By Roger Marble
Occasionally I will get questions about some specific feature in a tire or am asked why tire engineers didn’t design tires to perform in a different manner. Sometimes some even want to question why I didn’t design a tire to perform some task such as supporting more load so the RV owner wasn’t forced to buy a more expensive tire.
The primary reason is that there are numerous federal safety regulations that all tires sold in the U.S. for highway use must pass or face fines that could be as high as $1,000 per tire.
For those that think they can do a better job of designing tires, I can save them some time when they do the research themselves – so they can ignore people such as myself who do have experience on the subject.
For those interested in the various safety regulations as they pertain to vehicles you can start HERE. Then start digging down to the appropriate specific standard.
For my 40-year career, I had to live every day under Chapter V National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, Department of Transportation, and most of the time focus on Section 571 (but occasionally confirm others sections such as 569, 573, 574 and a few others).
I found myself most concerned with Sub Part B and 571.109, 571.119 and, of course, 571.139. Our focus would change depending on the type and size tire we might be tasked with developing or evaluating.
I doubt that you want to have to learn all the appropriate sections. But if you don’t want to accept my experience and expertise, you are welcome to read and research all of 571 and then contact the appropriate department in DOT to get a clarification on some of the apparent contradictions.
Good luck with your research and education.
Have a tire question? Ask Roger on his new RV Tires Forum here. It’s hosted by RVtravel.com and moderated by Roger. He’ll be happy to help you.