GREENVILLE, S.C. – A total of 24 government fire, life safety, forestry, and lifeguard agencies were chosen to participate in the field research study on Uniroyal’s Laredo HD/H and Laredo HD/T tires. The agencies represented a cross section of rural, mid-size, and metropolitan areas in a variety of climate, elevation, and geographical locations. The fleets range in size from the Valley Center Fire Department located on the backside of Palomar Mountain in California to the Detroit Fire Department, responsible for 143 square miles and a population of 911,000. Each operates 24/7 and their mission can be a life-or-death matter. The Laredo HD/T tire, equipped with an aggressive tread design and RMA Severe Snow Traction rating, was tested by the U.S. Steel Security/Fire/Life-Safety Services in Gary, Ind. This agency is responsible for 8,600 acres – 90 percent of which are unpaved roads located in extreme temperature and climates. Overall findings of the research project conducted throughout 2004 included:

  • Not a single fleet reported downtime related to flats, punctures, or road hazards.
  • 60 percent of respondents reported that the Laredo HD/H tires exceeded their expectations as a “long-lasting tire” and 40 percent said the tires satisfied their expectations.
  • 50 percent of respondents said the Laredo HD/T tires exceeded their expectations for off-road traction.
  • Every respondent said the Laredo HD/H tires either exceeded or met their expectations for reducing road noise.

    A variety of light- and medium-duty platforms were utilized in the research, including Chevrolet Tahoe, Ford F-150 in two- and four-wheel-drive versions, Ford Explorer, and Ford Super-Duty diesels commonly used by rescue paramedic squads. Also involved were Ford Ranger and Nissan Frontier trucks used by Western park rangers to patrol remote rugged areas with minimal access. The Laredo HD/H tire is available in 10 light truck (LT) sizes and the Laredo HD/T tire is available in six LT sizes for class 1-5 platforms, including light trucks, minivans, step vans, landscape utility, city delivery, step vans, large walk-in, and utility bucket trucks. The Laredo HD/H tire, backed by a 50,000-mile limited treadwear warranty, is designed for more on-highway usage and long tread life. The Laredo HD/T tire provides traction for fleets that spend a considerable amount of time off-road. The field research project was conducted for Uniroyal by the Automotive West Group, an independent research firm located in Lake Elsinore, Calif., that specializes in evaluating equipment for special service government fleets, including fire, life-safety, forestry, and lifeguard agencies.