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The China-Bomb debate Put to rest

4X4Dodger
Explorer
Explorer
Almost every week or more a thread appears with someone with a tire question. And just as predictably the China Bomb experts come out and start decrying all Chinese made tires.

Then usually they recommend MAXXIS tires. Maxxis are held in almost religious high regard by some here and they claim are NOT made in China.

This is usually followed by several others who also recommend Maxxis.

I personally have no doubt that Maxxis are good tires. As are Goodyears, Kumho, Cooper and many other brands. But I don't beleive they are SIGNIFICANTLY better than any other.

I have tried in many of these posts to bring some perspective on Chinese manufacturing which I know quite well from my professional life. I also try to bring some facts to bear on the subject.

So in an effort to arm myself with more facts I was doing some research on Tire Manufacturing in China and came across a very interesting article in a Tire Industry Publication Called Tire Review.

The chart below appears in that article clearly showing that MAXXIS is part of one of the largest tire manufacturers in China. Note also the inclusion of several western tire manufacturers who also manufacture in China.

From Tire Review Magazine 10/1/2015 David Shaw



Now for a little context: The article I cite was written about the tire Industry IN China ie it centered mostly on the Chinese Domestic market. It did cover the issue of exports also. But it's main focus was the Domestic Chinese market.

The article goes on to explain that there is currently a shakedown taking place in the Chinese Tire industry with some new US tariffs being applied (due to alleged Dumping) and new regulations on the industry by the Government of China. Here is a quote:

"U.S. duties aside, probably the biggest factor in the Chinese tire industry crisis is the slew of new legislation being issued by the Chinese government and managed through the CRIA. China is set to become the most-heavily regulated country in the world for tire manufacturing."

and...According to the article China dominates the GLOBAL market for tires.

I hope this takes a few steps towards normalizing the debate on this site about China Bombs and how great Maxxis are.

The FACT is that some great tires are made by many companies in China, by Chinese, American and European companies.

So please lets just stop the China Bomb rants and stop encouraging folks who have tire questions to replace all the tires that came on their new trailers. It's a waste of money and there is no evidence of any kind that it is either necessary or desirable.

As you can see those revered MAXXIS are owned by a Chinese firm and are manufactured in China as well as some other Asian countries.
234 REPLIES 234

MudChucker
Explorer
Explorer
reading through many many pages I stumbled across many comments about the ST tires being rated at only 60-65 miles per hour - my big new Westlake ST are rated at 75mph.



So many were so quick to spout their goo regarding China in my thread... is it really so hard to see that China tires dominate the industry ? and as a result so will complaints its simple math really.

my tire thread
2017 Cougar
2015 Ram 3500 Megacab 6.7 Cummins Aisin transmission

gmw_photos
Explorer
Explorer
Yes, I'm afraid if our man who referred to using LT as "voodoo" was hoping to have any credibility, it went out the window with that comment.
Considering the trailer companies ( Titan, Airstream, 4Star and others ), the axle company ( Dexter ) and the tire companies ( GoodYear and others....and of course Good Year also sell ST ), all clearly state that using LT on trailers is "appropriate fitment".

gmw_photos
Explorer
Explorer
Edit.... I see Jim posted the same as I was going to.

Also in the 14", if a person is space restricted, the Continental Vanco 8 is available in a 185-14. It is a commercial truck tire similar to a Kumho 857. At 25.6" overall diameter, these are essentially the same diameter as the very common 205/75-14 ST tires fit by many trailer companies. 1874 pounds of capacity at 65 psi, so these work well on many tandem axle trailers in the 4000 pound category.

JIMNLIN
Explorer
Explorer
Oh they can be fitted. You just gotta wanna.

Yeah...it appears he doesn't wanna' from his opinion/comments about Airstream owners demanding better voodoo tires for their trailers.
His 4k axle needs 2000 lbs at each end at a minimum.
I use mostly 15" P tires with 44-51 psi on all of the single/tandem trailers I've owned that needed 2000-2200 lb per tire capacity needs.

And yes we have several 15" LT and euro type all position tires out here for those looking for a better tire such as;

The Goodyear Wrangler HT in a LT235/75-15 C (50 psi) at 1980 lb capacity. Most LT tire makers carry this size.

And a Wrangler HT in a LT215/75-15 D (65 psi) at 2090 lbs capacity.

Maxxis LT U-168 are a commercial grade tire with several 15" sizes and have became popular with all types of trailer owners.

Vanco 2 from Continental another popular tire for trailer users has several 15" sizes and load capacities.

I see the Yokohama RY215 in a 700R 15 D at 2040 lbs capacity is popular on some of the other RV websites.

