THE TYRE MILEAGE GUARANTEE.
If you've noticed an error in this article please click here to report it so we can fix it.
Why the 10,000 Miles Warranty Has Been Abandoned.
IN OUR LAST ISSUE we drew attention in our columns to. an announcement by a large group of . tyre Manufacturers that it was intended as from March let to cealse giving a guarantee that solid rubber band tyres should run for 10,000 miles. , The manufacturers associated with this announcement were the Associated Rubber Manufacturers, Ltd. ; Avon India Rubber Co., Ltd. ; W. and A. Bates, Ltd. ; Dunlop Rubber Co., Ltd. ; Grim ston Tyres, Ltd. ; W. T. Henley's Telegraph Works Co. Ltd. ; Leyland Rubber Co., Ltd. ; Midland Rubber Co., Ltd. ; North British Rubber Co., Ltd. ; Redfern's Rubber Works, Ltd. ; St. Helens Cable and Rubber Co., Ltd. ; Geo. Spencer Moulton and Co., Ltd.' • Wallington, Weston Co., Ltd. ; Wood-Milne, Ltd. We could not help, having stated the intentions of these manufacturers in connection with their future dealings with their customers, contrasting their decision. with that of Chas. Macintosh and Co., Ltd., and the Shrewsbury and Challiner Tyre Co., Ltd., both of Manchester and allied concerns, under which they increased the guaranteed Mileage of their solid tyresaas from January 1st of this year from 10,000 to 12.000.
These conflicting decisions irresistibly recall the classic tale of the manner in which Darius convinced the Greeks that there are always two ways of looking at things.
The tyre manufacturing business in this country is in the hands of but a small number of concerns, all of whom (it is curious and extremely gratifying to note) are of the highest integrity, and it was, therefore, obvious that it would be quite incorrect to assume that the deeision to abandon the guarantee was induced by selfish considerations—a desire to give less value for money or to be relieved of an onerous condition of trading—or that advantage was being taken of the unity of thought and action rendered possible by the formation of the British Rubber Tyre Manufacturers' Association.
To clear up the question we are able to give the ' explanation which we have received at the hands of the general secretaries of the Association.
The practice of guaranteeing a minimum mileage for solid rubber band tyres was developed in the infancy of the commercial vehicle. Its chief purpose was to show that, in spite of the apparently costly nature of the tyres, they were nevertheless both practical and. economical in application. It has achieved that purpose so effectively that nobody in these days has any doubt as to the resultant ton-mile economy
of the solid rubber band tyre, or that its efficiency tends to become more marked as experience of the conditions of use becomes more readily available.
Even under present unfavourable conditions, large numbers of tyres consistently give more than guaranteed mileage, and when the conditions are reasonably good, mileages running up to three or four times the guarantee are nothing out of the common.
Theperpetuation of the mileage guarantee, however, is attended by certain marked disadvantages. In the minds of users it leads them to expect the guaranteed mileage and nothing more. It tends to wards the production of a " steaeotyped" tyre just capable of fulfilling the guarantee and no more. It encourages carelessness on the part of the driver who regards the responsibility for the tyre as solely that of the maker. It is necessarily hedged about by technical conditions and stipulations, which, in. some circumstances, are difficult to see properly observed.
The members of the British Rubber Tyre Manufacturers' Association have now decided to abolish the standard mileage guarantee completely, together with its limitations and stipulations.
They will for the future be content to allow their products to be judged by the service given (as distinct from merely guaranteed) and are making it their business to see that their tyres give the biggest mileage, the best service,•and fullest satisfaction to their customers.
Considerable assistance in regard to these points is expected from systematic collective research, and the British Rubber and Tyre Manufacturers' Research Association, which is *now in process of formation, has an extensive programme of inquiry before it on the general subject of increased tyre efficiency. Of course, it must be obvious that tyre results will always vary according to the conditions of running, and especially the roads, but the members of the B.R.T.M.A. will constantly aim to produce the best tyres. Users can be assured of prompt and generous treatment to anyone who , experiences unsatisfactory results, as although tyres will now be supplied without mileage guarantee, they will not be supplied without full responsibility, being accepted.
We should, in view of the above statement of the Association's secretaries, be glad to have the opinions of users on the question. One point occurs to us. Should the Commercial Motor Users Association now begin to compile statistics of tyre wear for the benefit of its members ?