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UTQG / Treadwear: what is it for?

Buy the right tyres John

UTQG is a system used to classify a tyre’s performance. A system required for the US market that has its limits in terms of relevance. We will present and explain why it is insufficient to rate a tyre.

UTQG tyre sidewall UTQG, three criteria to rate a tyre - Copyright © : Yokohama

Compulsory for all tyres sold in the US market, the UTQG (Uniform Tire Quality Grading) provides information to help consumers make their choice. If the American government originally supervised the system, published ratings are now based on the manufacturer’s self assessment. Basically, this means that ratings can still be used to compare tyres from the same manufacturer (for example, compare two tyres produced by Dunlop), but not to compare tyres manufactured by different manufacturers (for example, compare a Michelin tyre with a Continental tyre). Indeed, measurements are based on each tyre brand’s own comparative data.

The UTQG includes three criteria to rate the performance of a tyre:

Tyre information UTQGCopyright © : Cooper

Treadwear

This first criterion measures treadwear with values ranging from 60 to 700 in increments of 20. For example, a tyre with a treadwear of grade 100 will wear twice as fast as a tyre with a treadwear grade of 200. This means that the higher the index, the longer the tyre will last.

 

Traction

This criterion rates the ability of a tyre to stop in a straight line on a wet surface. The rating ranges from AA (best grade) to C.

 

Temperature

The last criterion calculates the tyre’s resistance to the generation of heat and its ability to dissipate heat during tests conducted on a simulation test bench. The rating is based on grades ranging from A (best grade) to C. The C corresponds to the minimum acceptable value for a tyre to be sold in the US market. 

To conclude, these ratings are limited and cannot, under any circumstances, replace labelling and, above all, test results, which are the only elements that can be used to rate the real performance of a tyre.