all those tires that you’ve worn out on your vehicles over the years – ever wonder where they went?
Well, given that tires are one of the most important pieces of equipment on your car, let’s take a trip down discovery lane to pay our respects to our tired old friends.
YOU DIRTY POLLUTER YOU! …or are you?
Did you know there are about 300 million worn out tires that get thrown out EVERY YEAR – in the United States alone! Some of those are yours! Yup, shame on you! Where did your tires go?? If you guessed the landfill, you’re partially right. Or if you’re old-school, you might just subscribe to the “Flame On” method and roast those bad boys to a crisp! But guess what! That’s not so nice for the planet, and doing so releases dangerous toxins and pollutes the air (just like Uncle Earl after a double stuffed burrito with extra beans).
For the rest of you that might be thinking they just biodegrade on their own…nope. Throwing them away in a landfill simply means they’ll keep stacking up over time into a giant rubber pyramid haven for rats and mosquitoes! So while a giant Luxor sized pyramid of tires may be like Vegas for rats and mosquitoes, what happens in a tire pyramid literally STAYS in a tire pyramid 🙂
THERE IS HOPE – TIRE KARMA / REINCARNATION
Fast forward to modern day, and you’ll be relieved to know that 90% of stockpiled tires have been successfully recycled (which is approximately 2-3 Billion tires). In fact, according to the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency), about 240 Million scrap tires now get recycled each year. Just take a look at this mean looking tire shredder! No tire can stand a chance!
When you buy a new set of tires today, the dealer (getTREAD included) will have the tires recycled for you – unless you’re the artistic type and decide to make a planter or sandals out of your old tires. Sandals made of tire rubber actually exist! Look it up!
THE RECYCLING KNITTY ‘TIRE’ GRITTY
When old tires get sent for recycling, they end up at a commercial reprocessing plant to be treated with chemicals that break them down into materials that can be reused. After that, the material is ground up into tiny pieces (just like you grind up your morning espresso roast). Over 110 different products are made out of material that comes from recycled tires. To name a few:
rubberized asphalt – to resurface roads
rubberized composite decking
landscaping erosion barriers
floor mats and engine belts
So the next time you’re driving on the road, or playing with your kids on the playground, just know – your tires are still working hard for you – just in a different life role!
Simply put, aquaplaning (also known as hydroplaning) is when your tires become water skis!! Technically, when enough water is between the road and your tires, the tire rubber is no longer in contact with the road and momentarily floats on top of a skin of water
If you’ve ever accidentally driven over a large patch of water at a reasonable speed, you may have experienced this temporary “sliding” or loss of direct control. Unfortunately, when you’re temporarily hydroplaning, your steering or braking inputs are severely less effective. Depending on the situation, hydroplaning can lead to total lose of control and even accidents or death.
SO…with that being said, keep reading on how to avoid aquaplaning.
THE CAUSE OF AQUAPLANING
Essentially, aquaplaning is an equation of physics. For some of us, physics class was fun, for others…not so much. BUT, regardless of your past experience with Physics, this short read is worth it to avoid an accident or worse!
Your vehicle’s tread depth and tread design, tire pressure, speed, weight, as well as the depth of the water layer on the road – all have an affect on your vehicle’s potential to hydroplane. When the layer of water between the road surface and your tires is unable to be dispersed by the treads and grooves on your tires, things start to go wonky. Ideally, tire treads and grooves are deep enough to channel away the water out from underneath the tire which allows the tire to remain in contact with the road surface. But when your tire tread is low (for example) and you’re hydroplaning, a significant amount of water is still present underneath the tire and creates kind of a surf board for the tire to ride on! Sounds like fun, right? (eh..not so much)
There are other factors that also contribute to aquaplaning, such as under of over inflated tires. When your tires are under or overinflated, the shape on the tire “footprint” on the road is no longer optimum and the capacity to maintain grip in wet conditions diminishes.
