How Will 90 Million Holiday Travelers Prepare Their Vehicle for the Road?

Tire Industry Survey Says Too Few Will Check Tire Pressure, Tread Depth

For more information contact:
Dan Zielinski
(202) 682-4846
dzielinski@rma.org

WASHINGTON, DC, December 17, 2014 – AAA predicts that nearly 90 million travelers will hit the road this holiday season but a tire industry survey found that nearly half won’t bother to check tire pressure. The Rubber Manufacturers Association (RMA) is urging holiday road travelers to pump up before hitting the road.

A survey sponsored by RMA found that the top vehicle maintenance tasks motorists will take prior to holiday road trips are:

  • Check tire pressure         54%Holday Travel Final 12-12-14 (RMA)
  • Oil change                         51%
  • Check brakes                    41%
  • Check tire tread depth   25%
  • Check coolant level         18%
  • Check battery                   17%
  • Nothing                              15%

“We’re encouraged that more than half of holiday road trippers are taking steps to be tire smart and check tire pressure,” said Dan Zielinski, RMA senior vice president, public affairs. “But all motorists should be checking tire pressure before every long trip.  Fully loaded vehicles packed with people, luggage and holiday gifts that ride on under inflated tires present a safety issue.”

The White House announced last week that Dec. 9-Jan. 9 is Tire Safety Month, an initiative supported by RMA, all of its tire manufacturer members and others.  The initiative is designed to help educate motorists about the importance of tire maintenance to promote safety and better fuel economy.

“We’re excited that tire maintenance has received attention from the highest level in the federal government,” Zielinski said.  “Too many motorists ignore even this simple, basic maintenance task that means so much to helping ensure vehicle safety for our families.”

RMA recommends simple steps for motorists to Be Tire Smart when checking tire pressure:

  • Check tire pressure monthly and before long trips.
  • Use the vehicle manufacturer’s recommended tire pressure found on a label on the driver’s door or owner’s manual.
  • Check tires when cold – before you drive. Driving causes tires to warm which increases inflation pressure temporarily.

RMA also recommends that motorists inspect tire tread for damage and sufficient depth.  Worn out tires are dangerous, especially in wet, wintry weather.  A simple and inexpensive test can determine whether tires should be replaced.

  • Take a penny and turn it upside down so Lincoln’s head points down.
  • Insert penny into tread groove.
  • If all of Lincoln’s head is exposed, the tire must be replaced because it’s been worn down to 2/32nds of an inch or less.

Zielinski said, “Checking tire pressure and tread depth each month will take just a few minutes.  These fast, easy tire care tips will help travelers get to their destination safely and enjoy the holidays with family and loved ones.”

# # # #

The Rubber Manufacturers Association is the national trade association for tire manufacturers that produce tires in the U.S.  All RMA press releases are available at www.rma.org. 

RMA Recommends Pro-Safety Steps to National Transportation Safety Board

Emphasizes Improved Tire Registration; Prohibition on Unsafe Used Tires; More Consumer Education

For more information contact:
Dan Zielinski
(202) 682-4846
dzielinski@rma.org

WASHINGTON, DC, December 9, 2014 – The Rubber Manufacturers Association (RMA) today offered a four-point plan to the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) to help improve motorist safety.  NTSB began a two-day symposium to discuss tires’ contribution to motor vehicle safety.

“Safety is the tire industry’s number-one priority,” said Dan Zielinski, RMA senior vice president.  “We welcome the opportunity that the NTSB event provides to the tire manufacturing industry to discuss steps that can be taken to improve motorist safety.

RMA will offer four steps for NTSB to include as recommendations when the agency finalizes a report on its study of tire-related issues later next year.

