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Old 03-29-2019, 06:13 PM   #1
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Default New Steer tires: Three questions

What is the current conventional wisdom about steer tire age? Mine show very little wear, and have no sidewall dry rot that I can see, but I think they are 6yrs old. Is it time to replace them anyway?

Anyone running the Michelin X Coach HL Zs? I was just wondering how the extra weight capacity might affect ride.

Lastly, when Michelin gives a tire 3-stars instead of 5 for fuel efficiency, does that mean that they are 40% less fuel efficient?!
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Old 03-30-2019, 06:18 AM   #2
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Watching this thread.
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Old 03-31-2019, 12:26 AM   #3
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Last summer I had to replace the Michelin XZA2 Energy 295/80R22.5 that the dealer put on my coach when I bought it 6yrs ago due to dry rot(only have about 10,000miles on them. The dealer chain my employer uses had some Continental HSR2 that they were willing to sell me for $200/tire due to stopping carrying Continental (reg $700cdn, I am in Canada), now I am NOT a fan of either the dealer chain or Continental tires in general, but I figured that since they were so cheap and I put so few miles on my coach that I would take a chance on them. Made it 2miles and took them back, front end shook so bad that the dishes in the cupboard rattled and you could visually see the front of the coach moving up and down, tried rebalancing, no go, ordered up some Michelin X Coach HL Z's (approx $800cdn each) once they were on, no more vibration, balanced out easier too. Lesson learned. Don't buy cheap steer tires and don't deal with people/businesses you don't like. Talked to the tire shop I normally deal with and told him what happened and he said "doesn't surprise me" and showed me his price on the Michelins (notably cheaper). He has access to pretty much every brand out there and unless the customer is adamant about being cheap he highly suggests Michelin and/or Toyo for motorcoaches, trucks are different. He says off-shore stuff is hit and miss, I personally had good luck in the past with Double Coin drives and trailer tires in the past but that was mostly non-pavement use.


As far as the extra weight capacity you probably need it, my Haulmark/Coronado is just over 15,000lb on the steer axle. I am sure your Renegade is up there too. If you don't need the extra capacity check with Michelin and based on your tires and axle weight they can tell you what pressure you can safely run and in theory get a softer ride.


From what I have read/been told, on the "Fuel efficient Rated" tires the top ones might save you 8-10% on fuel over regular tires (in other words if you are getting 10mpg(I am close to 8 with mine, so the number gap is even smaller) and a top rated fuel efficient tire "might" get you 11mpg and a mid rated tire might get you 5% better mpg or 10.5mpg) so unless you drive 100,000miles a year you probably won't notice the difference, long haul truckers would.
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Old 04-01-2019, 08:10 AM   #4
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Thanks for your insights!
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Old 04-01-2019, 01:03 PM   #5
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I had XZE2's on the front - iirc they were about 20 weeks from 5 yrs old - WHEN IT BLEW....and caused $11k in damage.....we store inside (enclosed/private garage, no climate control)....I keep a close eye on tire pressure, temp & sidewalls for fracturing....I had NO sign of any aging.

im lucky I didnt damage the wheel.
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Old 04-03-2019, 09:42 AM   #6
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Ok, I'm sold! The date code on mine is 3013...yikes!

Just ordered two Michelin X Coach HL Zs Hopefully getting them mounted tomorrow.
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Old 04-04-2019, 12:29 PM   #7
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Ok tire Gurus, please help me out with this: Went to dealer today and the tires had a date code of 3017! Over a year old already. The salesman apologized and is trying to find "fresher" tires.

I did some research and called another dealer. He stated that there was no way anyone at the Michelin distributor would go to the trouble of checking the date code before shipping the tire to him. "Besides, the tires are warranted from the time of installation, not from the time of manufacture!" He went on to say that they routinely mount tires over a year old, but that does not affect the warranty!

I asked him if the rubber in the tires simply did not degrade while in storage. He said not unless they were sitting in a window!

I'm gonna call Michelin. In the meantime, I'd welcome your thoughts on the topic.
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Old 04-05-2019, 10:01 AM   #8
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The nice lady at Michelin said that the tires have a maximum shelf life of three years. She went on to say that tires manufactured prior to 2017 have a 5 year warranty. Tires manufactured in 2017 and after have a 7 year warranty.

It is just a prorated tire warranty, which hardly seems relevant in a steer tire situation. I haven't read a single thread about tires giving any warning of failure that would allow you to take advantage of the warranty. If one does fail, the $800.00 or considerably less you might get from the warranty would be small solace after living through a blow-out.

My search continues for "fresh" steer tires!
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Old 04-05-2019, 10:33 AM   #9
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The wear and tear in tires comes from 3 main things.

