Did you know that your tyres are so much more than just lumps of rubber that make your drive more comfortable than it would otherwise be? Modern tyres are carefully engineered masterpieces, designed to help you drive comfortably and safely on the UK's roads, and they are much more interesting than you might have first assumed. Here are four interesting facts about car tyres that you might not have realised before.
Well Dressed Tyres
The word 'tyre' comes from 'attire' meaning clothes, because tyres were seen as being the clothing (or attire) of the wheel. Over time the word morphed into 'tire' which the Americans adopted as was. When there was something of a gentlemanly war of words (literally) between early US dictionaries and more established UK dictionaries – or rather the writers of these – the UK dictionary maestros deliberately chose more complicated spellings over simplified ones such as those preferred by the US. This gave us 'tyre' rather than 'tire', along with retaining the u in honour, colour and favour – amazing to think that so many words were chosen for such purely petty reasons, but there we go!
Recycle, Reuse, Repurpose
Every year a huge quantity of tyres are made, and a similar number come to the end of their useful life and are sent off to be recycled. This is a vast improvement of the 'bad old days' which saw veritable mountains of old tyres discarded in huge, noisome heaps which simply sat for years and decades. Today, when you hand your old tyres over to your local garage or recycling centre, they are shredded and pieces of metal and plastic removed, and then the rubber is recrafted into child's rubberised playgrounds, or other rubber goods. Around one third of all tyres are recycled in this manner, another one third is sent for re-treading to have a new lease of life in its original purpose, and the final third, too far gone for anything else, are sent to be incinerated as tyre-derived-fuel, used in kilns, power plants and various mills.
Imagine the Artillery
In the early days of motoring, tyres were fixed directly onto the axle, with the tyres turning the entire axle, rather than – as now – the tyres rotating individually on the axle. As well as being a fairly uncomfortable ride, this process, known as an artillery tyre, meant that changing a tyre was a very tiring and time consuming task. Fortunately modern tyres are much easier to change! Looking for new tyres in Dartford? Visit Dartford Tyres and let them take care of the rest.
Your Tyres Have a Speed Rating
Did you know your tyres have a top speed rating? This means that even if there was no speed limit, there is a speed over which your tyres should not be used as they stand a risk of failing. Fortunately, this limit is quite high, and in the UK, at least, you are unlikely to be fitted with tyres that cannot go at the maximum speed limit of 70mph.