  1. Improve Tire Registration: Congress should change the current tire registration law to require tire sellers to electronically register tires at point of sale.  Current law only requires dealers to offer a paper card to consumers who must then mail the information to the tire manufacturer.  Tire registration is a critical safety issue that allows consumers to be notified by a tire manufacturer in the event of a recall.  Overall, fewer than 20 percent of all tires are registered.
  1. TIN Lookup Tool: The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) should create a web-based tool that tire dealers and consumers could use to quickly determine whether a tire is subject to a recall.  A search tool would be based on the tire brand, model and Tire Identification Number (TIN) that is molded onto the tire sidewall.  Currently, all tire manufacturers or importers of record must notify NHTSA of any tire recalls.  Manufacturer submissions are entered into a government database but not easily utilized by tire dealers or consumers.
  1. Stop Sales of Unsafe Used Tires: States should enact legislation to prohibit the sale of unsafe used tires.  More than 30 million used tires become available for sale each year.  Worn-out, damaged, improperly repaired tires are readily available from used tire shops across the nation.  RMA is advocating state unsafe used tire legislation in at least four states in 2015.  RMA efforts supported successful enactment of unsafe used tire legislation in Colorado in 2014.
  1. Urge States to Help Motorists Be Tire Smart: States should incorporate tire care and maintenance messages into highway safety programs.  RMA and tire manufacturers work with many stakeholders to promote proper tire maintenance and can share information and content to assist state highway safety offices.  States should issue reminders during periods of heavy travel periods; use of roadside signs and other credible communication tools available should be used by states when possible.

 

“We believe that these four common-sense steps can have a positive effect on highway and motor vehicle safety,” Zielinski said.

According to NHTSA, tire related crashes, injuries and fatalities have dropped dramatically and faster than overall highway crashes, injuries and fatalities.

“Tires are critical vehicle safety equipment and they are delivering superior performance to consumers,” Zielinski said.  “We want motorists to understand that maintenance is vital to safety performance and the industry will continue to work to educate consumers about proper tire care.”

 

# # # #

The Rubber Manufacturers Association is the national trade association for tire manufacturers that produce tires in the U.S.  All RMA press releases are available at www.rma.org. 

Bald is Not Beautiful: For Your Tires

Tire Industry Survey Finds Bald Tires on 12% of Vehicles

For more information contact:                                                     Additional Materials
Dan Zielinski                                                                                      B-Roll
(202) 682-4846                                                                                 Road Trip Checklist Info Graphic
dzielinski@rma.org                                                                         Penny Test Info Graphic

WASHINGTON, DC, November 18, 2014 –Nearly 40 million Americans are expected to hit the road for Thanksgiving travel, but 12% of the vehicles they ride in will be at increased risk due to bald tires.

The Rubber Manufacturers Association (RMA), which represents this country’s tire manufacturers, released the results of a survey of more than 3,300 vehicles that found a significant portion riding on tires that are no longer road-ready.

“Bald tires are dangerous,” said Dan Zielinski, RMA senior vice president, public affairs. “A tire is considered bald when tread depth reaches 2/32nds inch. Bald tires have longer stopping distances and do not grip the road properly, particularly in wet weather conditions. Fortunately, there’s a simple method to determine whether tire tread depth is safe: all you need is a penny.”

To measure tire tread depth insert a penny upside down into a tread groove.  If all of Lincoln’s head is visible, the tire should be replaced.

Example of a bald tire

Example of a bald tire

RMA recommends that drivers follow a Road Trip Checklist before hitting the road for Thanksgiving travel:

  • Pressure: Check tire pressure before a long trip. Under inflation can lead to tire failure.
  • Tread: Place a penny upside down into a tread groove. If you can see all of Lincoln’s head, it’s time for a new tire.
  • Avoid Overloading: Overloading your vehicle stresses your tires and can lead to damage and reduced fuel economy.
  • Don’t Forget to Check the Spare: Check your spare tire and keep it properly inflated so it’s ready when you need it most.

RMA’s 2014 Tread Depth Survey sampled more than 3,400 drivers across the U.S. about the tread on their tires. The survey found that nearly 12 percent of vehicles had at least one bald tire.

Among the places with the highest percentage of vehicles with worn out tires: Baltimore, Md. (21.1 percent), Birmingham, Ala. (20.9 percent), San Diego, Calif. (18.5 percent), Oklahoma City, Okla. (18.2 percent), Baton Rouge, La. (16.2 percent), Norfolk, Va. (16 percent), Houston, Tx. (16 percent), Richmond, Va. (15.4 percent), Minneapolis, Minn. (14 percent) and Dallas/Ft. Worth, Tx. (13.8 percent).

The RMA urges drivers to “Be Tire Smart – Play Your PART” this and every holiday season by checking your tire’s Pressure, Alignment, Rotation and Tread.  For more information, visit www.BeTireSmart.org.

