Euro-metric Tire TroubleEuropean inspired cargo vans are infiltrating the American market in increasing numbers. With their sharp corners and boxy shape, these vans defy the standard curvature of typical American trucks. While they bring with them a more practical arrangement of storage space, finding tires to fit them can be a challenging endeavor. Many companies including notable names like Nissan, Chrysler and Ford have either issued a version of this functional design or have made plans to debut one in the near future. While these trucks aren’t new to the market,Nissan has rolled out its NV200,Mercedes has introduced its Sprinter Euro Van and Chrysler released its Dodge Promaster all within the past few years. Business owners have been sufficiently impressed with the additional configurations and availability of cargo van options that include varying lengths, wheelbases, and heights.
Commercial car buyers can find a match made in heaven depending on the type of loads that they generally carry. This versatility is a fleet owner’s dream, sans the difficulty in finding suitable tires. The tires for these vehicles are Euro-metric commercial van tires and have a higher load range than the typical C- spec tire. Owners could easily be confused when looking to replace worn out tires or fit them for the winter. Using tires with the wrong load range could result in premature wear or worse, develop safety issues or turn into a road hazard.
Domestic light truck tires are generally not intended to carry as much load as the Euro trucks are designed for. Euro-metric tires are designed specifically for that purpose. While America has had success importing the design, proportionately importing the necessary parts in readily available quantities is still a work in progress. Concern is growing that the trucks have been introduced to the American market without the proper infrastructure in place to sustain them. Dealers do not all view this is an issue as they believe that they have tires in stock or can make them available for the consumer. However, this still puts the commercial truck owner at a disadvantage to the average consumer who can walk into the local tire store and replace a tire in an emergency without having to wait for a special order.
Despite the challenges, additional cargo vehicles with European design have steadily been making their way into the U.S. market and so far have been well-received. Ford has since debuted its 2014 Transit Connect Van and Wagon and Chrysler and GM continue to build additional cargo vehicles, some of are designed to be more fuel-efficient and friendly to the environment than your average delivery van.
While tire fitment and placement has created a small bump in the road for commercial vehicle owners, it is not necessarily a prohibitive factor in terms of which cargo vans should be utilized by commercial consumers. However, it is a factor that should be considered and planned for due to limited availability. No one wants to get a flat tire and have to wait 3 days for the dealer to order and replace it. To get more information on euro-metric commercial tires and where to stock up on them, click here.