Survivalist Tip: Among all the important features of your vehicle, a good set of tires can’t be emphasized enough. A vehicle without tires is like non-alcoholic beer. Why bother? Tires aren’t just for football practices, UFC training regimens, or hillbilly swing sets. As December 21 approaches, you have to make certain your vehicle’s tires are in good shape. Here’s a basic check list.
- In the U.S., tires must meet standards of tread wear, traction and temperature resistance. A tread wear rating of 500 – 7oo is very good; 300 – 400 is good; 200 is average; below 200 is dangerous. Traction grades extend from AA, A, B and C; highest to lowest. This represents the tire’s ability to stop on wet pavement. Temperature grades – from A to C – represent the tire’s resistance to the generation of heat. (Don’t confuse these ratings with bra cup sizes, which have nothing to do with survivalism.)
- Tires also need to be properly inflated. Tire inflation is measured according to pounds per square inch, or PSI, and is directly related to the tire’s diameter. Tires of 25” to 30” in diameter should have PSI of 32. Those with worn tread are more likely to be seriously underinflated. Underinflated tires cost you gas mileage, since they make the engine work harder. They can also be a safety hazard. If you have to evacuate your home during the apocalypse, or if you’ll be on the road anyway, the last thing you want is a blowout along the barren wasteland. That makes you vulnerable to attacks from zombies, wild cats and any hip-hop stars that might still be around.
- You also need to have at least one spare tire. The spare shouldn’t be one of those pathetic donut types. That’s so 20th century. A spare should be a full-size tire. The same standards for the regular tires apply to the spare.
There’s no getting around good tire maintenance. Being a responsible vehicle owner is like being a responsible gun owner. You don’t want to be careless, or someone could get hurt. And, in the immediate aftermath of the upheaval, there will be plenty of chances for people to get hurt. You just don’t want to be on the receiving end of it!