 

# # # #

The Rubber Manufacturers Association is the national trade association for tire manufacturers that produce tires in the U.S.  All RMA press releases are available at www.rma.org. 

Tire Makers Roll Out Good News for National Recycling Week

Scrap Tire Markets Growing; Tire Piles Shrinking

For more information contact:
Dan Zielinski
(202) 682-4846
dzielinski@rma.org

WASHINGTON, DC, November 7, 2014 — A tire industry organization is issuing a report showing extraordinary success at efforts to address scrap tires. The tire report rolls out for National Recycling Week, which runs November 10-16.

The Rubber Manufacturers Association (RMA), the national trade association for tire manufacturers that produce tires in the US, issued a report showing that more than 90% of scrap tire piles are cleaned up while 96% of tires discarded in 2013 were reused in several markets. The U.S. generates more than 230 million scrap tires every year.

Key findings:

Dramatic reduction in scrap tire stockpiles.

  • 1990: 1 billion stockpiled tires
  • 2013: 75 million stockpiled tires

Remarkable growth in scrap tire markets.

    • 1990: 10% of scrap tires consumed by markets
    • 2013: 95% of scrap tires consumed by markets.

Top two (three) scrap tire markets consumed 86% of annually generated tires in 2013.

    • Tire derived fuel (TDF):         56%
    • Ground rubber:                      25%
    • Civil engineering:                     5%

TDF is used by the pulp and paper industry and the cement industry as a supplemental fuel due to the high BTU content. Industries using tires as fuel conform to federal, state and local environmental laws and employ emission control devices.

Ground rubber is used to create a variety of products including athletic fields, playground cover and binding agents used to create a more durable and quieter asphalt road surface. Finely-ground scrap tire rubber also is used by some manufacturers in new tire construction.

Civil engineering applications use shredded tires as a substitute for other “fill” materials such as sand or gravel. Shredded tires add beneficial properties such as noise and vibration control, erosion prevention and drainage facilitation. Common uses include road and landfill construction and septic tank leachate fields.

In 2013, 75 million tires remained in stockpiles with the majority in Colorado and Texas. Colorado passed a law in 2013 at RMA’s urging to clean up its mammoth piles. Texas does not have a state scrap tire management program.  Other states with tire stockpiles include: Arkansas, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Virginia and Washington.

States with Most Stockpiled Scrap Tires:

  • Colorado         31 million
  • Texas               15 million

Commonly Discarded wastes and recycling or reuse rates

  • Lead acid batteries:              98% (U.S. EPA)
  • Tires:                                       95% (RMA)
  • Aluminum cans:                    67% (Aluminum Association)
  • Plastic bottles:                       30% (NAPCOR)
  • Paper:                                      65% (U.S. EPA)
  • Glass bottles:                         34% (Glass Packaging Institute)

“Ongoing scrap tire management efforts in the U.S. have been tremendously successful,” said Dan Zielinski, RMA senior vice president, public affairs. “Tire manufacturers have worked across the nation to help establish effective state scrap tire management programs, often funded by user fees on tire sales, to enforce regulations, clean up tire piles and promote environmentally sound, cost-effective markets for scrap tires. The numbers tell the story: the effort is paying off in a cleaner environment.”

 

# # # #

The Rubber Manufacturers Association is the national trade association for tire manufacturers that produce tires in the U.S.  All RMA press releases are available at www.rma.org. 

 

Sheerin Joins RMA as Director, End of Life Tires

For more information contact:
Dan Zielinski
(202) 682-4846
dzielinski@rma.org

WASHINGTON, D.C., June 18, 2014 – The Rubber Manufacturers Association has hired John Sheerin as Director, End of Life Tires, to fill the role served by Michael Blumenthal, who will retire this summer.

Sheerin joins RMA from Bridgestone Retail Operations, LLC where he was Environmental Director since 2008.  He joined BSRO as an Environmental Manager in 1995.

At Bridgestone, Sheerin directed the company’s environmental activities, programs and systems to improve the company’s competitive position. He worked on the creation and implementation of the company’s “Beyond Compliance” programs including its Spent Tire Program, and recycling initiatives.

Sheerin also has actively participated on RMA member committees on Bridgestone’s behalf since 2002.  Sheerin has a B.S. in Civil Engineering and an M.S. in Environmental Engineering from Illinois Institute of Technology and a law degree from Chicago Kent College of Law.

“John is very knowledgeable of scrap tire environmental issues, has a strong background in the tire industry and understands how RMA represents its members,” said Charles Cannon, RMA president and CEO.  “We’re excited to have him join our team.”

Sheerin, who will officially begin his RMA duties on June 30, will be responsible for representing RMA on matters regarding scrap tire generation, processing and end uses in the U.S.; promote environmentally and economically sound uses for scrap tires; educate stakeholders, public officials and the public about proper scrap tire management; participate in industry coalitions and; conduct research, collect data and publish reports about scrap tire management and end-uses in the United States.

 

# # # #

The Rubber Manufacturers Association is the national trade association for tire manufacturers that produce tires in the U.S.  

Colorado Governor Signs Waste Tire Legislation

RMA-Supported Measure to Address Rocky Mountain State’s Tire Stockpiles

For more information contact:
Dan Zielinski
(202) 682-4846
dzielinski@rma.org

WASHINGTON, D.C., – June 6, 2014 – Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper today signed long-awaited legislation to finally address the Rocky Mountain state’s nation-leading waste tire stockpiles.  More than 60 million tires currently sit in two mammoth piles, known as monofills that pose a potential environmental risk should either pile catch fire.

The Rubber Manufacturers Association (RMA), which has worked for seven years to enact a waste tire measure in Colorado, applauded today’s action.

“Colorado needs this legislation to end the stockpiling of waste tires, clean up the monofills and help establish new markets for discarded tires,” said Michael Blumenthal, RMA vice president.

RMA has led efforts across the country to enact environmentally sound and economically efficient waste tire legislation and regulations.  RMA is the national trade association for tire manufacturers that produce tires in the U.S.

Nearly 25 years ago, more than 1 billion tires were stockpiled while only 11% of waste tires were consumed in an end use market.  Today, only 100 million waste tires are left in piles across the nation and more than 80% of annually generated waste tires are sent to an end use market.

“Colorado has taken a critical first step toward eliminating the stigma of having the highest inventory of stockpiled waste tires in the nation,” Blumenthal said.

The bipartisan legislation, championed by Reps. Max Tyler and Don Coram, will eventually shut down and cleanup the tire monofills; end an inefficient taxpayer subsidy payment to end users of waste tires and; cut the state’s tire fee on new tire purchases from $1.50 to $0.55.

“Experience has proven that state waste tire management problems can be solved with enforcement, active cleanup efforts and the expansion of waste tire markets,” Blumenthal said.  “By closing the tire monofills and eliminating taxpayer subsidies, Colorado can work toward developing more diverse and higher-value markets for waste tires.”

Blumenthal praised the state lawmakers for their efforts to enact the legislation.  “Representative Tyler and Representative Coram worked very hard to secure the needed support for this legislation and RMA has been proud to assist them in this effort.  We now look forward to working with the Legislature and the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment to effectively implement this law.”

# # # #

The Rubber Manufacturers Association is the national trade association for tire manufacturers that produce tires in the U.S.  All RMA press releases are available at www.rma.org. 

Survey Shows America Needs Inflation

National Tire Safety Week (June 1-7) Focuses Attention On Tire Care

For more information contact:                                                     Additional Materials
Dan Zielinski                                                                                      B-Roll
(202) 682-4846                                                                                 Be Tire Smart Resources
dzielinski@rma.org

WASHINGTON, D.C., JUNE 2, 2014 – A tire industry survey reveals that nearly 7 out of 10 vehicles are riding on under inflated tires.  Nearly one in five vehicles has at least one significantly under inflated tire.

The Rubber Manufacturers Association (RMA), the national trade association for tire manufacturers, sponsors National Tire Safety Week (June 1-7) to focus efforts to educate U.S. drivers about the need for regular tire maintenance.  Under inflated tires waste gasoline, increase the risk of tire damage and cause premature tire wear.

“Too many motorists continue to ignore the only equipment on their vehicles that touch the road,” said Dan Zielinski, RMA senior vice president, public affairs.  “It takes just five minutes to check and properly inflate tires to optimize vehicle fuel economy and reduce the risk of tire problems.”

2014 Tire Pressure Survey Key Findings:

  • 9% of vehicles had four properly inflated tires
  • 69% of vehicles had at least one under inflated tire
  • 18% of vehicles had at least one tire under inflated by 8 pounds per square inch (PSI)

Previous RMA research revealed how little motorists understand about basic tire care.

  • 5 out of 6 motorists do not properly check tire pressure.
  • 2 out of 3 motorists do not check the spare tire.
  • Half of all motorists do not know how tell if a tire is bald.

RMA urges motorists to check inflation pressure at least once a month and before long trips and, to remember to check the spare tire.  To properly check inflation pressure, an individual must use a tire gauge; use the correct inflation pressure for the vehicle and; check tires when cold, before driving.  The correct inflation pressure is found on a label on the driver’s door or owner’s manual, not the tire sidewall.

RMA’s national education program is called “Be Tire Smart – Play Your PART.” PART stands for pressure, alignment, rotation and tread – four critical elements of tire care.

# # # #

The Rubber Manufacturers Association is the national trade association for tire manufacturers that produce tires in the U.S.  All RMA press releases are available at www.rma.org.

RMA analyzed tire pressure data collected from approximately 3,300 vehicles at tire retail locations in 26 U.S. cities.  The data was collected between November 2013 and February 2014.

Colorado Legislation to Address Waste Tire Problems

Rocky Mountain State Has More than Half of Waste Tire Stockpiles in US

For more information contact:
Dan Zielinski
(202) 682-4846
dzielinski@rma.org

WASHINGTON, DC – April 16, 2014 – A Colorado House committee will debate a measure on Thursday to reform the state’s waste tire program that has propelled Colorado to have more stockpiled waste tires than any other state.  More than 60 million tires currently sit in two mammoth piles that pose a potential environmental risk should either pile catch fire.

Nearly 25 years ago, more than 1 billion tires were stockpiled while only 11% of waste tires were consumed in an end use market.  Today, only 100 million waste tires are left in piles across the nation and more than 80% of annually generated waste tires are sent to an end use market.

The Rubber Manufacturers Association (RMA) has led efforts across the country to enact environmentally sound and economically efficient waste tire legislation and regulations.  RMA is the national trade association for tire manufacturers that produce tires in the U.S.

“Colorado is unfortunately the worst in the nation in waste tire management,” said Michael Blumenthal, RMA vice president.  “We have been working with legislators, regulators and stakeholders for years to fix this problem.  Finally, we have a proposal that puts Colorado on a path to cleaning up this blight.”

RMA is supporting bipartisan legislation to address Colorado’s waste tire management program.  HB 1352 sponsored by Reps. Max Tyler and Don Coram would put Colorado on a path to cleanup and close the tire landfills, known as monofills; end an inefficient taxpayer subsidy payment to end users of waste tires and; cut the state’s tire fee on new tire purchases from $1.50 to $0.55.

“Experience has proven that state waste tire management problems can be solved with enforcement, active cleanup efforts and the expansion of waste tire markets,” Blumenthal said.  “By closing the tire monofills and eliminating taxpayer subsidies, Colorado can work toward developing more diverse and higher-value markets for waste tires.”

Blumenthal will testify in support of HB 1352 at Thursday’s hearing before the House Transportation and Energy Committee.

“Addressing Colorado’s waste tire problems are long overdue,” Blumenthal said.  “The monofills must be shut down and cleaned up sooner not later.  Any further delay increases the chances that Colorado could suffer an environmental cleanup nightmare if one of the mammoth tire piles were to catch fire.  We look forward to moving this proposal forward and establishing an effective and environmentally sound waste tire program.”

# # # #

 

The Rubber Manufacturers Association is the national trade association for tire manufacturers that produce tires in the U.S.  All RMA press releases are available at www.rma.org. 

Melting Snow Gives Way to Potholes

RMA Urges Motorists to Pay Attention to Avoid “Tire vs. Pothole”

For more information contact:
Dan Zielinski
(202) 682-4846
dzielinski@rma.org

WASHINGTON, DC – March 21, 2014 — As winter snows recede, an epidemic of potholes has broken out across the nation, luring unsuspecting motorists and their vehicles into concrete or asphalt traps  causing damaged wheels, suspensions and tires.

