1/9/2015

4×4 Tyres-Which are the right ones for you ? Consider the excellent General 4×4 Range

 Customers are still not sure which 4×4 tyres to choose

4x4 Tyres

4×4 Tyres; Mud terrain tyre on a Land Rover Defender. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

This article is a follow up from one that I did a few years ago. One of the problems that we have at Pellon tyres, comes from the owners of 4×4 vehicles who are not sure which or what tyres to fit to their vehicles.

In our area of Halifax in the Pennine foothills, we have several types of different terrains to cope with. Choosing the right tyre can be difficult.

Every tyre a manufacturer makes is designed with specific strengths in mind. How well it performs to these strengths depends on the construction methods, materials used and the technologies applied in the design and testing process. 4×4 tyres by definition introduce even more variables than these into the mixing pot. For our area we recommend a 50/50 or a 40/60 tread ratio between a normal type summer tyre and a rugged off road tyre. To make it a little easier to select the right one, a good place to start is to think about what you intend to use your 4×4 for. Many people used to say the Land rover as just a status car, where others such as farmers need Land-rovers for more practical uses, so a different tyre application is needed.

If you are intending to use your vehicle off road then you need to determine just how extreme the terrain is likely to be and how much time you are likely to spend on it. Farmers would be doing far more off road work and therefore would require a much heavier tread pattern on the tyres.

Off Road Grading Index for 4×4 tyres selection

To help our customers we use a very good visual guide called an (off road Grading Index) or ORGI for short, and then grade all the 4×4 tyres accordingly on our stock compute so that we can tell customers exactly which tyre is the best for them. The ORGI guide assigns every 4X4 Off Road tyres we feature with an off-road competency rating between 1 & 10. From here it is possible to disregard certain tyres as unsuitable and narrow the field of selection down. It works of an easy to understand scale from 1 to 10 depending on how tough you want your tyre to be, an excellent grading system. I hope this will be of help to all my customers who own 4×4 and SUV vehicles and want General 4×4 tyres.

4x4 tyres

ORGI chart

 About Eric Roberts

 

Hi I would like to introduce myself. I have worked in the
Garage and tyre industry now for 40 years. I worked for a couple of national
tyre companies before starting my first business. I now own a company here in
the UK called Pellon Tyre and Auto-centre, and I am a keen blogger about
anything to do with cars and their related products that will help my business.

Nitrogen Tyre Inflation

Nitrogen Tyre Inflation-Top 10 reasons NOT to put nitrogen in your tyres

Nitrogen Tyre Inflation

Nitrogen Tyre Inflation

In the tyre trade we often come across new ideas that seem to spring from nowhere. For this reason, I was pleased to see this video from out of Australia. Of course, the internet has made this a small world. Therefore we can now all speak to each other by email and distance is no barrier.

As the owner of Pellon Tyres here in Halifax, UK. Accordingly, I like to provide the best equipment and service to my customers.Hence, over the years I have tried many new types services to help enhance our customers experience. Also to keep uptodate with the latest gadgets that hit the marketplace.

Nitrogen used in tyre inflation, is not a new thing. .The national tyre companies were the first to use commercially. I believe that it was first designed to use on the motorsport scene. Naturally, this is the first place that tyre manufacturers experiment with new tyres and associated products.Including. nitrogen to inflate tyres with.

I did however, have my doubts?. Tyre companies were trying to charge extra, similar to new “tubeless valves” in the old days. During the period of my interest in the product, I asked a round various suppliers, that provided the machines. Of course, this was at trade shows. I received a mixed reaction. This depended on how keen a salesman was in selling me a machine.

Nitrogen Tyre Inflation (no thanks)

However, I still had my doubts as to the advantages of using nitrogen to fill tyres. In the early days of tubeless tyres, water became a problem. The compressors that we used produced water as well as air. Hence, this water would enter the tyres. This would not be acceptable. In the following years, various filter were added to the compressors and the water was filtered out. Thus, producing clean air.

I eventually went against the idea of using nitrogen only and we have had no problems whatsoever. This video endorses my decision.

https://www.pellonautocentre.com/?s=nitrogen

Eric Roberts

Giant Earthmover tyres-These were the great days-Fitting these giant tyres?

Giant Earthmover tyres

Giant Earthmover tyres; I must admit that I thought I knew all about tyres, in my younger days? That was until I started to work on earthmover tyres.

My first venture into the field of the Giant Earthmover tyres came from a tyre company in Leeds. Goodyear tyres earthmover division owned the company. Because the company bordered onto a busy main road, we also serviced the tyres on trucks and cars.

Giant Earthmover tyres

Giant Earthmover tyres, being transported to a site.