Goodyear Cargo G26 2249 lb capacity in a 225/70R 15 C 65 psi load range D for trucks/vans and trailers.
"good judgment comes from experience, and a lot of that comes from bad judgment" ............ Will Rogers

'03 2500 QC Dodge/Cummins HO 3.73 6 speed manual Jacobs Westach
'97 Park Avanue 28' 5er 11200 two slides

bucky
Explorer II
Explorer II
Lot of good info here and some not so good info but let me ask a question. How many of you have ever seen anybody checking tire pressures at a campground? As you let that sink in remember that most of us on here have a RV passion that the average RVer may not share. We also need to discard those with TPMS systems but I don't understand why anybody would run without them. I use TST, awesome company as I am sure others are also.
My point is that some people let a RV sit in the mud for months or even years at a time and then hook that thing up in 100 degree SC and head for Yosemite. So now it's the 10 year old tires fault?
Puma 30RKSS

Huntindog
Explorer
Explorer
ghorn wrote:
gmw photos wrote:
lbrjet wrote:
If I had 16 inch rims (or room to change to 16 inch rims) I would use LT tires. We don't all have that option.


there are 14" and 15" LT tires available


NOT in the load range req'd by some trailers. My 4,000lb single axle 15" wheels cannot be fitted with LT tires for that reason.

The reason the Airstreams are sometimes offered with Michelins as an option is because this same ridiculous bantering at the Airstream forums led a whole crowd of voodoo believers to demand them. Airstream makes a very nice profit selling $750 (each) wheel/tire options to the afflicted.

I have ST load range E Carlisles on mine because there is no load range LT tire in 15" to fit. These new Carlisle HD's are rated at 81 mph, but I'm not so foolish as to run 'em that speed.
Oh they can be fitted. You just gotta wanna.

As for these new Carlises... This is the same company that touted how great their previous tires were.... As they gleefully took many peoples money (including a lot of mine) for junk tires.
MAYBE they have turned over a new leaf, and these new tires will prove out over the long term... But this experminent will not take place with any of my money. A awful lot of people feel the same way.... Fool me once.....

I sincerely hope that your experiment goes a whole lot better than what many of us experienced in the past.

If it doesn't, and you decide to try something that WILL work... Just come back here and ask. Those of us that have already traveled the road you are now on will tell you what and how we did it.

Good luck to you.
Huntindog
100% boondocking
2021 Grand Design Momentum 398M
2 bathrooms, no waiting
104 gal grey, 104 black,158 fresh
FullBodyPaint, 3,8Kaxles, DiscBrakes
17.5LRH commercial tires
1860watts solar,800 AH Battleborn batterys
2020 Silverado HighCountry CC DA 4X4 DRW

ghorn
Explorer
Explorer
gmw photos wrote:
lbrjet wrote:
If I had 16 inch rims (or room to change to 16 inch rims) I would use LT tires. We don't all have that option.


there are 14" and 15" LT tires available


NOT in the load range req'd by some trailers. My 4,000lb single axle 15" wheels cannot be fitted with LT tires for that reason.

The reason the Airstreams are sometimes offered with Michelins as an option is because this same ridiculous bantering at the Airstream forums led a whole crowd of voodoo believers to demand them. Airstream makes a very nice profit selling $750 (each) wheel/tire options to the afflicted.

I have ST load range E Carlisles on mine because there is no load range LT tire in 15" to fit. These new Carlisle HD's are rated at 81 mph, but I'm not so foolish as to run 'em that speed.

Huntindog
Explorer
Explorer
CapriRacer wrote:
Except that this is the situation with LT tires. They GREATLY exceed the minimum standards - and there was no push from the government via the regulations to make that happen. It is the marketplace that is determining what the acceptable level is.
I sort of agree with part of that statement..
I do not profess to "know" if LT tires greatly exceed the standard or not.
I do know that I have severely abused mine with out incurring any failures... And in spite of treating my MANY sets of ST tires like fine china, not a single set lasted to it's second birthday....
I do agree that the market forces are the reason one simply cannot buy a quality ST tire.. This forum is a perfect example. I often see threads where people are bragging about how little they paid for their STs.. Often they pay just a little more for a set of four than I pay one tire.
Many people just cannot justify in their minds paying so much for a tire that is seldom used and will age out long before the tread is worn out.
But this is exactly why increasing the ST tire standards is the only way to fix it.
Huntindog
100% boondocking
2021 Grand Design Momentum 398M
2 bathrooms, no waiting
104 gal grey, 104 black,158 fresh
FullBodyPaint, 3,8Kaxles, DiscBrakes
17.5LRH commercial tires
1860watts solar,800 AH Battleborn batterys
2020 Silverado HighCountry CC DA 4X4 DRW

CapriRacer
Explorer II
Explorer II
I forgot to kind of summarize things on my last post, so I'll do that first:

Since some trailer manufacturers haven't done a good job of sizing tires (load carrying capacity-wise), I recommend everyone weigh their trailer - fully loaded, including water tanks! If possible do each tire individually. If you can't you need to account for side to side and front to rear variation. I earlier pessimistically guess a 15% variation, but I am beginning to think 10% is a more reasonable value.

