When The Rubber Meets The Road

By on July 24, 2013

Our automobiles come in all sizes, colors, and shapes to appeal to a wide variety of wants and needs in personal transportation. It is staggering to consider the variety of ways car manufacturers have presented vehicle designs to attract body and soul to the vehicles of our hearts’ desires. But all of it would not matter at all; beautiful, sleek, fast and comfortable though these variations are, the automobile would be a space-taker of no useful function but for the black rubber shoes every vehicle must have: tires.

Tires are also devices of very technical design, with features intended to perform specific functions in all kinds of climate and road conditions. Their basic function of allowing the automobile to be mobile is the duty of four rubber tires meeting the road.

Tires Fairfax VA

Tires Fairfax VA

How they perform this vital task is the function of the various designs of tire tread, wall shape and thickness, material and additives, size and mounting to the rims, air pressure, vehicle match-ups and load-bearing limits.

No vehicle models are exactly the same, but it is impractical to design tires uniquely for each vehicle. The challenge to tire designers is to take the vehicle requirements of a range of similar vehicles and provide a general design that will accommodate the vehicle specifications and expectations of the collected models. This may result in a design that accommodates a hundred vehicle types, or just a few.

The retail price to be paid by the consumer is directly related to the resulting numbers of vehicles a particular tire design will accommodate as a simple matter of supply and demand economics. If a consumer chooses to buy a common vehicle type purchased by many others, the available variations of tires available to match that car’s specifications are likely to drive down the cost of replacing those tires when needed. More esoteric vehicles manufactured in smaller numbers and purchased by few individuals will have fewer selections of tire designs and manufacturers for greater cost.

Some tires are designed to meet specific road conditions, such as snow and ice as opposed to clear and dry roads. There are off-road tires to satisfy vehicles designed for that rugged purpose. Some tires are designed with high-performance in mind, using factors such as speed and maneuvering tight and frequent cornering, traction and limiting road noise, quick response and low wear characteristics.

Some tires are designed strictly for racing and other competitive, high vehicle stress activities that the normal driver will never see, but which will mark the difference between safe operation of the racing vehicles, or losing control of them. Even within the duration of a single race, road conditions or wear of the tires may vary sufficiently to cause tire changes during the race.

None of this would be possible if tire designers were concerned only with providing round, molded rubber to attach to vehicle wheels just to meet the road. Tires Fairfax VA are highly technical devices to make sure that meeting road is safe, secure and carefree.

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