How to Read the Side Wall of a Tire
by Brad Bockey
Bulk trucks in our industry cannot have tires in use that are over 6 years of age. It does not go by the purchase date but by the manufacture date of the tire. Depending on the inventory rotation of a particular shop, that tire could have been sitting on the shelf in excess of 2 years. So it is up to each of us to be an educated consumer. All of the information needed is right on the sidewall of the tire.
DOT Serial Number
The "DOT" symbol certifies the tire manufacturer's compliance with the U.S. Department of Transportation tire safety standards. Below is a description of the serial number. Starting with the year 2000, four numbers are used for the Date of Manufacturer, first two numbers identify the week and the last two numbers identify the year of manufacture. Prior to year 2000 three numbers are used for the Date of manufacture, first two numbers identify the week and the last number identifies the year of manufacture. To identify tires manufactured in the 90's a decade symbol (a triangle on its side) is located at the end of the DOT serial number.
Yes, the most important detail was left for the end.Simply do not allow a shop to put a tire on a bulk truck that has seen 1/3 of its useful life sitting on a shelf. The alternative is to remount onto other nonbulk equipment, but that is a cost in itself.
Pay attention and be an educated consumer.