I also recommend that tires never be loaded to more than 85% of their rated capacity at the pressure they are operated.

Further, remember that the published load tables are MINIMUMS, not recommendations. Round UP!! (or down, depending on how you want to look at it.)

Also, one way to tell if you are in trouble is pressure buildup. It should be no more than 10%. If you get more, then you need to do something - buy a load capacity tire. If it's more than 15%, you need to do something IMMEDIATELY - like slow down!

OK, now onto addressing the comments other have made:

mrekim wrote:
.......
CapriRacer wrote:
The US Federal government has since passed the TREAD Act, and one of those things that it requires is the reporting of tire failures on a quarterly basis - starting in 2008 (Yes, it took that long to get the system in place. It was very difficult to get the system designed and get everyone on board)

Do we (consumers) get access to this data? I'd like to see the stats on my "Trail Express" tires. My guess is that there are zero failures. ......


No one can get access to the data except people who work at NHTSA. That was the deal with the tire manufacturers who are very protective of this sort of competitive information. They only agreed to send it in because NHTSA gave them a guarantee it wouldn't be published.

And, of course, the tire manufacturer who ought to be looking at the data BEFORE he sent it in.

Huntindog wrote:
CapriRacer wrote:
So I am of the opinion that changing the government regulations for ST tires isn't the way to go. I am also of the opinion that ST tires will pass the LT tests as they are on the books now - hence the justification for not changing the regulations


This as you stated is your opinion.
My opinion based on my many ST tire failures vs zero LT tire failures is just the opposite.
Some ST tires may pass the tests, but certainly not any of the multitude I owned.

As for higher standards not being the answer... I disagree with your reasoning that they are already being exceeded by the manufacturers, so there is no need... If this is true, then higher testing standards would make the manufacturers increase their quality to exceed the new standards as well... The result would be better tires.
Doing nothing with the standards is not improving anything.


Except that this is the situation with LT tires. They GREATLY exceed the minimum standards - and there was no push from the government via the regulations to make that happen. It is the marketplace that is determining what the acceptable level is.
********************************************************************

CapriRacer

Visit my web site: www.BarrysTireTech.com

JIMNLIN
Explorer
Explorer
CapriRacer wrote:


Both Roger (Tireman9) and I are retired tire engineers.


Great to have an expert participating.

Actually Capriracer has been a RV.net member since '07 ??. I don't know what he is going to talk about but he started a same type thread on the subject in '07 which ran 95 pages off and on till '13.
Some good advice and some worthless input from some and many replies that should have been deleted. http://www.rv.net/forum/index.cfm/fuseaction/thread/tid/25786030/srt/pa/pging/1/page/1.

Also Capriracer (Barry Smith) has contributed to allexperts.com as a tire expert. Google Barry Smith @ allexperts for more input on the subject of ST/LT tires.
"good judgment comes from experience, and a lot of that comes from bad judgment" ............ Will Rogers

'03 2500 QC Dodge/Cummins HO 3.73 6 speed manual Jacobs Westach
'97 Park Avanue 28' 5er 11200 two slides

Huntindog
Explorer
Explorer
CapriRacer wrote:
So I am of the opinion that changing the government regulations for ST tires isn't the way to go. I am also of the opinion that ST tires will pass the LT tests as they are on the books now - hence the justification for not changing the regulations


This as you stated is your opinion.
My opinion based on my many ST tire failures vs zero LT tire failures is just the opposite.
Some ST tires may pass the tests, but certainly not any of the multitude I owned.

As for higher standards not being the answer... I disagree with your reasoning that they are already being exceeded by the manufacturers, so there is no need... If this is true, then higher testing standards would make the manufacturers increase their quality to exceed the new standards as well... The result would be better tires.
Doing nothing with the standards is not improving anything.
Huntindog
100% boondocking
2021 Grand Design Momentum 398M
2 bathrooms, no waiting
104 gal grey, 104 black,158 fresh
FullBodyPaint, 3,8Kaxles, DiscBrakes
17.5LRH commercial tires
1860watts solar,800 AH Battleborn batterys
2020 Silverado HighCountry CC DA 4X4 DRW

mrekim
Explorer
Explorer
CapriRacer wrote:

Both Roger (Tireman9) and I are retired tire engineers.


Great to have an expert participating.

CapriRacer wrote:

First, it would be great if we could get a breakdown of the tire failures by producing plant - but that is not going to happen. Not only is that EXTREMELY proprietary (every tire manufacturer would just love to know where their competition is!), it has some built in issues with data collection.

