Uniform Tire Quality Grading: What is it & How it helps?

Uniform Tire Quality Grading

Uniform tire quality grading as the name implies is a grading system for tires. It is a grading system that differentiates different qualities of the same. It is done to help the consumers to compare and assess it against the Government mandated tires and rate them accordingly.

How is the UTQG rating done?

The rating is done on the basis of three factors which includes

  1. Treadwear
  2. Traction
  3. Temperature

How is UTQG Treadwear rating done?

The rating is actually done by comparing how the tire wears with respect to the government mandated one. To elucidate, A tire with a UTQG of 400AB means that it wears or lasts 4 times more than the government mandated standard which is 100.

How would you get to know about the treadwear rating?

In general, the life of the tire is considered to be proportional to the tread wear. Greater the tread wear greater is the life expected. You can get to know about the treadwear grade from the number that is stamped on the sidewall.

Does a high treadwear rating imply high mileage?

The treadwear by no means is related to mileage. You can understand this from the fact that a treadwear rating of 600 as against a standard of 200 will not and cannot give a mileage that is three times more than one with 200 rating.

Should tread wear rating be analyzed on different reference points?

Yes, surely.  The reference point should vary depending on what vehicle it is used for.  Since the treadwear rating is indicative of the life of a tire, a rating of 700-800 would be ideal for a standard touring all-season one.

But for those meant for racing, which focuses primarily on the grip and then on the life even a rating of 100 would be a welcome option.

Who does the rating?

While it is mandatory to do the treadwear rating according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and the testing process is uniform, the testing is not done by the NHTSA. The rating is not assigned by them either.

It is the prerogative of the manufacturer to conduct or commission the testing because it is compulsory. This is concerned as one of the major limitations of the system.

Is UTQG useful for comparing tires of different manufacturers?

Though it is used for comparison, it does not seem to be purposeful. Since the tread ratings are not administered and controlled by an objective testing organization, the treadwear rating of one manufacturer that is equal to the other in reality does not seem to have the similar lifespan despite the same driving conditions.

What can you use treadwear rating for?

Though it is not quite useful to compare tires of two different manufacturers, it is quite useful to compare the ratings of different types of tires produced by the same manufacturer. Why? It is because when a manufacturer produces tires of the same type the ratings within the product range would correspond to the actual testing results.

The tread wear rating is, therefore, suitable to compare products produced by the same manufacturer as there will not be a question of inflating the treadwear rating with aim of gaining a competitive advantage.

What does the Traction Ratings denote?

Traction rating refers to the grip that a tire possesses ie. Level of grip. The rating A stands for superior grip, rating B stands for Good Grip and Rating C stands for average grip.

How is the traction rating test done?

The process involves installing a test piece that has an optimum inflation pressure to the instrumental axle of a skid trailer. A truck pulls the skid trailer at a constant speed of 40mph. over wet asphalt and wet concrete test services.

The brakes of the skid trailer are momentarily locked and the axle sensor measures the coefficient of friction or the braking forces.

How are the test results depicted?

The test results are on the Asphalt surface as well as the concrete surface are tabulated. You have 4 categories based on them.

Traction Grades Asphalt g-force Concrete g-force
AA Above 0.54 0.38
A Above0.47 0.35
B Above 0.38 0.26
C Less than 0.38 0.26

Generally, those that fall under the A and AA grades are supposed to exhibit superior grip.

What does the temperature rating depict?

The temperature rating refers to both the heat buildup and the rate at which it is dissipated. The rate at which the heat builds up as well as at which it is dissipated will determine the capacity of the tire to run at high speeds. Without failure.

How is Temperature Resistance Measured?

This is determined by running an optimally inflated test piece against a large diameter high-speed test wheel in a laboratory. The grading is done based on the test piece’s ability to run without failure at high speeds.  

If the temperature grade is A it means it can run at speeds over 115 mph, B denotes speed between 100-115mphand C stands for 85-100mph.

Though the tires are graded the lack of testing organizations to do the testing and assign the grades as well as the failure to pass on the information about grading processes and the meaning of the ratings the UTQG is not being given the importance that it deserves while choosing them.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *