The Uniform Tire Quality Grade, or UTQG, is a U.S. federal government mandated test that provides buyers with information about tires in three categories: treadwear, traction and temperature. Each tire manufacturer performs its own tests based on government prescribed procedures and assigns grades which are branded on the sidewall of a tire.
All tires are assigned a treadwear grade based on their relative wear rate according to the results of manufacturer testing. Treadwear grades range from 60 to more than 800, increasing in 20 point increments. The higher the treadwear number, the longer the tread life. For example, a tire with a grade of 200 would wear twice as long as tire rated as 100. However, with manufactuers defining their own treadwear score, the number is most effective for comparing tires within the same brand, rather than across manufacturers.
Traction grades are an indication of a locked tire’s braking ability in a straight line on a wet road surface. Traction grades are determined by locking a vehicle’s breaks at 40 mph on wet pavement skid pads provided by the U.S. government. A high graded tire should have a shorter wet road stopping distance than a low graded tire. There are four possible traction grades ranging from AA to C, with AA being the best.
Temperature grades determine a properly maintained tire’s ability to dissipate heat under controlled test conditions. Temperature grades are concluded by repeatedly running a tire in speed tests until it’s destroyed. A tire temperature grade is assigned based on how well it performs in these tests. Temperature grades range from A to C, with A being the best. A grade of C is necessary to meet the minimum safety standards set by the U.S. government.
|Understanding UTQG was written by Brian Doucette of TireTeam|