Do you know the history of the commercial tire? Starting as the humble wheel in 3500 BC, the commercial tire has come a long, long way!
Early wheels were made of curved wood. Eventually, leather was added, which became rubber over the years. Air inflated radial tires are the modern counterpart to those early pieces of wood.
Rubber tires came about in the mid-1800s, and were preferred over pneumatic tires because they were seen as more durable. However, pneumatic tires came back into popularity thanks to the Michelin brothers, who raced a car with pneumatic tires in the 1895 Paris-Bordeaux race.
Radial tires were introduced by the same Michelins in 1948, allowing for a longer tread life, and better handling, both of which contributed to better fuel economy.
The radial commercial tire became quite popular in countries outside of the United States. American automobile manufacturers, on the other hand, were concerned about the cost of switching to radial tires from bias ply tires. That attitude changed in the 1970s when gasoline became very expensive and Americans were looking for economical cars — they turned to foreign made vehicles, equipped with radial tires, leading American manufacturers to ultimately change gears and switch to the more efficient radial tires.
Tire technology has improved over the years, with commercial tire manufacturers creating various types of tires for different purposes. Now consumers have many options for tire tread, design patterns, and other features that improve the durability and longevity of each tire.
Commercial tire service crews work hard to keep tires working well for vehicle owners, so that their tires will last for a long time to come. By employing a mobile mechanic service and/or roadside assistance, along with their regular commercial tire service experts, drivers can be assured of a long tire life in most cases.
Tires are integral to every vehicle that is on the road, so it is no wonder that research and innovation continues in this field. Tires are needed to keep trucks, cars, vans, and other vehicles driving well, and tire companies are working hard to ensure that as knowledge grows, tire options do, too.
Commercial tires in these modern times behave much differently from their wooden beginnings, but their purpose is the same — keeping vehicles moving and keeping drivers happy on the road!