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Environmental groups petition EPA to ban lead tire weights

lead-tire-weightsLead tire weights are small pieces of metal which are clipped to the rims of light truck and passenger tires in order to balance them out. On average, 4.5oz of lead is clipped to the wheel rims of every automobile in the United States! While the weights certainly do their part to balance tires, they often come loose and fall off as the vehicle is moving. This allows lead to be washed into waterways, eaten by animals, or pulverized into toxic dust over time. Once lead enters the atmosphere or water, it becomes extremely toxic to living creatures.

Now, a coalition of environmental groups is spearheading another effort to get lead tire weights banned. The federal government has already banned the use of lead in paint, gasoline and other products. It is estimated that tire weights are responsible for contributing over one million pounds of uncontrolled and unmanaged lead into the environment every year. The Bush administration rejected a similar petition 4 years ago citing lack of evidence despite numerous studies.

There are numerous tire weight alternatives that do not use lead, which is one of the 31 so-called toxic “priority chemicals” that has already been targeted for reduction by the EPA. Currently lead tire weights make up 80% of the market. A spokesperson from the EPA announced they had received the petition and would read and deliver their response within 90 days. A ban could not only affect weight manufacturers such as Henessy-Bada, Perfect Equipment and Plombco Inc, but also retail and wholesale tire distributors who would have to deal with inventory that currently is using lead weights.

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Falken High Country A/T light truck/SUV tires

 

Falken has announced it will begin producing a new line of light truck/SUV tires: the High Country A/T.

Falken has announced it will begin producing a new line of light truck/SUV tires: the High Country A/T.

Falken Tire has introduced a brand new line of light truck and SUV tires tentatively dubbed the High Country A/T line. This new line of tires feature plenty of truck-friendly specs including a deeper tread depth, heavy siping to improve traction in wet conditions, and M+S (mud/snow) rated performance. The result is a well-rounded tire perfect for the the rugged conditions that most light truck and SUV owners subject their trucks to. If you’re not a fan of off-roading to work, the High Country A/T  still delivers stellar performance on asphalt. 

Thirty-four different sizes of these new wholesale Falken tires (metric, floatation, & LT) are schedule to be shipping to regional distributors in the near future. Rim sizes for the new line range from 15 to 20 inches in diameter to offer support for a diverse lineup of trucks and SUVs. Judging by the performance we’ve seen first-hand from Falken’s line of passenger tires, including models like the Ziex ZE-912 and the ZE-512, we’re expecting the Falken High Country A/Ts to be a top-seller in the industry.

Filed under: Falken Tires, Light Truck Tires, Truck Tires, , , , ,

Eco-friendly tires: Yokohama Z.environment

eco-friendly-yokohama-zenvironment

Breaking news in the eco-friendly tire market – Yokohama has officially announced that all four sizes of its 103ZR fuel efficient truck tires are now at full production. The 103ZR model is part of Yokohama’s Z.environment line which also includes 703ZL and 501ZA models. The Z.environment tires offer a combination of rubber compound, tread design and casing construction to create a long-lasting tread and low rolling resistance, which ultimately equates to better fuel mileage.

Other features of the 103ZR models include stone ejection technology, stronger and more pliable rubber, a wide and deep tread that promotes even wear, and a casing construction that predicts changes in tire shape that occur with early wear. All of these features make the 103ZR Z.environment tires a great all-position truck tire for any application. These eco-friendly wholesale Yokohama truck tires will be available at regional wholesale dealers in the coming weeks, so keep an eye out for what is sure to be a popular product line.

The four available sizes are:

  •  295/75R22.5 14(G) and 16(H) ply
  •  11R22.5 14(G) and 16(H) ply
  •  285/75R24.5 14(G) ply
  •  11R24.5 14(G) and 16(H) ply

Filed under: Eco-friendly Tires, Truck/Commercial Tires, Yokohama Tires, , , , , , ,

Overview: Mickey Thompson Sportsman S/T Radial

Muscle car owners looking for an all-season performance radial have a promising new aftermarket option: the Mickey Thompson Sportsman S/T radial. The tire is designed for high performance handling and rugged old school styling. Speed rated at T (up to 118 mph), the Sportsman S/T is an ideal choice for muscle car owners who need a durable tire that also offers a smooth ride, efficient mileage, and an M&S rated tread pattern. For those who don’t want the white letter look, the S/T radials can be mounted black sidewall facing outwards.

