When it comes to purchasing new tyres the information available can be at times, mind boggling. A tyre’s tread durability, traction and ability to handle high temperatures are all important factors to take into account. Comparing tyres using these three measurements is simpler than you think.
. This system originated in America and is considered to be a Global standard that helps customers to compare tyre performance in terms of these three factors - tread, traction and temperature.
Treadwear grades are tested under controlled conditions, a ‘standard’ control tyre is assigned a grade of 100. The treadwear rate of all test tyres is then compared to the ‘standard’ tyre. The higher the number, the better the treadwear. This number gives you a rough indication as to how long your tyres should last. For example, a tyre that has a grade of 200 should theoretically last twice as long as the control tyre.
Traction grades are an indication of a tyre’s ability to stop a vehicle on wet concrete. A tyre’s traction capability is indicated by one or two letters on the tyres sidewall. Traction is graded from highest to lowest as AA, A, B and C. Tyres with the best traction will have a rating of AA. A tyre with a higher grade should allow your vehicle to stop on wet roads in a shorter distance than a tyre with a lower grade. A traction grade doesn’t indicate a tyre’s ability to corner or resist hydroplaning.
Temperature ratings tell you just how effectively a tyre can expend heat and how well it manages heat build up. It is displayed as a single letter on the tyre - A, B or C. ‘A’ indicates the highest level of heat dissipation. As with testing the tread durability of a tyre, the UTQG rating for temperature is based on specific testing conditions. In this instance, it assumes that your tyre is always properly inflated. An under-inflated or overloaded tyre, or driving to excessive speeds will create more heat for your tyres than those under the testing conditions.
It’s important to keep in mind that in real life situations, a tyres performance will vary depending on road conditions, the type of vehicle you own and the way in which you drive it. These variables can’t be accounted for under a controlled testing environment. Having said this, the UTQG standards are certainly a good indicator on the performance of a tyre’s treadwear, traction and temperature capabilities and can greatly assist you in selecting the right kind of tyre’s to meet your specific needs.