My first job came when I first started working in the reception of the truck and car tyre fitting bays. I was on familiar ground and worked selling all the brands of tyres that I was used to. Because we worked for Goodyear tyres, then they were our primary brand. At the depot, we also sold Michelin tyres. I was soon to learn that the Michelin brand was synonymous with hard wear and long lasting.

I was also working with large companies and the fleets of trucks and vans that went with them. I was surprised at the following that Michelin tyres had. Later in my career, about two years on, I started to work on the earthmover side of the business.

I started out as a sales representative but soon found that this was not the job for me. I did not realise the amount of extra knowledge that I required in the field of earthmover tyres. I decided to start again at the bottom of the ladder.

Because of their huge size,  Earthmover tyres had to be fitted from the back of large trucks. The first thing I had to do was to pass my heavy goods vehicle test. I passed my test the first time at the Wakefield Testing Centre.

Giant Earthmover tyres

After about six months of training, I was beginning to learn the job and started to travel all over the UK fitting these giant tyres. To my surprise, Michelin tyres were still very popular in the field of earthmover tyres. The Michelin tyres were more expensive, but would wear better, and their casing quality was second to none. The casing is the tyre that has used all of the tread and then can be used for remoulding. The remoulding option would give the original purchase a second and third life. This is the reason that the Michelin tyres are very cost effective in the long run.

It is the reason why many hauliers go for the most expensive tyres which are the Michelins. When the tyre is worn down, and there is no tread left, then they can be successfully remoulded and have a second and third life. Michelin casings is a much sought after commodity in the tyre remoulding world.

Buying cheap online tyres can be a time saving exercise.

Buying cheap online tyres

Buying cheap online tyres-As we all know most of the major stores in the retail sector have their own websites. The stores also have an online presence for selling their products and have embraced the great idea of selling the products online. This includes the tyre retail sector. Tyre companies can now sell a range of tyres from cheap tyres, including many budget brands to quality brands, such as Continental tyres and Goodyear Tyres.

Now in 2016, the small local retail tyre companies, such as Pellon Tyres in Halifax Yorkshire UK, can offer tyres online at prices just as competitive as the large multi-national companies. If the customer knows the correct replacement tyres for their vehicle then they can visit their favourite, local tyre retailer and buy the tyres for just as cheap as the big companies. All they have to do is enter the tyre size or the registration number of the car and order the tyres online for fitting at whatever date they require.

Buying cheap online tyres

Buying cheap online tyres

Our customers in Halifax can even have the tyres sent out to most postcodes in the UK for the same price. The prices online include fitting or delivery, with no extra charge for sending the tyres out.

Buying cheap online tyres

Why order from a national tyre company, when you can buy from your local tyre retailer online and still get a very competitive price. Many of the larger online tyre retailers send their customers to some back street garage for the tyres to be fitted. Drivers must cringe when they turn up to some of these places?

Another good part of having an online presence is that our local customers can check to see what their tyres are going to cost. We have many customers that just turn up and tell us that they have been online at our website, and could they have say two of those 205/55R16 General mid- range tyres.

Buying cheap online tyres

This is great for us because we know that many of our customers return time and time again, because of our great customer care and service. Looking online for their tyres is just an extension to that service.

 

By looking at our prices and tyre brands they can knowingly trust our prices to be very competitive, and also know that we will give them an excellent service, where they can sit in a nice warm reception, have a coffee and watch TV or read a women’s magazine, while we take care of fitting their tyres. The larger internet tyre sellers could send you anywhere?

So to finalise, most local tyre retailers have a good online presence. They should have a priced sight, for you to choose the tyres that you are looking for and the correct price range. You then know that you will be treated in the same clean and friendly way that you were on past visits.

 

 

Slick Tyres- Often seen used at F1 race meetings on a Dry day-What are they and what do they do?

Slick Tyres

I have written about “slick tyres” on many occasions, but I have never stopped to think that my readers and customers, may not have a clue what I am writing about. Do I use the word slicks for a couple of reasons?

The first is when a customer calls in with “bald” tyres. The fact that they are bald makes them look like slick tyres. They are shiny with no tread left on the tyres at all. This is what the real thing looks like. The difference is that the real thing is used for motorsport. These tyres are designed for the use on sports cars and racing cars.

slick tyres

Continental slick tyres ready for the Indy racing

We have all seen the F1 racing cars with their huge tyres that look to have no tread on. Well, they are used on very dry tracks, usually in a hot country, such as Australia or Brazil. The other criteria for using slicks is on a nice tarmac road surface.

The tyres are first heated in special tyre tents. This makes the compound of the tyres very soft and the tyre actually sticks to the road surface. One of the downsides is that the slick tyres pick up small stones and grit. These can be removed and the task usually falls down to one of the race team to sit on a stool and painfully remove all the stones and grit.

A type of slick tyres was also used in the 1960’s.

These were used on “hot rods”, but the tyres did not handle well in wet conditions, due to the lack of tread pattern. Some drivers would cut a thin tread pattern out on the slick tyres tread. This helped with a partial grip, but tyres were developing fast and the radial tyres came out in wider sections, with a proper tread pattern. These made the hot rod slick tyres obsolete.

Slick tyres are also used on the rear of drag cars. The soft compound often burns up and creates a huge amount of smoke, making the racing more exciting to watch.

Here in the UK, Slicks are of course illegal to use on our roads, so the circuits are the place to try them out.

 

 

Land Rover Tyres-Some thoughts about the “good old days” and tyre evolution

Land Rover Tyres

Land Rover Tyres

Land Rover Tyres

It was back in the 1960’s when I first started in the tyre trade. Although we were operating in a small town, Dewsbury in Yorkshire, it was surprising the amount of Land Rover’s that we would see. We were I suppose surrounded by countryside. This meant that we had quite a few of our customers that were, in fact, farmers.

This is very similar to our present location here in Halifax, we are in a small town surrounded by countryside and we do in fact have some farmers in our mixed customer base. I remember that we used to dodge doing the farmers Land Rover because they always used to smell bad and were usually covered in cow poo?

The farmers, however, did not have the choice of Land Rover Tyres that they certainly have today. The two sizes that were most popular were the 600×16 and the 750×16. The 600×16 tyres were fitted onto the short wheelbase Land Rovers and the 750×16 were fitted to the long wheelbase ones. We were in those days the beginning of the “National Tyres network” and owned by Dunlop at the time.

Because of this, Dunlop was the main Land Rover Tyres that we fitted. The tyre model was the Dunlop RK3 and came out in three sized, as original equipment on the Land Rovers. This gave them the replacement market edge, but other tyre companies were making these tyre sizes. The tyres were in those days X-ply construction and the pattern in the centre were similar to a car tyre pattern, with lugs on the tread outer edges. This gave them an on/off road capability, which suited the framing community.

Land Rover Tyres

Soon to follow Dunlop were another British tyre company, Avon. Avon brought out the Avon Traction Mileage tyre. This tyre was slightly more aggressive looking and began to win favours with the countryside drivers of the Land Rover.

Land Rover Tyres

Land Rover Tyres

Farmers were always renowned for having “deep pockets” and it was not before remoulded tyres were produced in these sizes. Companies such as Kingpin Remoulds were flourishing in the sixties and seventies.

You now have to jump to the 1970’s to see a real change in tyre designs. This was when the new Range Rover was introduced to the public. This was a country vehicle with the added comfort of the normal saloon car.

A completely new tyre came out with the Range Rover. It was a 205/80X16 radial.This started off a whole new ball game for the Land Rovers as well as the Range Rovers. One of the most popular tyres in the 1970’s was the Michelin XPC and became a favourite with the farming community because it was hard wearing, like many of Michelin’s tyre range at the time.

Land Rover Tyres

In the coming years, all sorts of tyre sizes were coming out to fit the Range Rovers and tyre profiles were getting lower and lower. Bringing all this history forward to today, then one of the best tyres for these vehicles come from the General Land Rover Tyres range. These have been developed in line with the manufacturers introducing traction control to their vehicles. Now tyre treads have become far less aggressive to give the same amount of grip as their older counterparts. The vehicle electronics now play a greater part in a tyres grip and so greater tyre mileage can be achieved.

Balancing wheels-Gives you a smooth shake free ride in your car

balancing wheels after a new tyre is fitted

balancing wheels

balancing wheels in an up to date tyre shop.

When we fit new tyres here in our tyre shop in Halifax Yorkshire, we always balance the wheels. Even if the wheels are steel wheels or alloy wheels, we still balance every one. Balancing wheels ensures that your car will drive along, with a perfectly smooth and vibration free ride.

People do not know but tyres are not perfectly round and the weight is not evenly distributed, throughout the tyre. This means that the tyre is heavier in some spots than others.

Tyres have vastly improved over the years but this is still the case and the balancing of wheels is still a necessity.

Out of balance wheels and tyres not only cause bad vibration when driving your car, but they will also wear your suspension and tyres out quicker.

Balancing wheels on a modern electric balancer

Many years ago the only means of balancing wheels was on a small bubble balancer. You would place the wheel and tyre unit over a spindle onto a spirit level type bubble. The wheel would tilt to the side that was heaviest. Lead weights were added, until the bubble levelled out, “job done”. This is known as “static wheel balancing”.

