Tire life

Hi,
I need advice about assessing tire quality from the experts/ gurus in this forum.
With regards to tire composition and characteristics, what are the
important things I need to look out for when assessing quality of an unbranded tire. Assuming that the tires are used in the recommended way ( such as not over loading or over speeding), I have heard that there are several characteristics of tires which make them last longer, and I am hoping you can shed some light on the following:
Thread depth - Does the tire last longer if it has a deeper thread?
Ply Rating - Is there any disadvantage to having a high ply rating, and is there any specific correlation between the number of plys and the weight. (for example each ply should add x kgs to the weight.)?
Quality of rubber - Is there variation in quality of rubber that can make a tire last longer. Do they mix rubber with anything to increase durability?
Tire patterns - what are the advantages and disadvantages of using a rib/lug/mix designs
Weight of the tire - If it is a heavy tire would it last longer assuming that there is more rubber used.
Sidewall - what is the difference between good quality and bad quality sidewall?
The weather condition here is very hot, dry and sandy most of the year with 4 months of moderate rain. So even the well built roads tend to be very sandy which I assume increases tire friction. Some of the areas I travel through are very underdeveloped with a lot of pot holes on the roads. I have heard that nylon/x-ply/bias tires are better then radials for uneven road surfaces and radials are better for good road conditions, is this true?
Thank you for your help, James
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On Wed, 21 Sep 2005, snipped-for-privacy@hotmail.com wrote:

Unbranded tires are unbranded because the company who made them does not wish their reputation to be harmed by being associated with that particular tire, or because that particular tire was made in a backalley shop in China that was told by an unscrupulous Western importer "Make them black and round". The "quality" of an unbranded tire is...there's no such thing.
Tire sales are always going on. You don't have to spend a fortune. Buying shitty tires is playing with lives (your own and others on the road).
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Hi Daniel,
Sorry when I said unbranded I ment a brand that is not yet famous. I hope you understand. I know that it could be dangerous trying something new, this is why I am trying to find out what I should know about new brands tires to minimise the risk. Apart from the making sure they have E mark, Dot and ISO certified.
Thanks, James
Daniel J. Stern wrote:

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Be more specific about the tire brand.
Richard.
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ISO 9000? If so, all it means is that the manufacturer has (should have) procedure in place to ensure reproducibility at whatever quality level the manufacturer has decided.
I.e. once good. always good or once nasty, always nasty.
I have to say it, I can't understand why people always try to save that bit of money and increase their risk (even if funds are short). Plus, a cheap tyre may wear out quicker.
I certainly can't afford to buy cheap.
DAS
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Dori A Schmetterling wrote:

In reality, it doesn't work that way, at least in the automotive world below first tier. In the automotive world, QS9000 is strictly a CYA for the first tier customer so that when a problem occurs, they have the smoking gun in the supplier's own documentation, or have proof that the supplier's documentation was falsified (good product went out, bad product was recieved at the customer - how could that be?) - the latter is often the case because the customer continued to take mandated cost cuts from the supplier (in what they pay per supplied wigdet) while requiring more and more bullshit quality documentation (as opposed to genuine quality documentation) that the supplier could no longer afford to hire the people to implement because of the cost cuts. The supplier's only remaining choice is to shut down (because all of their customers are automotive and require the same bullsh** system) or set up a streamline system of faking the documentation.
(Remember Firestone tires on Ford Explorers?)
In the same way, JIT gets bastardized. The first tier customer mandates that inventory control is JIT for them and down thru all tiers of the supply chain. In reality, that just means that the supplier hides a reserve stock so that when the inevitable sh** happens in the supply chain, they can continue to ship product and save the custmor's a**. The customer knows about this, but realizes that it keeps them out of hot water, so a lot of winking goes on. But it's the corporate religion, so know one dares speak up against it or change it.

As the saying goes: If you want economy, you have to pay for it.
Bill Putney (To reply by e-mail, replace the last letter of the alphabet in my address with the letter 'x')
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ISO9000 is a marketing tool. Having ISO9000 merely means that you have met the prescribed criteria: you have a quality manual, you have procedures that document what you do, an accredited body has audited your facility to ensure this is all in place, etc. etc. It has just about nothing to do with the real quality of products. Many organizations will not deal with suppliers that are not ISO certified; that's their motivation to get it. It's a joke.
I've audited more suppliers than I can remember. The first thing I do is politely accept a copy of their certification, thank them for it, put it among the papers I have collected and get on to really auditing their processes. The best feature it provides for me is confirmation that they should (at least in theory) have their processes documented.
Ken

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I said it is to ensure reproducibility. (Whether it does for a particular company is another matter.)
And what is "real" quality?
DAS
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Dori A Schmetterling wrote:

