This report presents a synopsis of the third comprehensive performance evaluation of patrol vehicle tires, conducted in April 1999 by the National Law Enforcement and Corrections Technology Center (NLECTC).
Three tired brands were tested: Firestone Firehawk PV41, General XP-2000 V4, and Goodyear Eagle RS-A. Technical descriptions of the tires are presented; all tires were constructed of the same basic materials. Each brand of tire was evaluated with eight tests designed to assess their performance in wet and dry road conditions and determine their tread wear characteristics. The tests included the static circle test (dry), static circle test (wet), serpentine test (dry), serpentine test (wet), stopping distance (dry), stopping distance (wet), high-speed handling, and tire wear measurement. The methodology and objective of each test is presented in detail. The objective of the static circle test was to determine the road-handling performance of the tires in a steady turning situation. The goal of the serpentine test was to determine the tires transient response characteristics and performance. The objective of the tire wear measurement was to evaluate each tire's wear after the conclusion of the entire performance evaluation. The 1999 Ford Police Interceptor and the 2000 Chevrolet Impala were chosen for the testing because they represent the majority of police vehicles in use by law enforcement over the next 2 years. Test results are presented with no conclusion as to the "best" tire; since weather and driving conditions are different in different parts of the country, the results should be assessed with an eye on the most appropriate tire for needs of each department. Tables, figure