Zooming forward in time, today’s balancers are computer controlled and extremely accurate machines. They are expensive to buy, but give the customers wheels a complete accurate balancing job. This type of balancing wheels is called “Dynamic balancing”

The wheel is fitted to the balancing machine with a large quick release attachment. The wheel settings are fed into the machine and the wheel spins and stops

balancing wheels

Correct wheel balancing is also important

automatically. It then calculates the amount of weights that are required to correct the “out of balance”

When the weights are fitted the machine restarts and checks the wheel. We can even set the machine to fit the weights on the inside of the wheel only. This makes the wheels look better, and some customers will ask for this.

If a wheel becomes out of balance at a later date, then we rebalance the wheel free of charge. This can occur when a weight accidently comes off. If the problem is recurring it could mean a problem with a tyre, but that’s a different story.

Eric Roberts

Tyre Safety-Millions of drivers ignore it?it is all our Responsibilities?

Tyre safety should involve checking your tyre pressures, perhaps every week.

As a tyre dealer for 40 years, the “tyre changing” trends of the British public have never really changed. It appears to me that we have always had the two camps of drivers to deal with. The first group of drivers just could not care less about their car and safety. The second group of drivers are the opposite and they do cars for their cars and the improved road safety that goes with it.

It is not just about “tyre safety”, but drivers should be more proactive with regular checks on other things such as keeping a regular check on the cars lights and the windscreen and windscreen wipers. Tyre safety should involve checking your tyre pressures, perhaps every week. You should also look out for any cuts or lumps as well as the tread depth.

The first group just want to keep their cars on the road without spending as little money as possible. As a garage owner they sometimes make me cringe?

tyre safe

This tyre was sold as a part worn and still had a nail on the inside which was wearing away at the side-wall. The people that sell these do not care a hoot about the drivers safety.

They are driving about sometimes in death traps, with little regard to other road users. This group of motorists are the ones who are most likely to spend as little as possible on cheap part worn tyres. The last thing on their minds will be tyre safety as long as it does not cost them much.

Tyre Safety

Fortunately for me, we do not see these drivers and cars very often. The only time we see these people is if we have a special offer on say MOT testing. These are the people who only spend the minimum on repairs or if their car fails the MOT test. The good guys will book their cars in for a service and a test?

We at Pellon Autocentre prefer to service our customer’s car first. This ensures that any possible MOT failure problems will be picked up before the car is tested. We believe that this is the best customer service, as we notify them about any problem that may cause the car to fail the test.

I am not sure on how we can educate the first group, who just can’t cars less about their cars safety. These are the motorists that are letting us all down. They should take better care of their cars, with more routine checks and servicing.

Tyre safety is paramount in all this, but you should see some of the tyres that we remove from our customers cars? Most of the cars are very nice cars, such as BMW’s and Mercedes, but the owners shun tyre safety and hang to their money as long as they can.

In some respects the law is to blame; drivers now get away with murder? With winter approaching just watch out for the number of cars with lights out. I call them “one eyed monsters ”driving with defective lights (even just a blown light bulb) is illegal, but the law is stretched due to government cut backs ,and so the law has better things to do and the bad guys get away with it.

Tyre safety is paramount with Tyresafe.org  attacking the problem

Tyresafe, the non for profit making safety group, recon that as many as 98% may be illegal when sold. In recent times Tyresafe have gone along to part worn tyre shops and purchased 50 part worn tyres. Out of the 50 tyres bought 98% of them were illegal and many were highly dangerous.

Tyre safety

With winter approaching it is a good time to check your tyres lights and wipers or better still have a service.

A recent tyre safety  tread depth survey. Thereby, carried out by the Tyresafe organisation. Revealed that Across Britain: 27.1% of replaced tyres were illegal (below1.6mm legal limit) ,66.1% of replaced tyres were illegal or borderline (2mm and under) This amounts to a staggering 10 million tyres that are dangerous and illegal.For that reason, will be putting British motorists at risk. Or one in four cars will have an illegal tyre on their vehicle, during the year.

Many of our customers are amongst what I call the good guys. They are tyre safety conscious and have regular car servicing carried out at least once a year. This ensures good brakes and lighting and usually results in a pass on the MOT test. I do however think that tyres should now be removed at 2mm. Not the legal 1.6mm, but this will only come with tyre safety education.

Tyresafe are constantly making a great effort. So, by educating the tyre retailers and the car owners in all aspects of car safety and good luck to them in the future, we need dedicated professionals like them to drill home the message.

Eric Roberts

Useful Links TyreSafe – www.tyresafe.org