    ISO 9000 doesn't ensure reproducibility - it ensures that you do what is documented, and you document what you do. The content of the documents and the design of the product could be as bad as you can imagine - as long as the paperwork is in order, you remain 9000 compliant. ISO 9000 compliance means you will have more information at hand to go back and figure out what happened if something doesn't go right. (And that is the basis of quality improvement). On developing a new product, ISO 9000 plays a much smaller role in product quality - taking a back seat to good design.     While ISO 9000 is a nice idea, and it covers some important groundwork that really shoddy companies should have but don't have in place, 9000 is mostly a label. It can be useful to skim down a field of suppliers when the numbers are overwhelming, but to say that ensures a good product is a mistake, IMO. So as for tires, ISO 9000 means nothing to me. I still rely on good brand names. Crappy tires are an insult to everything rolling on them.
    Dave
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1) I did not say ISO 9000 plays a role in "good" quality other than reproducing it. The purpose of having the procedures in place is to ensure that processes are repeated. Of course if companies ignore their own procedures that's their look-out. Documentation is the basis of an ability to reproduce something. If you have no guideline of how to do something, how can you ensure that each batch/product is the same? If you just copy what you last did, howb you do you stop "creep"?
As you may know, when a business first starts writing SOPs (standard operating procedures) for getting the quality system registered under 9000, the SOPs should reflect actual practice, but I am sure a lot write what they think they should be. SOPs have to be updated regularly to take into account changes in practice.
2) It also has to be understood that if I as a client approve a sample product (at whatever level of quality), whether it is a tyre or a chemical or whatever, then I expect it to remain at that quality until there is an authorised change.
IIRC 9002 does not cover the development process whereas 9001 does. ISO 9001 itself has nothing to do with the design of a new product, just with the process of getting there.
At the end of the day you as a customer can select any criteria you like for deciding on a supplier. I don't think anything I have written precludes that.
I bet, though, that "good brand names" employ good, documented procedures to guarantee consistency.
This is not a place to start: http://praxiom.com/iso-9001-b.htm
DAS
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Oops: Not a bad place to start... http://praxiom.com/iso-9001-b.htm
DAS
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Dori A Schmetterling wrote:

Also, even if the process per se does not change, at least in the automotive industry, if location of a production line changes - whether from one room in a building to another room in the same building OR from a plant in the US to a plant in Mexico or vice-versa, the production line has to be certified all over again (in the automotive industry, that is called PPAP'ing - pronounced pee-pap - what in the "old days" was called "first article approval").

Yes - and even that is a joke in the U.S. auto industry. The process "requires" that a FMEA (Failure Modes and Effects Analysis - pronounced feemah - just like the federal agency for disaster relief) be done both for the assembly or component design *and* for the manufacturing process for same. A FMEA on the simplest part can take a team of various disciplines several man-weeks to complete - a very tedious process that sometimes requires those involved to lock themselves in a room or rent a hotel room for several days.
By its very definition, the paper work and numbers generated by the design FMEA had to feed into the beginning of the process FMEA. If you follow the book, it is, by definition, impossible to do the process FMEA (P-FMEA) without the design FMEA (D-FMEA) already in hand.
When I was in automotive, our first tier customer (the ones that imposed all this crap on us) were the designers. It was their responsibility to feed us the completed D-FMEA before we started the P-FMEA. But the way it really worked was that they would tell us that they did not have the resources to do the D-FMEA, but they were still going to require a P-MEA out of us - even though that was a philisophical, technical, and practical impossibility. When we protested, we were told that that's the way it had to be. It was clear that not to do it would mean we could not do business with them. Inevitable results: We had to fake the intitial input to start our P-FMEA (prime the pump so to speak), yet a meaningful and useful P-FMEA relies on the starting point being good information. Ever hear the expression "Garbage in, garbage out"? Well that was it by definition.
So there you have it. The faking of the entire quality system started with firm direction and winking from the customer themselves - the ones who required us to use the system. Any wonder the suppliers end up faking the rest of it when the faking was formally kicked off by the customer themselves? Any wonder the Firestone/Ford tire debacle happened, followed by the inevitable finger pointing?
Bill Putney (To reply by e-mail, replace the last letter of the alphabet in my address with the letter 'x')
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Of course, that is revalidating a previously validated process. (Not a function of ISO 9000 but of GMP - good manufacturing practice, at least in the pharmaceutical industry.)
DAS
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Dori A Schmetterling wrote:

In automotive, it's pretty much "the law". However, you may be correct, it may not be dictated by QS9000 per-se.
Bill Putney (To reply by e-mail, replace the last letter of the alphabet in my address with the letter 'x')
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Dori A Schmetterling wrote:

It doesn't even necessarily ensure that. It ensures that you document your process(es) and, ostensibly, that you follow the processes. It doesn't nothing to ensure that the processes achieve any particular result.

I like the definition that Crosby uses. Quality is meeting the requirements. This both ensures that you have requirements defined for your product and that you meet them, all of them, all of the time.
It also gets away from the "better" defition of quality that is nearly useless. Things like saying that a Cadillac is higher quality than a Chevrolet. A Cadillac certainly has more features than a Chevrolet, but it may or may not be of higher quality.
Matt
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Agreed.
On reproducibility, what I meant was that the purpose (of ISO 9000) is to effect reproducibility.
DAS
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Dori A Schmetterling wrote:

Porbably the first time in two years on this ng that someone used "effect" as a verb and used it correctly.
Bill Putney (To reply by e-mail, replace the last letter of the alphabet in my address with the letter 'x')
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Bill Putney wrote:

Except I mis-spelled "probably". Sheesh.
Bill Putney (To reply by e-mail, replace the last letter of the alphabet in my address with the letter 'x')
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<grin, followed by broad grin>
DAS
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Oddly, one of the very few times I can think of ever seeing a sentence in which "effect" and "affect" would both have been correct...
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