As consumers we don't need the level of data quality that a manufacturer would need. Any hard data would be better than what we have now. Also, if a particular factory or manufacturer seems to be getting bad results they certainly would be able to respond to that bad data with their own take on the facts. A lack of response for some factory that seemed poor would speak volumes to me. Right now there's no real forum for that to take place.


You worked for a manufacturer that cares about quality and takes the time to inspect failures and do something about it. For ST tires, I believe that many, but not all, manufacturers have no interest in quality and never intend to take warranty tires back or do failure analysis. If there was any interest in warranty support, quality control and customer feedback then you would be able to google the tire brand and get a US phone number for technical support and warranty issues. This should be another criteria for us as consumers. If we cannot find a phone number for the manufacturer (not a retailer) of a given tire, then don't buy it.


CapriRacer wrote:

We assumed the data collection didn't change from year to year - even though it surely did! We based our analysis on tires being returned to us - mostly for warranty - and we categorized them according to what we found. We had a HUGE(!!) database and analytical tools to help (For people who care, we made extensive use of Excel Pivot tables.)


That's part of the problem for ST tires. With a typical auto tire, with very little effort I can at least make an attempt to get some satisfaction if I believe the tire didn't meet my expectations. With most ST tires it's simply not possible. At best you may get some satisfaction on a replacement tire within 12 months of a new TT purchase. My guess is that the dealer or trailer manufacturer would just eat that cost and it never makes it back to the tire manufacturer. If the trailer manufacturer eats too many tires in 12 months, they just switch to a different brand - which may or may not be a different factory.




CapriRacer wrote:

The US Federal government has since passed the TREAD Act, and one of those things that it requires is the reporting of tire failures on a quarterly basis - starting in 2008 (Yes, it took that long to get the system in place. It was very difficult to get the system designed and get everyone on board)

Do we (consumers) get access to this data? I'd like to see the stats on my "Trail Express" tires. My guess is that there are zero failures.



CapriRacer wrote:

in order to perform satisfactorily from the consumers point of view.


What if the "customer's" primary criteria is cost? If some factory is building off brand tires for $15 each and some marketer can sell them in bulk in the US for $50 each then they will do that all day. When sales start to drop due to quality issues then the marketer can just create a new company, adjust their marketing campaign and sell the same tires under a new name. The factory doesn't ever see a quality problem because the marketer is happy making their fat margins.

I think this is part of the debate that doesn't get addressed. It's not about if an ST tire is better than an LT tire. It's really about ST manufacturers where the primary criteria is profit. Safety, performance, quality are simply not part of the equation and there's no apparent interest in those aspects. Domestic LT tire manufacturers cannot get away with that, but it seems as if for the Chinese manufacturers there are some (many???) where that's the apparent model.



CapriRacer wrote:

So I am of the opinion that changing the government regulations for ST tires isn't the way to go. I am also of the opinion that ST tires will pass the LT tests as they are on the books now - hence the justification for not changing the regulations.


I agree here. We're in the information age. We, consumers, need to get better organized and informed. I'm not sure how to pull that off.




CapriRacer wrote:

Further, they should be selecting tires with an adequate reserve (unused) load (and speed) capacity. This is basically about tire load range and size. This is was one the lessons from the Ford/Firestone situation a few years ago - and the motorized vehicle manufacturers ALL went up in tire size as a result.

This is a huge issue. It's also a problem in the class A market. It's almost impossible to get the manufacturers to listen.

98coachman
Explorer
Explorer
93Cobra2771 wrote:
Certainly hate to hear Roger isn't able to post on here, as his posts are always informative. For those that are wondering, here is his blog with all kinds of tire tech.

Roger's tire blog

I actually had a 45min conversation with him earlier this year. He was very helpful.
Great Link, Thanks!!

93Cobra2771
Explorer
Explorer
Certainly hate to hear Roger isn't able to post on here, as his posts are always informative. For those that are wondering, here is his blog with all kinds of tire tech.

Roger's tire blog

I actually had a 45min conversation with him earlier this year. He was very helpful.
Richard White
2011 F150 Ecoboost SCREW 145" 4x4
Firestone Ride-Rite Air Springs/Air Lift Wireless Controller
2006 Sportsmen by KZ 2604P (30')
Hensley Arrow

98coachman
Explorer
Explorer
1) ST tires are rated for higher loads than LT tires - mostly because ST tires are speed restricted to 65 mph and LT tires aren't
I believe this is the biggest factor of failure! I see people all the time passing me on the freeway at 75-85 miles an hour and then they wonder what happened to their tires.:S Thank so much for the insight! I can't wait to see your next installment!
Bill