Archive for August, 2008

CarbonBlack releases latest independent Tyre Brand Scorecard

Today, CarbonBlack released the findings of its latest Independent Tyre Brand Scorecard on consumer purchasing behaviour.The latest scorecard reveals a growing sophistication and awareness among consumers and tyre retailers that traditional advertising no longer has the same impact on consumers. Social marketing (word-of-mouth) information, relevant point-of-sale marketing and consumer education are becoming more influential in the purchase cycle and are having a greater impact on consumer choice.

The report details the changing trends in tyre purchase decisions, the strong influence original equipment manufactured tyres still maintain, brand preference outcomes for the general market and specific brand preferences for the female decision maker and luxury car driver.

Based on these findings, CEO, Jodi Stanton thinks the Tyre Scorecard message is clear, “Tyre manufacturers that now cater for both female and male purchasing habits in the new online space and traditional retail channel are going to benefit the most. The game certainly has changed.”

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August 21, 2008 at 11:09 am 1 comment

Ageing Tyres and Road Safety

A recent survey carried out for the RAC Foundation in the UK has revealed that although nine out of ten drivers understand the link between tyre age and road safety, up to an estimated three million in the UK- do not.

According to the research, owners of low-mileage cars, vintage and classic models, caravans, motor homes and trailers need to be aware of the risk of tyre fatigue. The spare tyre is also at risk of age-related deterioration, as it is often unused even though other tyres may have been replaced over the years.

Simplifying the checking process could be one answer to the problem, as seven out of ten motorists said they would like to see the current age coding system replaced by an easy-to-read ‘year of manufacture’ date on the tyre.

The Foundation was also concerned that 45% of drivers questioned did not know the minimum legal tread depth for car tyres and among women drivers, this figure rose to 60 %.

Although it is quite easy to check a tyres’ age from the sidewall code it only tells you when the tyre is made, not its physical condition.The danger signs of ageing can include:

– cracks or crazing on the sidewall

– tread separation, cracks or bulges

– deformation of the tyre carcass

– discolouration and fading of the rubber

In response to these findings the UK RAC and the UK National Tyre Distributors Association have launched an eight-week tyre safety campaign urging drivers of low-mileage vehicles to get their tyres inspected.

August 19, 2008 at 12:31 am 2 comments

Diamonds are not forever

Poor guy in Sydney yesterday who had the most expensive tyre change because he was robbed of $130,000 worth of cash and diamonds. It would have been far cheaper for him to have logged on to our website to find a local tyre service centre!

August 14, 2008 at 12:24 am Leave a comment

Motorway Tyres factory closes

Reported last week in the Stawell Times-News, owners of Motorway Tyres will close down the tyre remoulding business in Stawell.

Motorway Director, Jason Bresnehen said that the business had experienced difficult trading conditions over the past several years, primarily due to growing and sustained competition from low priced imported tyres, significant price increases of rubber and increased distribution costs as a result of fuel price rises.

Motorway Tyres was founded at Stawell in 1932. Over the past 70 years the business developed to become a manufacturer and distributor of rubber tyre products to the taxi, passenger and truck market.

August 13, 2008 at 12:07 am Leave a comment

Huge rises in traffic to online auto websites

Business researcher Frost & Sullivan’s 2007 Australian advertiser survey shows that online classifieds will command an increasing share of the key organisations’ marketing strategies and budgets. Although automotive and real estate advertisers typically have larger classifieds budgets than employment advertisers, they spend less online but this is predicted to grow significantly.

Among the benefits advertisers cited for choosing to advertise online was that online classifieds increased leads and increased speed to market. This was particularly relevant for automotive (such as carsales.com.au and drive.com.au) and real estate advertisers.

According to the Interactive Advertising Bureau and PricewaterhouseCoopers, classified ads were the fastest growing part of the online online ad market in the March 2008 quarter, with growth of 34%. This was closely followed by the online search and directories advertising category which grew at 31.5%. The online ad display market was up by 21% over the same period.

August 6, 2008 at 12:54 am Leave a comment

Obama’s “Inflate Your Tyres”

Irrespective of your politics it is good to see that one US presidential candidate supports proper inflation of tyres as a way of promoting fuel efficiency and thus helping the environment. He must have been reading Davids’ blog on tyre pressure!

August 6, 2008 at 12:32 am Leave a comment

Exploding oxygen cylinders on Qantas: what’s it got to do with tyres?

Qantas have found out the hard way that when oxygen cylinders operate at very high pressures and ‘fail”, they can do an extreme amount of damage.

From the evidence released so far, it seems that the valve screwed into the top of the bottle ‘let go explosively”, coming through the floor and hitting a door handle, luckily not a passenger. The bottle then took off like a rocket would under the same circumstances, straight through the side of the plane. This failure can be due to the thread being over-tightened and stretched as the valve is inserted. The same thing can happen to wheel nuts over-tightened on their studs, the over-stretched thread fatigues, and the wheel comes off because the wheel nuts were too tight!

So what’s this got to do with tyres? Well, I once heard a ‘supersingle”, a 15R22.5 Tubeless tyre with 105 p.s.i. of air in it, on the FRONT wheel of a truck, blowout (fail catastrophically was the term used) from 5 kilometres away on the Murray Valley Highway. That gives you an idea of the force involved when a tyre blows out.

Any pressure vessel is designed and tested to a much higher presuure than it’s operating pressure – the “factor of safety”. . For example, the air compressor operating in the corner of the workshop has a safe operating pressure stamped on it, and the “Test Pressure” as well, which will be several times higher than operating pressure.

So what do you reckon the “Factor of Safety ‘of a tyre is? It doesn’t just sit there like the oxygen cylinder. It operates in a dynamic environment, having to cope with all kinds of abuses such as heat, potholes, broken road edges, and the like.

The answer is experience. Each tyre is designed to do a particular job. For example, an off-road tyre would have a different factor of safety to a speedway or race car tyre, which hopefully will never hit a pothole at speed. An off road truck tyre should have a stronger casing than a highway design, if service experience dictates it. This is achieved by either using more cords in the casing, or stronger cords. In other words, the design is different.

An interesting twist on all this is that it is the rim that fails before the tyre casing bursts when due entirely to over-inflation. There is so much side force on the rim flanges that they buckle and fail. To check their computer calculations of tyre casing strength, tyre engineers regularly blow up their tyres on very very strong rims in a safety cage. But they do it with water! They might get wet, but they don’t get hurt.

August 4, 2008 at 1:32 am 2 comments