1. Use. The constant flexing as the tire rotates (and twists) slowly weakens the belts in the sidewall.
2. UV. The UV from the sun breaks down the rubber and causes the erosion in the sidewall.
3. The air. Each tire has chemicals that are part of the "formula" these chemicals dissolve over time with exposure to the outside environment. This is the most common cause of "dry rot"




the tire warehouses are climate controlled and uv stable. The tires could sit there for years and not erode or dry rot. The real wear and tear on a steer tire is the twisting motion. The twisting is an even bigger issue with our long wheelbase trucks. This obviously doesn't start until the tire is mounted and driven.
Properly stored the UV and the evaporation process don't start until the tire is mounted.
Tire companies produce tires in batches. You might not find a "fresher" tire until they run a new batch of that particular model/size. The manufacture date is important to keep track of, but the in service date is the one most fleets base their maintenance off of.
I'm not telling you when to replace your steers, but just laying out the information that was given to me when I worked for the fleets. (20 years ago )
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Old 04-05-2019, 11:08 AM   #10
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Thank you very much for your insights. I was buying into the logic of the rubber's suspended animation while in storage, until Michelin said they drew the line at 3 years of storage. That would mean that the tires I was offered were already over half way through their shelf life. If they do not deteriorate in storage, why draw the line on shelf life?

I must admit that this has been an interesting exercise. Two dealers are actively trying to find me fresher tires. One refuses to look and dismisses the storage issue. Michelin themselves seem to come down right in the middle.

I'll see if the last dealer near me comes through today. After that I may start shopping other brands.
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Old 04-07-2019, 04:50 PM   #11
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Everything that's been written is pretty much what I've been lead to believe about truck and bus tires over the last seven years.

While Michelin will warrant the tires for seven years, I know many many coach owners who will replace tires after five years. Like one of the poster's said ... the $800 from a tire failure is nothing compared to the "experience" and costs of a blown tire.

Based on what Michelin said (which certainly makes sense to me), the tire codes really don't mean much to "us" until its time to sell the truck/bus. If I put two year old tires on the unit and try to sell in four years, a naive, uneducated buyer won't accept that that the tires are still safe.

I think that how and were we store our trucks/buses makes a difference. Ours is outside in Wisconsin, partially shaded during the day. I'd love to have indoor storage, but that isn't in the cards right now. We just got back from a 100 day trip (WI to FL to TX/NM to WY back to WI), so lots of sun on the tires.

How many of us run a tire pressure monitoring system (TPMS)? I just had the most recent version of PressurePro installed. Tire pressure and temps. I think that is a good investment. A tire with a slow leak can at a minimum inconvenience you on a trip, worst case cause a disaster. An overheating bearing or dragging brake and set our units on fire.

Good thread, good discussion.
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Old 04-08-2019, 11:12 AM   #12
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I run the TST 507 system - it revealed a cracked (slow leaking) stem...took me a while to find it - might have missed it w/out monitoring.

IMO monitoring pressure is only part of the benefit - TEMPERATURE monitoring is important - and youll discover that pressure increases are not linear to temperature increases.

Temp monitoring will also reveal a sticking brake or failing bearing.

When I had to pull out the hose (and gauge) I checked pressures less frequently - now I know the pressure just by switching on the display.

Last year I upgraded to the new COLOR display from TST - the contrast is much better (eve in direct sunlight).
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Old 04-11-2019, 05:13 AM   #13
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When I replace the drives, I'm going to install TPMS.
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Old 04-16-2019, 01:21 PM   #14
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Ok, so the big Michelin dealer I was holding out for said that the tires he was able to get had a '14 date code! I think he just did not want to attempt a re-order.

Since I have a trip coming up next week, I decided to move forward with the '17 tires. When mounting the new tires, the dealer found that the original steers had what they described as "balancing powder" in them, in addition to normally installed wheel weights.

I asked them why there would be both and the dealer said that sometimes the balancing powder clumps and perhaps the previous owner attempted to correct the issue by having them balanced traditionally.

Well, I thought the Coronado was smooth before. The new steers have made it into a new truck! Interstate traffic was a little heavy today, but I managed to get up to 75mph, and it was smoother than I ever recall. I drove a new Western Star/Renegade last month and it was as smooth or smoother than that!

I'm guessing that my steer tires have never been(since we've owned the rig) as good as they could be, but I just didn't know any better. Hope they stay this smooth!
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Old 04-18-2019, 02:02 PM   #15
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look at Pilot/Flying J (someone over on the FB group is the Big Cheese for all their service centers....nice guy). Flying J was as cheap as anyone on the price of tires and they can be services anywhere while traveling
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Old 04-18-2019, 02:54 PM   #16
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Well the steers are done, but I will certainly keep that in mind when the drives mature to retirement.

Fun fact: These newish (3017) steers (Michelin X Coach HL Z - 295/80 R22.5) were manufactured in Germany!
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Old 11-16-2019, 03:39 AM   #17
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I am not an expert on anything let alone tires,however with thirty years of OTR looking through the windshield i have learned a few things.being on the Trucker side date codes have never really been much of an issue other than "Seeing how old my new tires where" as they wore out long before date codes came into consideration.

Balancing : From none to the powder/beads inside the tire:: I am sure some folks have it and are happy.For me NEVER again,and OH by the way PLEASE inform the service writer and if you really like your Coach do yourself a favor walk out side to the tire mechanic and inform him/her that your tires of some form of balancing material inside the tire.
Centramatic and other brands of this type( I have only used Centramatic brand)Hands down imo the only way to go.Just my $0.02 worth.Also like any tire no matter what size if the tire needs large amounts of weight to balance or equal the back side Check that tire to make sure it is not defective.
My thoughts are just from my own experence's and hopefully help someone.Everyone please be safe in your journeys .
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