QUICK CHECKLIST TO AVOID AQUAPLANING
Ok, so now that’s you’ve got a basic understanding of the Physics involved in aquaplaning/hydroplaning, here’s a quick checklist to avoid it:
Ensure your tread depth is in good condition or at least meets minimum legal requirements
Make sure your tire pressures are matching what’s on your door placard/sticker – (You can find this in when you open your door, on the door jamb)
Take it easy and lower your speed, especially in heavy rain
Increase your following distance, since you braking traction will be diminished compared to dry
If you see a deep puddle, safely reduce your speed but don’t make erratic swerving motions which can reduce your vehicle’s traction
IF YOU DO AQUAPLANE EVEN AFTER TRYING TO AVOID IT
Try to keep the vehicle in a straight line by holding the steering wheel steady in towards the initial direction of travel (Don’t swerve because when you regain grip, you’ll catapult to wherever your wheels are pointing)
Contrary to your gut instinct, do NOT slam on the brakes! This will potentially make the loss of control even worse. Same thing goes for accelerating
Let the vehicle slow down naturally while coasting (foot off the accelerator pedal) and without any brake pedal application
And there you have it! Be prepared, be aware, and respect the laws of physics – especially in the rain!
If you’re new to cars, or it’s your first time buying wheels and tires – you may have heard the term “plus sizing.” Keep scrolling to find out the details on why we do it, and how it’s done.
WHY PLUS SIZE?
Getting bigger and more stylish wheels with low profile tires can be a great way to dramatically change the character of your ride and achieve that upgraded, unique look.
As an added benefit, by decreasing the sidewall height (by lowering the aspect ratio) the wheel and tire assembly becomes less compliant (less squishy) – resulting in sharper handling/quicker response in most cases. *If you’re not quite sure what aspect ratio means, pop over to our quick blog post on How to Read A Tire – Part 1 of 2 for a refresher.
HOW DO I PLUS SIZE?
Plus sizing basically means buying wheels that have a larger diameter (measured in inches) than factory specification – but then decreasing the tire side wall height by lowering the tire aspect ratio. Take a look at the diagram below, and notice that the overall outer diameter of each scenario stays almost the same. For accuracy of the vehicle’s speedometer reading, you want the new outer diameter to stay within 3% of factory spec.
Plus One (1″) – Provides better handling and cornering at the cost of ride quality
Plus Two (2″) – Provides style and responsiveness, but reduces ride quality even further
Plus Three (3″) and above – Provides maximum style while significantly reducing suspension and ride quality. Potholes, curbs, snow and ice, and other hazards pose extra risk to vehicles rolling on these substantially larger wheels
THINGS TO CONSIDER
There is a risk associated with plus sizing, namely – accidental encounters with potholes, curbs and debris on the road. So, once you’ve got plus sized wheels and tires, you’ll need to take extra care. And surprisingly, wide tires tend to float on loose surfaces and cannot process water as quickly as narrow tires. From a physics perspective, it’s about Force over Area (or pressure). The same force over a larger area = less pressure (pounds per square inch). Less downward pressure onto a surfaces like snow and water soaked highways may lead to reduced traction and hydroplaning.
Lastly, the maximum wheel and tire plus sizing applications for trucks and SUVs may result in wheel/tire combos that are significantly heavier than the vehicle’s original equipment. Slower acceleration, longer stopping distances, increased suspension and brake wear may result.
Plus sizing is a great way to make your ride more unique. Need help finding the right plus-size wheel and tires for your needs? Contact Us by email or use the Live Chat feature on the bottom right of your screen. Already know what tires you need? Jump over to our tire shopping link. You’ll enjoy less shopping hassle – with our innovative “Driving Style” filter, you can zone in on the best tire for your needs – and of course – we COME to YOU! Happy shopping!
So you’ve got a tire puncture. Bummer. We feel your pain. Well, here’s what you need to know to get up to speed on the basics of tire puncture repair.
IS YOUR TIRE REPAIRABLE?
