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New Snow Tires Have Retractable Studs
Tires with on-demand, retractable studs are in development with test marketing expected in early 2009 and full sales by the end of the year. Q-Tires may be just the answer to driving on ice and snow without damaging road surfaces, the reason many states have outlawed tires with studs
"So far we have been 100 percent successful in getting states to approve our tire concept, even where studded tires are illegal," says Sean Charirker, director of marketing, Q-Tires. "We have concentrated on California and the Pacific Northwest, followed by the northeastern U.S."
The concept for the tires was developed in Oregon where you can be in deep snow one minute and an hour later on dry streets. Charirker notes that in the Pacific Northwest and northern California, as well as parts of Canada, you can encounter snow year round at certain passes.
The novel tire design uses a remote control to release air from the tire into a bladder beneath the studs pushing them from the tire surface. When the studs need to be retracted, the remote empties the bladder, retracting the studs below the tread face.
"The remote becomes a de facto safety and efficiency backup for the driver," says Charirker. "It indicates what the tire pressure is, so the driver knows when to add air."
After 25 cycles, the tires will have lost about 2 lbs. pressure. That is well under the 25 percent (8 lbs.) loss considered safe under current tire pressure management systems.
"Retailers will set prices, but we expect Q-Tires to sell at 30 to 40 percent above premium all-season tires," says Charirker.
Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Q-Tires, Inc., 250 Commonwealth Drive, Suite 101, Greenville, S.C. 29615 (ph 864 234-9677; fax 864 234-7083; info@qtires.com; www.qtires.com).

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2008 - Volume #32, Issue #6