M+S = Mud and Snow
The “M+S” or “M/S” indicates that the tyre has some mud and snow capability. Most radial tyres have these markings; hence, they have some mud and snow capability.
U.S. DOT Tyre Identification Number
This begins with the letters “DOT” and indicates that the tyre meets all federal standards. The next two numbers or letters are the plant code where it was manufactured, and the last four numbers represent the week and year the tyre was built. For example, the numbers 1312 mean the 13th week of 2012. The other numbers are marketing codes used at the manufacturer’s discretion. This information is used to contact consumers if a tyre defect requires a recall.
For example: DOT “UYZEDBC1312”
• UY: Plant code
• ZE: Tyre size
• DBC: Compound structure code (Optional)
• 13: The week manufactured
• 12: The year manufactured
Tyre Ply Construction and Materials Used
The number of plies and cords indicates the number of layers of rubber-coated fabric or steel cords in the tyre. In general, the greater the number of plies, the more weight a tyre can support. Tyre manufacturers also must indicate the cords used in the tyre, which include steel, nylon, polyester, and others.
Maximum Load Rating
This number indicates the maximum load in kilograms or pounds that can be carried by the tyre.
Maximum Permissible Inflation Pressure
This number is the maximum amount of air pressure that should ever be put in the tyre under normal driving conditions.
What is UTQG?
UTQG stands for the Uniform Tyre Quality Grading system.
To help consumers compare a passenger car tyre’s treadwear rate, traction performance, and temperature resistance, the federal government requires tyre manufacturers to grade tyres in these three areas. This grading system, known as the Uniform Tyre Quality Grading System, provides guidelines for making relative comparisons when purchasing new tyres. You also can use this information to inquire about the quality of tyres placed on new vehicles.
Although this rating system is very helpful when buying new tyres, it is not a safety rating or a guarantee of how well a tyre will perform or how long it will last. Other factors such as personal driving style, type of car, quality of the roads, and tyre maintenance habits have a significant influence on your tyre’s performance and longevity.
Treadwear grades are an indication of a tyre’s relative wear rate. The higher the treadwear number, the longer it should take for the tread to wear down. For example, a tyre grade of 400 lasts significantly longer than a tyre grade of 200
Traction grades are an indication of a tyre’s ability to stop on wet pavement. A higher graded tyre should allow you to stop your car on wet roads in a shorter distance than a tyre with a lower grade. Traction is graded from highest to lowest as “AA,” “A,” “B,” and “C.”
Temperature grades are an indication of a tyre’s resistance to heat. Sustained high temperature (for example, driving long distances in hot weather), can cause tyre failure. From highest to lowest, a tyre’s resistance to heat is graded as “A,” “B,” or “C.”
A Maxxis MA-1 should have a UTQG rating of 480 BB and deliver a high level of mileage expectation along with a smooth, quiet ride. On the other hand, a Maxxis MA-501 has a UTQG rating of 300 AA and is more in line with the expectations of a performance tyre.