Mickey Thompson is owned by Cooper Tire & Rubber Co., and has been designing and manufacturing racing and high performance tires since 1963.  These new wholesale Mickey Thompson tires are available in 8 popular sizes:

Size Serv.
Desc.
Appx.
Weight
Approved
Rims
Section
Width
Tread
Width
Overall
Diameter
P225/60R15 95T 23 6.0-8.0 8.6 7.2 25.7
P235/60R15 98T 26 6.5-8.5 9.2 7.6 26.1
P245/60R15 100T 26 7.0-8.5 9.5 8.0 26.6
P215/70R15 97T 26 5.5-7.0 8.7 7.0 26.7
P295/50R15 105S 32 8.0-10.0 12.22 10.1 26.8
P255/60R15 102T 27 7.0-9.0 10.24 8.2 27.0
P225/70R15 100T 27 6.0-7.5 9.1 7.2 27.4
P275/60R15 107T 31 7.5-9.5 10.7 8.9 28.1

mickey-thompson-sportsman-st-radial

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Falken launches revamped Web site

faken-logo-tireFalken Tire Corporation has launched a re-design of their Web site with an emphasis on multimedia, content, and faster load times. Users can now easily find up to date headlines, product information, videos, and the popular Falken tire fitment guide in one straight-forward, user-friendly interface. Ease of use certainly doesn’t sacrifice aesthetic appeal, which is more eye-catching and entertaining than ever.

“Our goal was to enhance the Web experience of our fans and customers with content that is current, informative and entertaining,” says Falken Director of Marketing Andrew Hoit.

The tire industry has infamous lagged behind others when it comes to adopting new technology. However, it appears that more and more companies are understanding the limitless benefits of creating an online presence for their business. From international manufacturers to local tire shops, businesses are embracing technology and using it to improve the efficiency of their daily operation. Wholesale dealers allow customers to buy wholesale tires online, while companies like Falken recruit distributors with online campaigns. The Falken Web site is just the latest example of the tire industry finally warming up the internet and computer technology in general!

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What kind of tires to buy

buy-new-tiresWhen setting out to purchase new tires for your vehicle, it may be difficult to narrow down the available selection. Obviously, you’ll want to select tires that fit your car or truck, but what else do you need to know before making a final decision? Before buying new tires, go through this list of questions. The answers you come up with should help you highlight your specific needs. The answers will also make it easier for a salesperson to help you find the right tires, since they don’t have to waste time talking about units that you don’t or won’t need.

  1. What type of tires are on your car now? Are they OE (original equipment), snow tires, high-performance, etc?
  2. Do you like your current tires? (Do they provide a smooth ride and sharp handling? Do you like the overall aesthetics?)
  3. Which is more important to you: sharp handling and stop-on-dime deceleration or a smoother ride and long lifespan?
  4. Do you care what your tires look like? If so, what type of look are you going for?
  5. Do you expect service and warranties on your new tires?

The answers to these 5 questions should give you some direction in your search for new tires. Spend some time doing research online or over the phone, then head over to your local tire shop to see what they can order from their wholesale tire dealer. Shops love to work with educated customers since it makes their lives easier. If you do your homework, everyone wins in the end.

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Researchers aim to use defatted soy flour to make tires more eco-friendly

eco-friendly-tiresCarbon black. Doesn’t sound very green does it? These petroleum-based particles have been used as filler by tire manufacturers for years – but that might be about to change.

As the price of petroleum rises and existing sources dwindle, researchers are looking toward the future with potential bio-based tire filler alternatives.  One possible solution is soybean flour, which is being examined as a “green filler” by Agricultural Research Service scientists Lei Jong and Jeffrey Byars. Jong and Byars have created a special process that uses defatted soy flour, water, and rubber latex to achieve elasticity scores similar to tires reinforced with carbon black. Not only is soybean flour inexpensive, but it’s also grown domestically and doesn’t pose a pollution hazard like carbon black does.

The scientists at ARS have also teamed up with representatives from the rubber industry to explore new eco-friendly possibilities in the global marketplace. We’re looking forward to the next generation of sustainable wholesale tires – hopefully they arrive sooner than later!

Source: Science Daily

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Michelin expects 4th quarter profit drop

michellin-tires-logoThe current worldwide economic downturn is hitting tire manufacturers hard, as sales to carmakers continue to drop steeply in the face of lower consumer demand for new vehicles. Michelin announced today that they expected their recent production cuts to bite into their 4th quarter profits.

As car sales decline across the globe, demand for passenger car and light truck tires continues to mirror the drop.  Tire sales to carmakers fell by 33.5% in Europe and 31% in North America last month compared to November 2007 sales figures.

Michelin North America plans to make use of temporary layoffs at the Donaldson plant in South Carolina in order to reduce production of wholesale tires.  The French tiremaker is only one of many manufacturers that are feeling the pinch thanks to lower auto sales across the board.

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