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Friday, June 14, 2019

Are some tires from China better than others?

Another question on China tires:
"Tireman - in the Post you linked further up the thread you commented on not expecting long life performance out of the lowest priced tires. There seems to be something in all of the reports for "China Bombs" in that there are a lot of reported failures. Is the hype bigger than the problem? Should well maintained OEM tires last better than what is being reported? Is it your assessment that the seemingly high percentage of failures is due to the OEM tires being cheap, low-cost tires?

Sailun tires seem to have a good reputation, even though they are China tires. So it would seem that it's really just an issue of quality of the build. A good tire is a good tire, regardless of where it's made?"

In general, I would consider steel body tires, like many Sailun items, "Commercial" grade, be they LT or ST type and as such I would expect them to perform better that lighter duty tires (both ST & LT type). This would apply to other steel body tires too.

A problem with "reports" of failures is that almost no owners have the knowledge or training necessary to properly identify the real cause for failure. So while there may be a dozen reports of "Blowouts", there could be a dozen different root cause reasons. Some might even not be tire related cause like valve or wheel failure or pothole or 10d nail through the sidewall.

RE quality. All tires sold in the US are required to be certified by the manufacturer to be capable of passing Federal DOT Regulations. If tires do not pass a test (random selection by DOT) or if there are sufficient complaints to get the attention of NHTSA they might initiate an investigation. If it is found that tires do not pass the required testing then a recall might be ordered and recalls would include all tires made since the last tire that passed the test were made. This could be many thousands or even tens of thousands of tires. There are also per-tire fines. So this is something tire companies really do not want to have happened.

I have written a number of times on my blog about "China" tires and how I disagree with the concept which I liken to claiming that RVs made in Indiana are bad because most of the complaints or problem reports are about RVs built in Indiana.


Friday, June 7, 2019

Why not just inflate to the Certification label level?

I continue to read RV forum posts from people asking about what inflation to use. Tire Sidewall?, Sticker? Owner's manual? The inflation used by a neighbor? There is also continued confusion on what the sticker inflation is.
"Vehicle Certification Label" AKA "Tire Placard" only considers one thing. The max tire load capacity (molded on the tire sidewall) when the tire is inflated to the level associated with the original tire Load Range (Ply Rating) as shown in the industry load & Inflation tables.

Federal DOT Regulations specify the label indicate the tire inflation level needed to support AT LEAST  50% of the GAWR. NOTE there is no margin or reserve load capacity specified or required by the DOT Regulations.

Starting in Nov 2017, the RVIA (RV Industry Association) required that trailers have a 10% margin on tire load capacity. Motorhomes do not have this margin requirement from RVIA as far as I know.

This Reserve Load margin for trailers is more important than on Motorhomes due to the significantly higher Interply Shear imposed in trailer application.
Tire companies, do not know the exact loading that will be placed on their tires in RV application so you have to do a little work to learn the MINIMUM inflation needs for your personal vehicle. You could simply use the inflation on the Tire Placard but you still need to confirm, with scale measurement, that no axle is loaded more than the stated GAWR. It is also strongly recommended that you confirm your side-to-side load split is close to 50/50 as the tires do not "know" what the other tires are supporting, so you could be unknowingly overloading one tire by hundreds or even 1,000#.
I have other posts in this blog on how to learn the individual tire loads.