Uniform Tire Quality Grade (UTQG) Labeling
Required by the government, the UTQG
provides comparative manufacturer information. Tires are subjected
to a series of government-mandated tests that measure performance
in treadwear, traction, and temperature resistance. All testing
is done by the tire manufacturer.
Treadwear is a measurement of tread durability. Tested against an industry
standard, the assigned numerical grade indicates how well the tread
lasts compared with a reference standard of 100. A treadwear rating
200 means the tread wears twice as well as the standard. Actual
wear depends on the conditions under which the tire is used. Driving
habits, service practices, differences in road surface, and varying
climates all affect treadwear.
Traction is a measurement of a tire's ability to stop on wet test surfaces
of asphalt and concrete under controlled conditions. Traction grades
are assigned by the UTQG system and branded on the sidewall (see
How To Read A Tire Sidewall, pg. 2). Traction grade is determined
only for straight-ahead, wet braking on concrete and asphalt. It
doesn't include cornering, which may also be an important customer
Traction Grade A: The tire performed
well on both surfaces
Traction Grade B: The tire performed
well on at least one of the surfaces.
Traction Grade C: The tire performed
poorly on one or both of the surfaces.
Uniform Tire Quality Grade (UTQG) Labeling:
The UTQG also provides a measure of resistance to heat generation under
normal operating conditions. The test is conducted under predetermined
standards for inflation and loading. Excessive speed, underinflation,
and overloading can all cause adverse heat build-up. Sustained high
temperatures can reduce tire durability. Resistance grades are branded
on the sidewall.
Resistance Grade A: The maximum performance
level indicating the tire withstood a half-hour run at 115 mph without
Resistance Grade B: The tire passed 100
mph but not 115 mph.
Resistance Grade C: The minimum performance
level indicating that the tire failed to complete a half-hour at
Department of Transportation (DOT) Certification:
"DOT"is branded on the tire's sidewall indicating the tire is certified
by the Department of Transportation. Following the DOT branding is
a serial number designating the tire manufacturer, manufacturing plant,
tire size, and date of manufacture. Federal law requires that tire
dealers record the DOT identification numbers along with the tire
buyer's name and address.
Additional Tire Labeling Conventions:
Mud and Snow Labeling
If a tire is rated for safe performance in mud and snow, it will be noted
on the sidewall of the tire with either M/S, M+S, or M&S. A tire is
certified under the definitions set forth by the Rubber Manufacturers