To ensure your safety, the T.I.A. (Tire Industry Association) sets forth guidelines on whether any road going passenger tire can be repaired or not. Here’s the breakdown:
max puncture diameter of 1/4″
tire tread depth must not be less than 2/32″ (roughly 2mm)
puncture must not be near tire sidewall
the tire must not be driven flat for long distance (this causes damage to the structure of the tire)
no other damage (weather cracking, tears, exposed steel belt)
If your tire is a run-flat tire – some manufacturers do not recommend repair
QUICK DIY REPAIR KITS – HMM……
In order to guarantee your safety and peace of mind, we don’t recommend using DIY puncture repair kits such as the inflation goo, puncture string stick (looks like beef jerky), or any other temporary solutions. Over time these methods have been shown to create wheel imbalance issues, and leak air causing low pressure conditions that could lead to a tire blowout. Blowouts are not fun, and can lead to serious injury or death – so we’d recommend avoiding these temporary repair methods if at all possible and doing it right the first time.
THE RIGHT WAY TO REPAIR A PUNCTURE (PRO METHOD- BRIEFLY EXPLAINED):
Inspect the outside of the tire and remove the penetrating object (marking the spot)
Deflate the tire and remove from the wheel
Clean the inner tire area around the puncture area to be repaired
scrape away contaminants
apply pre-cleaner solution
drill the injury channel to clean out steel cords
buff the surface to prep
Fill the Injury channel with a Combination Patch/Plug kit while using special tire sealant/rubber cement
Trim the Combination Patch Plug stem from the outside tread of the tire
If you’re more visual, take a look at this quick step by step pictorial on how a professional tire repair should be done.
Well, that’s 3 Things To Know About Tire Puncture Repair. For more info on specific recommendations for your puncture, hop over to our Puncture Repair service page and book an appointment.
Avoid interruptions to your day. Get a guaranteed repair at a time and place of YOUR convenience, with getTREAD!
Ever wondered how old your tires are? Looking to buy a used tire? Keep scrolling and you’ll find out what reading the tire DOT number can tell you. * By the way, D.O.T. stands for Department of Transportation.
Here’s an example of a tire DOT number:
1) PLANT AND SIZE CODE:
The first 4 characters of the tire DOT number are the plant code, followed by the size code. This comes in handy if there is ever a tire recall. Manufacturers can read the DOT code on a faulty product, using it to narrow down which plant may have made faulty products – and send that associated tire code information out to alert anyone who may have purchased a tire containing that DOT code. This is all made possible by registering your contact information and your tire DOT numbers with the specific manufacturers (tire dealers are now required to do this for all their customers – to keep everyone safe).
2) BRAND CODE:
This is a code used internally so that manufacturers know the model/spec of the tire if it needs to be retraced. It obviously varies from brand to brand, but suffice it to say it differentiates a Michelin Pilot A/S 3+ from a Michelin Pilot Super Sport (for example)
3) DATE OF MANUFACTURE:
The last 4 digits of the tire DOT number are the Week and Year of manufacture. It’s important to know the date of manufacture of your tires, especially if you are buying used tires. As tires pass the 24 month lifespan, they tend to lose essential oils through exposure to heat and sun. This loss of oil content leads to a decrease in the tire’s flexibility and elasticity. This can lead poor traction, crackling, or tearing in the side wall if not removed from service appropriately. So if you’re in the market for used tires, be sure to ask for the DOT number of each tire and check the last 4 digits to confirm if they are more than 24 months old. Used tires are definitely cheaper than the comparable new tire, but just keep in mind there may be an element of safety to consider before making your decision.
Well, now you know a little bit more about tire DOT number decoding. Rest assured if there ever is a recall on a set of tires bought from getTREAD, you will be notified immediately and the appropriate steps and credits will be applied to remedy the situation as quickly as possible.
For more info on tire safety, hop over to our 3 Things To Know About Tire Puncture. And of course, if you’re in the market for new tires, check out the top brands and shop for tires based on your needs. Search by vehicle or license plate, filter by driving style. Book appointment online, and of course – WE COME TO INSTALL.
getTREAD – Mobile Tire Service that fits YOUR lifestyle.
Tire manufacturers publish UTQG (Uniform Tire Quality Grade) ratings to help consumers understand the potential performance of a tire, based on 3 things. Treadwear, Traction, and Temperature. The one thing to note hear is, the individual tire manufacturers (like Michelin, Bridgestone, Pirelli) grade their own tires, based on comparison with a their own standardized control tire. All tires are tested on a 400 mile test road in West Texas for 7,200 miles. The wheel alignment, air pressures, and tire rotations are done as consistently as possible. They then measure the treadwear and come up with a calculation on how long the tread will last.
However, it’s currently not 100% appropriate to compare two tires from two different manufacturers directly, because they are essentially rated according to slightly different scales (like we mentioned earlier, each manufacturer sets up their own standard control tire to measure against). Nevertheless, all manufacturers are required to displays their tire’s ratings on the tire sidewall, and it’s something they can use to advertise their tires.
Here’s an example:
It shows a UTQG of 680 A B. Now, to find out what those numbers mean, let’s dig a little deeper.
1) TREADWEAR RATINGS
Treadwear rating is designed to let the consumer know roughly how long the tire tread with last (in miles) before needing replacement. The tire is measured against a control tire which has a grade of 100. This means that a tire of treadwear rating of 200 should go twice as far before wearing out than a tire with treadwear rating 100. A tire with rating of 80 will have a shorter life than the control tire. The higher the number, the more mileage, the lower the number, the less mileage.
2) TRACTION RATING
This is a measure of a tires straight line wet coefficient of traction, while the tire skids across a test surface. It’s done on a fixtured trailer that skids the tires across wet asphault and concrete test surfaces while measuring the coefficient of friction. The way the test is done, it cancels out any affect of tire tread design, and rather tests the tire’s rubber compound. Traction ratings, from highest to lowest, are AA, A, B and C. AA has the most traction, while C has the least.
3) TEMPERATURE RATING
The last UTQG rating is related to temperature. It denotes how much heat is generated or dissipated by the tire. The test is run by rolling an inflated tire against a giant test drum. The tire is run at high speeds and the temperature is measured. Temperature ratings are A, B, and C. A being the highest (highest speed to manage heat), C being the lowest (lower speed to maintain heat). C is the minimum legal rating for a tire sold in the U.S.
Well, now you know a little bit more about UTQG ratings. Tire testing is quite a complex science. And it’s for that reason why we mentioned that these ratings are difficult to compare (apples to apples) against different manufacturers. But as a rough reference, it’s a place to start if you want to get a basic idea about a tire’s performance potential.
For more info on specific tire recommendations for your application, hop over to our tire shopping link. You’ll enjoy less shopping hassle – with our innovative “Driving Style” filter, you can zone in on the best tire for your needs – and of course – we COME to INSTALL! Happy shopping!
The quest to choose the right tires can seem like a maze to a lot of people – so we’ve laid out three things to know when starting your search for tires:
1) CONSIDER YOUR DRIVING CONDITIONS
Choosing tires is kind of like choosing shoes (just go with me – it’ll make sense). You wouldn’t wear flip flops to trudge through snow in Minnesota, and you shouldn’t drive through it in summer tires either. Neither would you wear hiking boots to go out dancing – that’s like driving on studded snow tires in the summer! The point is – dress for the occasion & know your driving conditions. – and yes, if you’re thinking it – the little black dress would be considered the “all season tire” – works well in most occasions.
Ok, back to being serious. Here are some more factors to keep in mind:
Temperature: below freezing, mild, scorching hot
Rain: dry as a t-rex bone, moist-ish like a good turkey sandwich, or as soaked as a German Shepard after playing outside with the sprinklers
Speed conditions: low speed stop & go, mid speed around town , cruising on the open highway
2) CONSIDER YOUR DRIVING STYLE
Step two on how to choose the right tires, is knowing how you drive. Are you easy going, normal paced, or spirited & lively?
If you brake, accelerate, and corner harder than average( like with sport oriented vehicles), you should keep that in mind when browsing the tire categories (briefly explained below)
How many miles do you put on your vehicle per year? This will help you clarify if you need a treadwear warrantied tire (some brands offer 60,000+ mile treadwear warranties).
Will you be keeping the vehicle for a while, or will you be selling the vehicle soon? Buy tires appropriate to your situation.
3) KNOW THE TIRE CATEGORIES
Step three of your quest on how to choose the right tires, is knowing the tire categories. Check out the quick break-down below to get your head around all the different types of tires you may see
All Season / Touring: The default go-to. Very versatile, they go pretty much anywhere and perform well in most conditions. Good traction in wet or dry, and longer tread life than performance tires
Performance: Better acceleration, handling, and braking during sporty driving on dry roads. Not as good as All-Season in the rain. Shorter tread life than All-Season, and not recommended for snow.
Ultra High Performance (UHP): Best handing, acceleration, and braking on dry roads to unleash the maximum potential from your sports oriented vehicle during “spirited” driving. Wet traction is worse than All-Season, and the tread life will be the shortest of all the categories.
Winter/Snow/Mud: Great at their intended conditions, but tire noise is noticeably louder than Performance or All Season
So that’s 3 Quick Tips To Choose The Right Tires. For more info on specific tire recommendations for your application, hop over to our tire shopping link. You’ll enjoy less shopping hassle – with our innovative “Driving Style” filter, you can zone in on the best tire for your needs – and of course – we COME to YOU! Happy shopping!
The speed rating is coded as a letter. In the image below it shows ‘H’. It relates to the max speed the tire is safely rated for, as shown in the chart below
Tires have load rating that specify whats the max weight the tire can handle safely. It’s a little tricky since the number on the tire doesn’t directly correlate to a weight. But lucky for you, we’ve put the conversion table right here:
The key takeaway when shopping for new replacement tires is to make sure the new tire load rating is at least equal to your factory specification tire. This ensures the tires are able to handle the load of your vehicle safely and consistently.
For trucks that may or may not have a dually rear axle (4 rear tires), there is a special case. These tires are branded with two load indexes. The first number indicates the load carrying capacity if the tire is installed on a truck with a single-wheel rear axle, and the second number applies when the tire is used in a dual rear application.
It might seem counter-intuitive that a tire is rated to carry less weight when working together in a dual pair – but the purpose is to build in additional reserve capacity in case one of the two tires fails. This allows for a safety factor in the event only one tire carries the load normally handled by two tires (dually rear axle)
M+S: Mud & Snow. These tires will provide traction in light snow, but you wouldn’t want to be caught in a blizzard with a set of M+S tires.
Mountain/Snowflake or ‘Alpine‘: These tires are approved for “severe snow service”
Knowing what those numbers and symbols on your tires mean, keeps you informed and safe! Plus you can be that person that drops random tire knowledge at dinner parties and earn some wisdom points 🙂
In case you were wondering, your company fleet vehicle downtime can be translated directly into dollars your company is losing. In fact, downtime costs a fleet an average of $448 to $760 a day, per vehicle. Yup, it adds up fast. Let’s dig into the true cost of fleet vehicle downtime:
When it comes to fleet vehicle costs, they can be broken down into two categories: obvious and hidden. Regular operating expenses such as fuel, maintenance, and insurance are considered obvious costs. Hidden costs can be more difficult to anticipate.
A hidden downtime cost is difficult to accurately budget for, as no additional money is actually spent on these costs. When a employee and vehicle are sidelined, the company incurs downtime costs. These costs can quickly add a significant amount to a fleet’s operating budget.
For example, a technician/vehicle combo working for an Air Conditioning service business in Central Florida can generate billable revenue on average $200/job, and normally completes 3-5 jobs per day – that’s about $600-$1000/day in generated revenue per technician.
