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 to an index standard of 100. A treadwear rating of 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. 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 performance need. The traction improves as the grade goes from C to B to AA.
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 buildup. Sustained high temperatures can reduce tire durability. Resistance grades are branded on the sidewall.
Temperature Grade A: The maximum performance level indicating the tire withstood a half-hour run at 115 mph without failing.
Temperature Grade B: The tire passed 100 mph but not 115 mph.
Temperature Grade C: The minimum performance level indicating that the tire failed to complete a half-hour at 100 mph.
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.
MUD AND SNOW LABELING
Tires that meet certain tread pattern requirements set forth by the US Tire Manufacturers Association can be marked with mud & snow symbols (M/S, M+S, or M&S). These tread pattern requirements identify tread pattern geometry that tends to improve mud and snow performance.
TIRE CONSTRUCTION LABELING
Type of tire construction is marked in your tire sidewall. Tires must display the type and number of layers of each reinforcing material in the tread area and sidewall. An example would be: Tread: 2 Plies Steel + 1 Ply Polyester Sidewall: 1 Ply Polyester.