12 facts about tyres you didn't know..

iron tyres
first tyre
square wheel
biggest tyre in a world
biggest tyre
big tyre
tyre recycling

1) Tyres were invented much earlier than cars or bicycles. Can you imagine that the first tyres were created from iron? When John Dunlop was riding his bicycle he had terrible headaches.  That was a turning point to create the tyres how we know them now.


2) In 1844 Charles GoodYear discovered vulcanised rubber and vulcanization process. This new vulcanised rubber was used initially as ‘cushioning tyres’ for carriages and cycles. When he died, in 1860, he was $200,000 in debt. Eventually, however, accumulated royalties made his family comfortable. His son, Charles Jr., inherited something more precious — inventive talent — and later built a small fortune on shoemaking machinery.


3) Like so many inventions, the modern pneumatic tyre was born out of a need to solve an individual problem, rather than for a desire for fame and fortune. So in 1888, when Scotsman John Boyd Dunlop was looking for a way to make his son’s bicycle journeys more comfortable, he could hardly have guessed the lasting impact his light bulb moment would have.

However Dunlop's discovery was not without its controversy. Unbeknown to him another Scot, Robert William Thomson, had already patented a pneumatic rubber tyre in 1845. Dunlop quickly established what became the Dunlop Rubber Company and fought and won a legal battle with Thomson.

Despite Thomson getting there quicker, it was Dunlop's tyre design that caught on giving him greater claim to have invented the pneumatic tyre. But sadly Dunlop sold the patent and the company early on and so didn't benefit much, financially, from his invention.


4) In late 1891 the first detachable pneumatic tyre was invented by two agricultural engineers in Clermont-Ferrand in Central France. These brothers Michelin marketed their ideas strongly and successfully.

5) In 1959 a first “square wheel” was patented. Yes, you hear that right, that wheel was square shaped. It should be mentioned that it was also successfully driving on muddy, sandy and snowy surfaced. The trick was hidden in the fitting of this wheel at a certain angle that helped to cope with different obstacles on the way.


6) The biggest tyre in the world is 4,02 meter high and 1,47 meter wide, weight of such a tyre is 5,75 ton! Bridgestone represented this tyre 59/80R63 VRPS (V-Steel Premium Service) in april 2013. Price: around $45,000 each.


7) The most expensive car passenger tyres in the world are Michelin Pilot Sport PAX (run flat) 245/690 R520 (front) and 365/710 R540 (rear) tyres for Bugatti Veyron. Made to sustain 406km/h and a brisk 0-300km/h time of less than 14 seconds. Price: $10,000 each.


8) Formula One - control tyres at 265/55R13 (front) and 325/R13 (rear) last a maximum of 200km and at the end of their useful life are recycled. Teams generally have a minimum of 20 tyres per car on hand. Price: $1500 each.


9) Keep performing even when the pressure drops: run-flat tyres keep you mobile even if all tyre pressure is lost. Instead of an unpleasant and unsafe roadside tyre change, you can reach home safely or drive to the next workshop for assistance.

Run-flat tyres are their own spares: thanks to specially reinforced side walls and additional lateral strengthening, they continue to perform their function even if all air pressure is lost. The heat-resistant rubber compound is able to withstand additional heat build-up.
With run-flat tyres fitted, you can continue driving for up to 150 km at a speed of up to 80 km/h without any significant loss in vehicle stability. You not only save time and stress, you are also free of the need to carry a spare tyre, saving stowage space.  By the way, run flat tyres you can also buy at OTR-EM, call us 0032(0)- or quote the price by e-mail: sales@otr-em.com


10) Recycling of tyres is extremely important for our ecology as it takes more than 100 year to dispose one tyre in a natural way and what is even worse, many toxic substances come free under the influence of sun and water. But luckily more than 70 % of tyres are being recycled or can be retreaded and re-used. 


11) Not all tyres can be filled in with air. Aircraft tyres are being filled in with helium or nitrogen. Pressure and temperature changes during the flight can damage the tyre and if they were filled in with air they would simply burst.


12) Tyres are responsible for around 20% of vehicle fuel consumption and can affect fuel costs in two ways:

Tyre pressure – reduced tyre pressure increases rolling resistance and hence fuel consumption so you should check pressures regularly.

Materials and construction – tyre manufacturers can choose materials and manufacturing techniques to reduce rolling resistance at the recommended pressure.

So, contact OTR-EM, all-round tyre specialist from Limburg region in Belgium and we will help you to choose the right tyre, tel 0032(0)- or e-mail: sales@otr-em.com