The Rubber Manufacturers Association, the national trade association for tire manufacturers that produce tires in the U.S., is urging motorists to be extra careful to avoid potholes that can ruin tires or jar a vehicle out of alignment.

“Potholes are a driving hazard that can cause significant damage to your vehicle and ruin a tire,” said Dan Zielinski, RMA senior vice president, public affairs.  “Motorists should be extra careful to avoid potholes but if you hit one, you need to have your vehicle and tires checked for damage.”

Potholes can puncture a tire and cause immediate disablement.  Sometimes, pothole damage may not be apparent at first until a motorist notices noise or vibration that indicates internal damage.

“If you notice a change in your vehicle after hitting a pothole, have it inspected immediately,” Zielinski said. “Hitting a pothole can affect wheel alignment. If you notice your car pulling to one side after hitting a pothole, it may indicate an alignment issue.  Failure to address faulty alignment could cause uneven and premature tire wear.”

To help motorists understand the threat potholes pose to tires, RMA has produced a short video, “Tire vs. Pothole” plus a “Tire Care Minute” on alignment and other information to help motorists to Be Tire Smart.

# # # #

 

The Rubber Manufacturers Association is the national trade association for tire manufacturers that produce tires in the U.S.  All RMA press releases are available at www.rma.org

RMA’s Blumenthal Announces Retirement

For more information contact:
Dan Zielinski
(202) 682-4846
dzielinski@rma.org

WASHINGTON, D.C., March 20, 2014 –The Rubber Manufacturers Association announced today that Michael Blumenthal, vice president, Environment & Resource Recovery will retire from RMA effective July 11, 2014.  Mr. Blumenthal has led RMA’s scrap tire management effort since 1990.

RMA hired Blumenthal in October 1990 as the Executive Director of RMA’s Scrap Tire Management Council (STMC). At the time, scrap tire stockpiles were identified as a leading solid waste problem in the U.S.  Only 11 percent of all scrap tires went to an end use market while EPA estimated that more than 1 billion scrap tires were in piles. Today, about 85 percent of scrap tires are reused in a market and tire stockpiles have been reduced to slightly more than 100 million tires.

Few viable scrap tire markets existed in the early 1990s and most states were in early phases of developing scrap tire management programs. RMA mounted its effort to address the environmental problems posed by scrap tires through advocacy of state regulations, development of end use markets and stockpile abatement.  RMA also sought to compile and make available pertinent information on scrap tire management, abatement, markets and other research as it became available.

“RMA’s scrap tire management effort has played an enormous role in addressing one of the most serious solid waste issues in the nation,” said Charles Cannon, RMA president and CEO.  “And without a doubt, Michael’s dedication, commitment and hard work have been the epicenter of RMA’s contribution and enormous success.”

Blumenthal has coordinated nearly three dozen national and regional conferences on scrap tire management and spoken at more than 200 trade shows and conferences since 1990.  He also has led RMA activity to address on scrap tire issues along the US/Mexico border since 1995 and was the signatory for the US tire manufacturers commitment in an accord between the US and Mexico.

Among his early successes, Blumenthal played an integral part to help publish numerous studies and reports on scrap tire markets; a report on tire leachate, a comprehensive report on tire derived fuel emissions and a manual that provides an overview of the issues to consider to start a scrap tire business.

Following those initial works, Blumenthal’s efforts helped create the first comprehensive guidelines for the prevention and fighting of scrap tire fires; guidelines for the use of tire shreds in civil engineering applications; ASTM standards for the use of tires in civil engineering applications and tire-derived fuel; the revision of the national fire code for outdoor storage of tire and; the first compendium of definitions used in the scrap tire industry.

“Since I started at RMA, tire manufacturers have been strongly committed to an aggressive and ongoing effort to address a serious environmental issue,” Blumenthal said.  “Representing the industry on this crucial issue for almost a quarter century has been a true honor and pleasure. The progress that has been made from those early days of the industry’s effort through today is a proud accomplishment. Now after 24 years, 48 states and more than 4 million air miles I can also say that it is time to move on.”

# # # #

The Rubber Manufacturers Association is the national trade association for tire manufacturers that produce tires in the U.S.  All RMA press releases are available at www.rma.org