When that technician’s vehicle gets sidelined for maintenance, that technicians/vehicle combo misses out on a half day’s worth of jobs – if not more. That equates to between $300-$500 in lost potential revenue. Now you can probably start to see the true cost of fleet vehicle downtime taking it’s toll.
The hourly cost for an Air Conditioning technician is roughly between $22-30 and the opportunity cost (lost profit) can be $35-45, making the total hourly “cost” of downtime $57-$75/hr. While that figure on its own doesn’t seem alarming, it add ups as fleet size grows. Case in point: a 20-unit fleet with similar technicians at an average of 3 half-day downtime events per unit, per year, will result in an annual downtime cost of $18,000. Scale up to a 50-unit fleet and that’s $45,000. And just to drive it home further, a 200-unit fleet with 3 half-day downtime events per unit, per year, will result in $180,000 in lost opportunity cost. That’s money you could be putting back into your business.
One of the keys to saving money and keeping a fleet vehicle based business healthy is to minimize vehicle downtime. Efficiency and optimization is paramount, as increasing the percent of up-time for your vehicles will ultimately lead to more profit for your business.
Studies show that fleet vehicles participating in a preventive maintenance program experience about 20 percent less downtime days than those that aren’t.
Plus, fleets can take advantage of many technologies that provide insight and real-time data through vehicle tracking and On Board Diagnostics. Using these tools can lower the cost of your fleet maintenance by taking a pro-active and preventive maintenance approached based on your actual vehicle’s performance – with the end goal being cost savings and increased revenue through more vehicle/technician uptime.
getTREAD is doing it’s part to help fleet vehicle managers by delivering a revolutionary Mobile Tire Service that eliminates vehicle downtime completely. We use tactics like providing tire installation at your location (office, warehouse, even job-site), tread wear tracking, auto-appointment setting for regular balance/rotations, and more. Our goal is to help fleet managers optimize their vehicle uptime and put them on the road to cost savings.
Plainly speaking – operating budgets for fleet managers are tighter today than ever before. Time in the brick & mortar tire shop, instead of on the road, can mean lost sales and less face time with customers, resulting in a hit to your bottom line.
For more info about how getTREAD can help support your tire needs and eliminate vehicle downtime, check out our Fleet Services page – your accountant will appreciate it 🙂
All those numbers molded onto the side of your tire actually mean something! Here are some tips on how to read a tire:
-The width of the tire tread in millimeters. This is important to know, since if your replacement tire doesn’t match factory specification, your replacement tire may not fit on your wheel/rim, or if it fits, you may have interference between the tires and the chassis or body. Be sure and take notes or pictures of your current tire width if you’re looking to replace it with the same specifications.
-The height of the tire sidewall as a percentage of the tire width. The higher this number, the taller the tire is (assuming the tire width remains constant). For example, a 225/35/R17 tire has aspect ratio of 35. If compared with a 225/65/R17 tire, the 65 aspect ratio tire will be taller. Higher aspect ratio tires generally are designed to provide more air cushioning or ‘compliance’ to provide a more supple and comfortable ride. But as the aspect ratio increases (and ride comfort increases), it reduces it’s sporty or responsive character compared to a lower aspect ratio tire.
-R stands for “radial” tire construction. The number is the diameter of the wheel rim, in inches. Be sure the replacement tire diameter matches the wheel you are planning to have it installed on. It makes for a bad day when you try to mount a 17″ tire onto a 18″ wheel 🙁
It’s important to have the correct tire sizes that will fit your wheels correctly (some vehicles have different front and rear tire/wheel sizes). Buying tires that are not the correct factory specification may lead to interference with chassis/suspension/body components.
If you’re interested in changing the size of your wheel/tire package (Plus Sizing or Down Sizing) – check out this link for Plus Sizing Explained.
Still looking for more info on other tire markings you’re curious about? Jump over to our “How to Read a Tire, Part 2” to find out what those other numbers and symbols mean
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